American, Aaron Pike became the first winner of the Men’s Elite Wheelchair Race at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon.
He finished in just over an hour and 40 minutes, followed by South African Paralympic icon, Ernest van Dyk, some 90 seconds later.
“I made it a point to take off the line with a bit of speed,” Pike said shortly after his victory. “I wanted to start fast in order to spread out the group a bit.”
Pike and Van Dyk were neck-and-neck for a significant part of the race with the American taking full advantage of Van Dyk’s familiarity of the course.
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“I wanted to keep Ernie around as long as possible because he knows the route and conditions better than I do,” said Pike. “He’s a great guy.”
The event winner was also full of compliments about the new marathon route, adding that it was as good, if not better, than some of the most prestigious races in the world. “The course was great. In terms of road conditions I would say it’s better than New York and Boston.”
Meanwhile, Van Dyk was satisfied with his second place finish and nostalgic about his homecoming after decades at the top his sport.
“Aaron is in really good form so I just wanted to stay with him as long as I could,” he said. “It was a great race. I really enjoyed competing on home turf and doing in South Africa what I’ve been doing around the world for more than 30 years.”