Boston Marathon: five historic moments

The Boston Marathon has seen dramatic finishes and inspiring firsts in its 115-year history.

2. First wheelchair competitor (1975)

Timothy A. Clary /AFP/File
Ernst Van Dyk of South Africa holds his trophy after winning the men's wheelchair division of the 105th running of the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2001.

Bob Hall broke ground as the first person to compete in a major marathon from a wheelchair. On April 21, 1975, Mr. Hall, who had contracted polio as a child, finished with a time of 2:58.

The wheelchair field expanded in 1977, after it was declared the National Wheelchair championship. Hall competed against seven others, besting his rivals and improving his time to 2:40. Ernst Van Dyk of South Africa is the current world record holder for a wheelchair marathon, with a 2004 time of 1:18. Since 2001, he has won nine Boston Marathons, but lost his bid for a 10th Monday.

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