home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 17, 2006

Krige Schabort

Kelly Smith

Ernst Van Dyk


Q. How does it feel to have two South Africans in the top two?
KRIGE SCHABORT: It was the sixth time I've got second place here. Today was my sixth time in second place, and always behind either Ernst or four times behind him. It's really great to have two South Africans.
I'm proud to be South African, especially to have a strong field and the fact that we are two of the elite athletes here, that's great.
Q. The question I asked the women's winner also, do you see the sport, wheelchair racing, really being something that could grow in it's come a long way, but there's still relatively a handful of people that compete at any level, whereas there are millions of people who are running marathons. There are plenty of people in wheelchairs and with disabilities who could be doing this; do you see ways that this sport could grow in?
ERNST VAN DYK: I looked at New York last year, the New York Marathon and they had about 30 or 40 runners lined up for the elite running start. When you look at 30 elite runners and there's 25,000 other runners, and here it's a very high quality field. It's very expensive to do all these races. And as you said there's a lot of wheelchair racers around the world, but there's not that many, but to come for Boston for a week it's a thousand dollars, and if you come in last place, it's an expensive sport to do.
New York has a good field now because they actively recruit a wheelchair field. Races like Peachtree; I was in Paris on Sunday, Paris had a great field. It depends what the race wanted to do. If they want to have a good wheelchair field and put money into it, they have to put money into it, there's a lot of good guys in the world and I race in Japan every year and they have 300 wheelchair races but they actively recruit. It's a big sport, if you look at 300 wheelchair races in a marathon. It's about giving everybody a motivation to come to the race and give everyone a reason to come.
KELLY SMITH: I just wanted to talk a little about grass roots. Everywhere requires a good grass roots foundation. If you look around the country where there's good strength and numbers in wheelchair racing, it's because that country invests a lot and recognizes the value of grass roots development. Where I come from, we started a program about ten years ago, and went out and got equipment. It's $3,000 just to get a basic chair for an athlete to participate in the sport, so the local wheelchair community and associations went out and bought 10, 20 loaner ones, and now we've gone from six to 30-plus recreational athletes and there's an opportunity for those recreationals to go to the next level. So everything starts with awareness and grass roots and then development of these athletes.
There are tons of athletes out there, but, A, they may not know about the sport, or B, they do not have the resources to get into it. But we are making grounds. The Paralympic sports and Paralympic Games are getting much better coverage and with that coverage, there's more respect and there's awareness for athletes that are out there lurking, ready to go. They will see it, be inspired and get involved.
KRIGE SCHABORT: I can say that the only races lately that's been going up in numbers would be the races that went for active recruiting of athletes, and that's the way the BAA can look at it as well.
Q. What's the challenge of racing when you're so far ahead of the field from the start?
ERNST VAN DYK: It's tough because you have no idea where these guys are. There was not a lot of footage or coverage on us today but I was looking around all the time to see where these guys are behind me. It's kind of hard when you are in the front. I think it's much easier when you're chasing because you chase until you see, see somebody in front. But when you're in the front, it's hard and you have to focus on yourself. Even today, for some reason, I didn't feel comfortable. It was cold and I couldn't get a good base going, and for me that's a little bit scary. You don't know what's going on behind you, whether these guys hooked up, made a deal, split the money in half to try and catch me. A lot of things can happen behind you. There's always a bit of uncertainty. (Laughter).
The same question you could ask a good cyclist, time trialist when he has a good time trial, that's what it turns into for me, a time trial and how do you focus on racing against the clock. You just force the pace.
Q. So you now have six in a row; are you going to go for seven?
ERNST VAN DYK: I'd be stupid -- yeah, for sure. I'll probably go for seven and I'll probably go for eight. I'm young compared to these guys. These guys should be racing in the masters. Both of these guys are over 40 and sitting on the podium today. I think if I take care of myself and keep on racing, I at least can do seven more of these races.
Q. What's your agenda? Did you race last week?
ERNST VAN DYK: I did Paris on Sunday. Today, Boston. Sunday I'll do London and next Sunday I'll do a marathon in Seoul, Korea. Last year I did three in three weeks and this year, see how far I can go, so I'm doing four in four weeks.
Q. Did you win all three last year?
ERNST VAN DYK: Yeah, I won all three last year.
Q. How much of an advantage is it knowing this course as well as you do? If you didn't know the course, every nook and cranny and tree and pothole, if you don't know it as well as you do know it, would you be -- how much of a disadvantage would that put you at?
ERNST VAN DYK: Well, I think the first time I came here, you don't get to train on this course because there's so much traffic and stuff. The first year I came back in 1999, everybody says this is an easy race, if you want to have a good time, come to Boston. Then I realized it's a tough course. Today I was thinking to myself as I was climbing the Newton Hills, I said, if these guys are with me, I'm in trouble. That's why I ride to get in front of them because I'm not as good of a climber as they are, so at least I didn't have to deal with that.
Any race, any marathon, it's important to know the course and to know yourself. Every year I would record my data from the race, the speed, the elevation and look at what's going on and I will go back and train for that. As you said, it's very important to know the course and to feel comfortable on it?
Q. How did you do in Paris?
ERNST VAN DYK: I won in Paris, it was cold like today and a five-man sprint, so I was able to pull that off.
Q. A five-man sprint to the finish?
Q. There were a bunch of you together for a while, how many were together and at what point did you break away from that pack for second place in?
KRIGE SCHABORT: At mile 10, I would say, Ken and I was together and then all of a sudden, I didn't really look behind, we were just trying to chase Ernst. All of a sudden I saw three guys, just right there with us. Then I really knew it was going to be not easy to have a good race, if you're that many guys. Two guys together, it's easier, you can work together and you can stay focused. But as soon as you're four or five, there's always one that wants to, you know, mess up the pace. Not that they want to, but it just happens that way.
I just thought I had to get away, and at the bottom of long hill at the fire station, I really thought I had a chance to pull away. That's where I made my move. That was the beginning of the hills.
So I really just went up hard and from there on, I stayed in front of them. It was still tough just to stay ahead of them because they were really coming for me. So it became a race between me and them more than, you know, trying to catch Ernst.

End of FastScripts...

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297