Ernst van Dyk continued his ride into history when he won for a record eighth time in the men’s wheelchair race of the Boston Marathon. It equalled the women’s wheelchair legend Jean Driscoll’s Boston wins and cemented the South African’s legacy as a true great.
Van Dyk, who won the race for the first time at the age of 28 in 2001, led from the first kilometre and finished in 1hr 33min 29sec, to pick up his eighth gold medal in the last nine years. His only defeat was in 2007.
The South African, also a Paralympic gold medallist, got across the line in the slowest of all his victories (previously 1:28:32) but he was never challenged and continues to set the standard in his discipline.
The men’s elite race was won by Ethiopian Deriba Merga in 2:08:42.
In the elite women’s section of the main event, former South African Colleen de Reuck placed eighth in 2:35:37, behind Kenyan winner Salina Kosgei┬á (2:32:16).
De Reuck, 45, represented SA in the marathon in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics. She is now a United States citizen.
She ended up winning the Masters division to┬á earn $10,000 for that category win and $7,400 for her eighth spot.