SABC News - SAs Van Dyk steals limelight at Boston Marathon:Monday 21 April 2014

SA's Van Dyk steals limelight at Boston Marathon

Monday 21 April 2014 19:57


The SA wheelchair racer Ernst Van Dyk says it was a tough race especially in the closing stages of the race.(REUTERS)

South African Ernst van Dyk was the man to watch in the wheelchair section of the Boston Marathon on Easter Monday in the US.

Van Dyk did not disappoint - he won his 10th Boston Marathon in one hour 20.39 seconds. The South African wheelchair racer says it was a tough race as his opponents were pretty close to him on break hill.

"I could see them but I knew if I can cross the turbo hardrill hill first all the people in the last five miles were never going to catch me it was really, really incredible," says an excited Van Dyk.

American Tatyana McFadden recorded her second straight Boston Marathon win in women's wheelchair.

In the main race Rita Jeptoo (33) of Kenya defended her Boston Marathon title with a new course record as Meb Keflezighi became the first American man to win the Boston race since 1983 on Easter Monday.

Security was very tight at the Boston Marathon this year, after the race was rocked by bomb blasts along the route last year, preventing many from finishing.

Entrants who completed at least half the course and did not finish due to the bombings got automatic entry this year. In spite of the last year's happenings the race which normally attracts 27 000 participants, had a record of close to 36 000 entrants.

Defending champions Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Rita Jeptoo of Kenya returned to defend their titles. On the women's side, nine of them had personal best times under two hours and 23 minutes. Jeptoo set a new course record after clocking two hours 18.57 seconds.

In the men's race seven athletes had run a marathon under two hours five minutes and 30 seconds. Keflezighi beat a capable field after winning the race in two hours eight minutes and 37 seconds.

On a lighter note, many runners undertake the Boston Marathon in costumes of all kinds. Below are some of the characters that undertook the race in 2014 (Pic: Reuters).

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