It was a picture-perfect ending.
David Randall and Adam Rose approached the finish line in the 10-mile wheelchair event of the Crim Festival Races at a nearly identical pace.
It came down to who wanted it more.
Randall, 37, of Ontario, Ohio narrowly edged Rose, 17, of Shelby Township in .2 seconds to win the hand-cycle portion of the race. His time was 31:55.and Rose’s was 31:56.
“It was close, maybe one tire length (separated us),” said Randall, who stole the hand clycling division of the competition. “My man Adam Rose took off and had the lead for like four or five miles and then I ended up chasing him down with like three or four to go.”
Randall claims he was “out of shape.” He hasn’t rode a bike in six weeks because of two recent surgeries this summer. Randall battles from Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease which affects his spinal cord and brain.
This was Randall’s first time competing in the Crim.
He was urged by Rose to enter the challenge. The duo have known each other for roughly four years when they first met at a Cleveland Marathon.
It was a confidence booster for Rose to stay in stride with Randall, a member of the U.S. Paralympic team. Randall also placed 10th at the 2010 Para-cycling World Championships in Baie-Comeau, Quebec.
“I was just hoping to give it my best run against (David) and see what I could do,” said Rose, a junior-to-be at Henry Ford High School in Macomb County.
This event marked Rose’s fifth Crim race but was his best time. He accomplished fourth place in 2009.
Rose said his next scurry will be in the Detroit Free Press Marathon for hand cycling in October. He won the disabilities division of the 33rd Detroit Free Press Marathon last year.
Dane Pilon of Fayetville, N.C. didn’t defend his wheelchair title in 2011. Pilon has won the 10-mile meet for the past two years. In 2010, he broke his previous record set in 2009 (28:36) with an official posting of 26:08.
Pilon is reportedly training in Colorado in preparations for the world championships in Denmark. His absence was noted by the winners.
“Had (Dane) been here he would have been done in like 27 minutes,” Randall joked.
Chad Johnson was the first-place clincher for the wheeler portion of the dash. Johnson, 36, of Charlestown, Ind., won that section for the fourth year in a row.
Only two women entered the engagement.
McKayla Hanson, 24, of Davison was the first female to cross the journey’s end. Her goal was to reach the stopping place in under 45 minutes.
“I’ve been training a lot in the hand cycles,” said Hanson. “I do about 60 miles like two miles per week. Total of like 150 miles per week.”
Tabitha Landon, 16, of Lakewood was the only other female closer.