Van Dyk Earns 10th Boston Marathon Title, While McFadden Celebrates Birthday With Another Win
In the second largest, and perhaps fastest push-rim wheelchair field ever assembled for the Boston Marathon, Ernst Van Dyk (RSA) and Tatyana McFadden (USA) won the men’s and women’s titles at the 118th B.A.A. Boston Marathon. Capturing an unprecedented tenth Boston Marathon title, Van Dyk led from wire-to-wire. McFadden celebrated her 25th birthday by defending her title in the women’s race, just eight days after winning and breaking her own course record at the London Marathon.
Van Dyk, 41, last won the Boston Marathon in 2010, and has finished third, sixth and second the last three years. This year, he led from Hopkinton to Boston, finishing in 1:20:36. Two Japanese athletes worked in tandem behind him. Kota Hokinoue, who finished third at Boston three times (2011, 2012, 2013), and two-time (2007, 2011) champion Masazumi Soejima, trailed Van Dyk by 30 to 40 seconds for most of the race. They closed to within 25 seconds at 35k, but never gained more ground. Hokinoue placed second and Soejima third in the same time, 1:21:14. 2014 London Marathon champion Marcel Hug (SUI), Jordi Madera (ESP), Joshua George (USA) and Tomasz Hamerlak (POL) finished within 14 seconds (1:24:39, 1:24:42, 1:24:49 and 1:24:53) in fourth through seventh, with defending champion Hiroyuki Yamamoto eighth in 1:25:15.
Five-time women’s champion Wakako Tsuchida (JPN) made a valiant effort to take the race from the start, leading until McFadden passed her before 20k. McFadden hung back with University of Illinois teammate Susannah Scaroni (USA) through 10k, then gradually chipped away at the lead, passing another fast starter Manuela Schär (SUI), the 2013 IPC World Champion in the marathon, at 15k and Tsuchida by 20k. At the half-way mark, Tsuchida passed McFadden back, but McFadden regained the lead and stayed ahead for the final 12 miles, increasing her lead as she powered up and over the Newton Hills. She crossed the line more than two minutes ahead of Tsuchida in 1:35:06, a personal best by more than seven minutes. Tsuchida held on for second in 1:37:24. Scaroni finished fast for third place in 1:38:33, a personal best by more than four minutes. Schär and Boston rookie Shelly Woods (GBR), the silver medalist in the 2012 Paralympic Games marathon, took fourth and fifth, in 1:39:39 and 1:41:42.
With their wins, both Van Dyk and McFadden both captured the Boston-London Wheelchair Challenge, a two-race competition offering additional prize money to the top three point scoring men and women in the series. The champions each received $15,000 from John Hancock for winning Boston, then added an additional $10,000 for the Challenge win.