Marcel Hug of Switzerland won his fifth New York City Marathon men’s wheelchair title by shattering the course record convincingly, while Susannah Scaroni of the United States grabbed her first title in the women’s division and also set a course record.
Known as the “Silver Bullet,” Hug, 36, dominated the race nearly from the start, finishing in 1 hour 25 minutes 26 seconds, breaking by nearly four minutes the 15-year-old course record set by Kurt Fearnley in 2006.
Hug grabbed the lead coming off the Verrazano Bridge and steadily raced away from his chief rival, Daniel Romanchuk of the United States. Hug’s fifth title tied Kurt Fearnley and Tatyana McFadden for most victories in the wheelchair division. He completed a near-perfect 2022 with victories in four of the five other marathon majors in Tokyo, Berlin, London and Chicago. He broke the course record in the last two.
“We had great conditions,” Hug said on ESPN of the warm weather and calm winds. “I was trying to have a fast race and everything was perfect.”
Scaroni won her first New York City Marathon in 1 hour 42 minutes 43 seconds. She set a new course record by 21 seconds, breaking McFadden’s record set in 2015.
Hug and Scaroni will receive $25,000 for coming in first, and will receive another $50,000 each for setting course records.
Scaroni’s victory comes after she won her first major marathon race in Chicago last month. She built up an early lead and was never challenged. By the halfway point, Scaroni was ahead by nearly three minutes over Manuela Schar of Switzerland and Madison De Rozario of Australia, who won the event last year.
Scaroni’s victory completed a yearlong comeback after she was hit by a car last September while training. She returned to training in the spring this year and steadily recovered her strength.
“I couldn’t have asked to be back as strong as I am right now, but every day I love what I do,” Scaroni said.
The unseasonably high temperatures — in the low 70s — played a factor in both races, said Fearnley, who was providing commentary on ESPN. The warmer weather, he said, helped the wheelchair racers create friction between their gloves and the outside of the wheels that they flick at. The lack of a significant breeze also helped the racers at the start and on the bridges.
Romanchuk, who finished second, also broke Fearnley’s course record, finishing in 1 hour 27 minutes 38 seconds.
Hug, though, was the undisputed winner. He won the race in 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2021, and finished one second behind Romanchuk in 2019. He won five of the six World Marathon Majors races last year, and Sunday’s victory gives him five again this year. Hug also won four gold medals at the Tokyo Paralympics, including a second gold medal in the marathon.
Scaroni, 31, has been on the podium 15 times in World Marathon Majors races, and now has won two of them.
A month after winning two medals in the Tokyo Paralympic Games last year, she collided with a car on the roads in Illinois and fractured a vertebra. In June, in her first race back, she won the Mini 10K in a world-record time, then broke the 5,000-meter world record on the track.
Scaroni, who grew up in Tekoa, Wash., and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, finished third in the New York City Marathon in 2019.