U of I’s McFadden Wins Second Straight Marathon, Halfway To Second ‘Grand Slam’
By The Associated Press, with additional reporting from Illinois Public Media
Tatyana McFadden of the University of Illinois has won the women's wheelchair race at the Boston Marathon for the second straight year.
McFadden celebrated her 25th birthday Monday and listened as "The Star-Spangled Banner'' played on Boylston Street one year after the bombings that left three dead and more than 260 injured.
She crossed the finish line in 1 hour, 35 minutes, 6 seconds.
On April 12th, McFadden topped her 2013 time in the London Marathon, completing it 1 hour, 35 minutes,11 seconds, just weeks after winning a silver medal at her first Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.
McFadden was born with spina bifida, and lived in Russian orphanage as a young child. She walked on her hands until the age of six.
She's poised for a second straight wheelchair 'grand slam', having also won the 2013 New York City Marathon women's wheelchair race after taking the titles in Boston, London and Chicago last year.
In an interview with Illinois Public Media last month, she talked about the new attention her achivements have brought to wheelchair athletes overall.
"I think at the Paralympic and Marathon sport has definitely grown with several athletes, and I think it's wonderful that the media's getting involved and wanting to know more," McFadden said. "It's absolutely amazing what these atheletes can do. Watching wheelchair racing is very cool."
No other athlete has won those four races in the same year.
Another wheelchair athlete from the University of Illinois, Susannah Scaroni, finished third in the Boston Marathon Women's Wheelchair Division, with a time of 1 hours, 38 minutes, 33 seconds. Another U of I competitor, Joshua George, finished 6th in the official men's wheelchair results.