Daniel Romanchuk crosses the finish line in second place in the 2021 Boston Marathon Men’s Wheelchair Division race on October 11, 2021 in Boston.
Romanchuk non-stop fall
Romanchuk had even less time between Tokyo and New York. The wheelchair runner won bronze in the T54 category marathon at the Paralympic Games on September 5 and has barely stopped moving since then. Due to delays related to the pandemic, five of six World Marathon Majors were held this fall – and the 23-year-old Maryland native ran them all.
Romanchuk finished second in Berlin (September 26), London (October 3) and Boston (October 11) – all behind Swiss rival Marcel Hug – and won in Chicago (October 10).
“We really didn’t know how I was going to react doing all of these races,” Romanchuk said of the intimidating schedule, “but it’s a series of historic events and I don’t want to miss a thing.”
He’s coming to New York as the two-time defending champion (2018 and 2019), but he tries not to dwell on his past successes.
“I’m doing my best so that it doesn’t affect me at all,” he said. “Each race is a new race, even if it’s the same course with the same people. In the men’s T54 category, you can run a race five times and you’re going to get three or four different results. a run thinking, “Oh, I got it.”
And although Romanchuk has become one of the top wheelchair marathoners over the past four years, he still enjoys running shorter distances on the track, where he made his debut. In one of Tokyo’s most exciting races, he came from behind to win the T54 400 meters by just a hundredth of a second.
“We definitely train for a variety of things,” he said of his phenomenal range. “There are a number of things that happen in every race between a good start, acceleration, the use of tactics and a final kick.”
(LR) Merle Menje (Germany), Manuela Schar (Switzerland) and Tatyana McFadden pose after the women’s wheelchair race at the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon on October 3, 2021 in London.
Other Americans to Watch
Like Romanchuk, wheelchair runner Tatyana McFadden has faced all of the World Marathon Majors this fall – and reached the podium in all of them. After a disappointing fifth place finish in the Paralympic marathon (where she wrestled in wet and rainy conditions), she bounced back to win in Chicago, finishing second in Berlin and Boston and third in London.
“I’m an athlete who really enjoys competing so I’m happy to be here,” she said of the final leg of her tough fall tour.
“I feel like I’m learning more and more with each race because it was tough last year,” added McFadden, who has won 20 Paralympic medals in his career, dating back to 2004. “We didn’t participate at all and it’s been two years since the NYC Marathon so it’s been pretty cool doing these different marathons to see what I needed to work on and how I can progress for it. next year. New York is going to be the final test. “
She has won New York five times already and is eager to add a sixth title (which would also be her 25th WMM victory). “I had three weeks to prepare for New York [since Boston], which gave me more time to rest, “she said.” But not so much rest, as a lot of our training was based on hills “to simulate the tough New York course. . “So it was difficult, it was tiring.”
Speaking of fatigue, Sally Kipyego experienced a difficult recovery after the Olympic marathon. She suffered in the brutal conditions of Sapporo, placing 17th, and it took longer than usual to bounce back.
“It was a bit difficult for me to come out of this race, emotionally, mentally and physically,” admitted Kipyego. “I had a tough race. I just didn’t adapt well to the heat. My body was overwhelmed.
Her performance was particularly disappointing as she said she was probably in the best shape of her life.
“For the first time in my marathon training, I got a glimpse of some really quick possibilities for my marathon while preparing for the Olympics,” said Kipyego. “I’ve had some of the best workouts I’ve ever had.… It opened up a window for what I can do in the marathon if I can get the conditions right.”
Kipyego says she’s finally started to get back in shape over the past few weeks, and she knows success in New York City is possible. She finished second in 2016, four years after winning Olympic silver in the 10,000 meters for her native Kenya. (Kipyego has been a U.S. citizen since 2017, and the Tokyo Games marked her debut with the U.S. team.)
“I have had good training which has shown me that I can compete,” said Kipyego. “I know I’m working with a tired body so I’ve been a bit more careful than usual. I want to reach the finish line in one piece.”
The TCS New York Marathon takes place on Sunday, November 7, starting at 8 a.m. ET.