Marathon Talk Episode 27: Gene Dykes

It's been a phenomenal month for marathon running, and we've finally caught our breath having just witnessed the fastest marathon ever run, the first man to go under 2:01. Kelvin Kiptum's performance at last week’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon will go down in history.

The stars aligned and the weather played ball – not only for that earth-shattering run from Kiptum – but also Sifan Hassan winning her second AbbottWMM race of 2023, and not forgetting the tremendous efforts at the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships, which took place within the Chicago field.

Taking part in that event was this week’s guest on the show, Gene Dykes, and we spoke to him about his amazing record-setting performance, alongside our analysis on the future of shoe tech and tumbling records.

Listen on




In this episode of Marathon Talk

0:00 - Deena’s front row seats for the Chicago Marathon, and Martin’s other running escapades

8:00 - All the lowdown from Chicago, with Kiptum and Hassan’s stellar runs, the start of a race for shoe supremacy, and much more

37:00 - We sit down with the incredible Gene Dykes to get his take on an exemplary performance, unparalleled dedication to his watch, and setting his sights on yet another world record

Episode keywords

Marathon talk, abbott world marathon majors, marathon running, distance running, endurance marathon, marathon training, endurance training, london marathon, berlin marathon, chicago marathon, new york marathon, six star finisher, marathon world record, age group world champion, gene dykes

Episode highlights

“I said to my daughter, ‘When your teachers ask where you’ve been, what are you going to say?’, and she says, ‘That I was in Chicago to witness the world record in the marathon’.” - 2:45 - Deena Kastor 

“Previously people thought you've got to graduate into a marathon, and that your first marathon is going to be all about learning the race and maybe you'll get better as you go through your marathons. That's just been rewritten.” - 11:00 - Martin Yelling 

“Sifan Hassan ran the second fastest time in women's history, just 43 days after a triple attempt at  medals in the World Championships.” - 23:50 - Deena Kastor 

“Everybody warned me that in Chicago your watch isn't going to work, all the skyscrapers are going to screw it up. Amazingly, it was the most accurate readings I've ever gotten on my watch!” - 39:30 - Gene Dykes

“When you're on the decline in the marathon, and your best days are behind you, then start thinking about going longer, because longer ultra races are so much more fun.” - 50:15 - Gene Dykes

“The Majors are where the competition is and that makes them fun. So the other exciting thing about Tokyo is not so much that I have done all six, but I still have the goal of winning my age group at all six - I only have one to go.” - 1:01:10 - Gene Dykes

Useful links

Abbott World Marathon Majors

Martin Yelling

Deena Kastor

Gene Dykes

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