ING New York City Marathon 2004 - Wheelchair Races
A new course record was set at the 2004 Women's pushrim competition of the New York City Marathon.
It was an especially tight field this year. From the beginning it was a three woman race. Edith Hunkeler established an early lead. At the 10k mark she was a full nine seconds ahead of Sandra Graf and last year's third place finisher Diana Roy. Her challengers weren't deterred though. By the time the women reached the half way point it was 53:15 all. Who would fall off first?
By the 20m mark Sandra Graf had pulled a full 54 seconds ahead of her competitors. It looked like she was going to pull off the win. Behind her Hunkeler and Roy were just three seconds apart. Hunkeler wasn't giving up easily though, she charged forward in the final stretch and managed to catch up with Graf. In the end she crossed the finish line ten seconds ahead of her countrywoman with a time of 1:53:27. Her time beat the course record by six seconds. Sandra Graf came in second in 1:53:37, and Diane Roy - the previous course record holder - came in third in 1:57:13.
On the Men's side it was a five person race for virtually the whole course. Saul Mendoza, Krige Schabort, Kelly Smith, Ernst Van Dyk and Aaron Gordian Minz were neck and neck for the entire first half of the race. at the half way point only three seconds separated the lead pack.
Unfortunately, Minz suffered a flat tire upon entering Manhattan, quickly followed by Van Dyk. And then there were three. As the leaders entered Central Park the question was who had the fastest sprint? Odds were on Saul Mendoza, who's known for his sprinting ability, but Schabort and Smith couldn't be counted out. As the finish line approached it was a horse race to the finish. In the end it was Saul Mendoza who finished just three seconds ahead of Krige Schabort in 1:33:16 and 1:33:19 respectively. Kelly Smith took third in 1:33:24.