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McFadden and Romanchuk place second in Boston after winning the Chicago Marathon

Women's wheelchair winner Manuela Char, right, of Switzerland, looks out from the starting line as runner-up Tatyana McFadden looks down before the 125th Boston Marathon, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, in Hopkinton, Mass.

BOSTON — For University of Illinois wheelchair athletes Tatyana McFadden and Daniel Romanchuk, it was quite the whirlwind.

Less than 24 hours after winning the Chicago Marathon wheelchair women’s and men’s wheelchair divisions, respectively, the two standouts both claimed second in the Boston Marathon on Monday.

McFadden placed second behind Manuela Char, clocking a time of 1:50:20. Char finished well ahead of the pack in 1:35:21.

Afterward, McFadden told CBS Boston she was happy with second place in a race that she had won five times, given that it was her second marathon in two days.

“This was quite a challenge, and the only elite female athlete to do it,” McFadden said. “I was up for it, so I was pretty happy with second today. I cannot complain, and yeah, it was tough.

Swiss athletes swept the wheelchair divisions, with Marcel Hug claiming the men’s title in 1:18:11. Romanchuk logged a time of 1:25:48.

Kenyans sweep men’s and women’s marathon

Benson Kipruto won the pandemic-delayed Boston Marathon as the race returned from a 30-month absence and moved to the fall for the first time in its 125-year history. Kipruto finished with a time of 2:09:51, nearly a minute ahead of second-place finisher Lemi Berhanu of Ethiopia. Colin Bennie was the top American finisher, placing seventh in 2:11:26.

Diana Kipyogei won the women’s race to complete the eighth Kenyan sweep since 2000. The elite women traversed more than half of the course in a pack, passing crowds that were smaller than normal but no less enthusiastic. Making her major marathon debut, the 27-year-old Kipyogei stayed in the pack until she broke away at the sharp turn heading into the Newton Hills, a strategic spot where race outcomes have been sealed in the past. Kipyogei finished in 2:24:45, twenty-five seconds ahead of fellow Kenyan Edna Kiplagat. Nell Rojas was the top American, finishing in sixth place with a time of 2:27:12.

Fall foliage replaced the spring daffodils and masks took the place of mylar from Hopkinton to Boston.

A rolling start and shrunken field allowed for social distancing on the course, as organizers tried to manage amid a changing COVID-19 outbreak. Last year’s race was canceled for the first time since the event began in 1897.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Brian Moline

Brian Moline

Brian Moline is the Managing Editor of Illinois Newsroom and host of Morning Edition for Illinois Public Media/WILL. He's been with WILL since 2015, after a long stint at WDWS-AM in Champaign where he covered both news and sports for more than a decade. If you have story or interview ideas, you can reach Brian at bmoline@illinois.edu.

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