Scott Parson was the first athlete to cross the finish line at the 37th Bloomsday race on Sunday morning.
"It feels like a real accomplishment," he said. "I turn 54 this month and I feel I'm getting stronger. This race will do it to you. It will test your skills."
The 53-year-old from San Jose, Calif., successfully defended his 2012 title by winning the men's wheelchair race. Parson's slight edge midway through the race was erased by Laurens Molina as the pair neared the finish line, but the defending champion was able to find a burst of speed in the final 100 meters.
"You know somebody's just as strong as you are coming to the finish, you don't want to do all the pulling and have him sit behind you and then have a good push," said Parson on the finish. "So we just took it real slow until about 100-meters to go. Then we just took off."
Tekoa, Wash., native Susannah Scaroni was the women's wheelchair champion.
"It was just amazing to be here," she said. "It was a beautiful day. This has been the race I've done since I was 12. The only road race I'd ever done until my first half marathon last year. It's just so great to be here. The people here are amazing. It's just good to be home."