ANCHORAGE - After finishing second twice, Scott McNeice came out on top Thursday, winning the men's handcycle division of the Midnight Sun Ultra Challenge wheelchair and handcycle race.
McNeice, from St. Petersburg, Fla., beat out 15 other men in the handcycle competition to finish the 267-mile stage race from Fairbanks to Anchorage in 11 hours, 43 minutes and 15 seconds.
Second-place handcycle finisher Krige Schbort of Cedartown, Ga., finished the race just two minutes behind, at 11 hours, 45 minutes and 13 seconds. Two-time defending champion Alejandro Albor of Elk Grove, Calif., finished third at 11 hours, 52 minutes and 1 second.
"I'm relaxed, happy, thrilled," McNeice said after crossing the finish line in Anchorage after six days of racing.
In the women's handcycle division, defending champion Monica Bascio of Evergreen, Colo., came in first in 16 hours, 32 minutes and 9 seconds, defeating two other competitors. Sherry Ramsey of Littleton, Colo., was second at 17 hours, 22 minutes, 25 seconds. Kim Prussia, also of Littleton, was third at 17 hours, 40 minutes, 14 seconds.
Paul Nunnari of Leumeah, Australia, squashed competitors in the men's wheelchair division. Leumeah, who has been a professional wheelchair racer since 1992, finished in 15 hours, 47 minutes and 8 seconds - nearly five hours ahead of the competition.
"It has been a fantastic experience for me," Nunnari said.
Chad Johnson of New Salisbury, Ind., was second in the men's wheelchair division finishing at 20 hours, 45 minutes, 10 seconds, and Mike Gillam of Muncie, Ind. was third at 22 hours, 26 minutes and 40 seconds.
Twenty-four racers competed for a $22,500 purse.