Marcel Hug, the men’s wheelchair champion at the 125th Boston Marathon, will now always remember the words that locals recite when discussing the final mile of the race: “Right onto Hereford, left onto Boylston.”
Instead, he followed the lead vehicle up Commonwealth Avenue before heading back onto Hereford Street.
Hug was on a record pace on Monday morning and earned $25,000 with his fifth Boston Marathon title. But he lost out on a $50,000 bonus that comes with any course record.
The 35-year-old Hug, from Switzerland, wound up finishing in 1 hour, 18 minutes and 11 seconds. He set the course record of 1:18:04 in 2017.
“I would say it cost me 20 seconds and it should have been possible to get the record, for sure … It should not have happened. It’s my fault,” he said. “I was just focusing on my performance. I didn’t think about that. It’s sad, but it happens.”
T-shirts are sold capturing that final-mile phrase of the race, coming in the traditional blue-and-yellow colors that stretch across the Boylston Street finish line.
“I went straight behind the lead car instead of a right turn,” Hug said.
Hug was part of Swiss sweep in the wheelchair divisions. Manuela Schar, 36, won the women’s division at 1:35:21 and earned $25,000. “Yeah, that makes the race even better,” she said. “It was great to do it with Marcel.”
In the main race, Benson Kipruto and Diana Kipyogei completed a Kenyan sweep of the men’s and women’s titles, the eighth since 2000 in Boston.
A winner in Prague and Athens who finished 10th in Boston in 2019, Kipruto broke away from the lead pack as it turned onto Beacon Street with about three miles to go and broke the tape in 2:09:51. Lemi Berhanu, who won the race in 2016, was second, 46 seconds back; Colin Bennie of Princeton, Massachusetts, was the top American, in seventh.
Kipyogei claimed the women’s title, a gilded olive wreath and the $150,000 first prize, finishing in 2:24:45 in her major marathon debut. Edna Kipligat, the 2017 winner, was second, 23 seconds behind.