Will Help Celebrate 45th Running of Wheelchair Division presented by Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod
FALMOUTH, MA (August 13, 2019)—Daniel Romanchuk, the top wheelchair racer in the world in 2018-2019, and Tatyana McFadden, the 17-time Paralympic medalist who will be seeking her fifth victory here, headline the fields for the wheelchair division’s 45th running at the 2019 New Balance Falmouth Road Race, organizers have announced.
Since its 40th running, the wheelchair division – perhaps the oldest non-marathon wheelchair division in the country – has been presented by Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod. Cheri Blauwet, a seven-time Paralympic gold medalist and a two-time winner of both the Boston and New York City marathons, is now a sports medicine physician for Spaulding and director of its Kelley Adaptive Sports Research Institute.
“Falmouth’s leadership in launching a wheelchair division 45 years ago was an important symbol ensuring an equal quality of opportunity for all athletes,” said Blauwet, 39, who plans to race Falmouth herself this year for the first time.
To mark the milestone year, a $1,500 bonus will be awarded in both the men’s and women’s races for a course record – bringing the winner’s total to $4,500 in honor of the 45th running.
Romanchuk, 21, got his start in elite wheelchair racing at Falmouth when he was just 15 and quickly became a force in the sport. Since last October, he has won four of the last five World Major Marathons – including April’s Boston Marathon, which he won by 2 minutes and 54 seconds. In winning the Virgin Money London Marathon a week later, he earned his first international title in becoming the 2019 World Para Athletics Marathon Champion. Romanchuk set the Falmouth course record, 23:16, in 2017.
McFadden, 30, is a 23-time Abbott World Marathon Majors winner; was honored with the 2015 Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability; and took home the 2016 ESPY Award Winner, Best Female Athlete With a Disability. Like Romanchuk, she will be out to break her own course record here – 26:27, which she set in 2015. Romanchuk and McFadden will both be seeking their third-consecutive Falmouth victories.
In the men’s race, Romanchuk will face five-time Falmouth winners Krige Schabort and Tony Nogueira; two-time winner James Senbeta; and Alexandre Dupont, the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medalist at 1500 meters. On the women’s side, McFadden will be joined by Katrina Gerhard, a member of Team USA at 2019 World Para Athletics Marathon Championships who competed for Acton-Boxborough High School and is attending UMass Medical School; and Canadian Paralympic and World Championships bronze medalist Ilana Dupont. In addition to being 2016 Paralympic teammates for Canada, Alexandre and Ilana Dupont (formerly Duff) are married.
Also returning to Falmouth to celebrate the milestone are special guests Craig Blanchette, whose eight victories here (between 1991 and 2010) are the most of any athlete in any division in the race’s history; Ann (Walters) Thompson, a five-time winner; and Candace Cable, a six-time winner both here and at the Boston Marathon. They, along with the top competitors and rising young stars Jason Robinson and Maddie Wilson, will appear on a panel at the Health & Fitness Expo at 11 a.m. Saturday, August 17.
About Falmouth Road Race
The New Balance Falmouth Road Race was established in 1973 and has become one of the premier running events of the summer season. Each year the race draws an international field of Olympians, elite and recreational runners out to enjoy the iconic 7-mile seaside course. The non-profit Falmouth Road Race, Inc. organization is committed to promoting health and fitness through community programs and philanthropic giving.