Wheelchair Race: McFadden Wins 6th AJC Peachtree Road Race; George Wins First
By Barbara Huebner
It was a busy weekend for Josh George and Tatyana McFadden: First the U.S. Paralympic Trials, then victories at the AJC Peachtree Road Race.
For George, 31, breaking the tape was a new experience, after a series of second- and third-place finishes here. For McFadden, 27, it was her sixth Peachtree victory in six attempts, going back to 2010.
“It feels great,” said George, a four-time Paralympic medalist and four-time winner of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon along with the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon. “To finally get the win here is a pretty big one for me.”
Taking the early lead in the men’s wheelchair race was Canada’s Josh Cassidy, a two-time Peachtree winner who holds the course record in the Boston Marathon, before George made his move just past the four-mile mark and going on to win in 20:19.18.
“I’m not very good getting down a hill but I can get up a hill, so I was hoping there was enough uphill left in the race for me to catch him,” said George. “I like climbing. Whenever everybody puts their heads down and starts cursing, that's when I smile.”
Finishing as runner-up was Cassidy, in 20:37.30, with Aaron Pike third in 20:41.29.
In the women’s division, it was—as it so often is—all McFadden. The 11-time Paralympic medalist and three-time winner of the marathon Grand Slam of Boston, London, Chicago and New York, McFadden made it an even half-dozen victories at Peachtree when she crossed the finish line in 23:14.56.
“There was a headwind this year that made it kind of unique; you kind of had to work all the way, even on the flats, so that made it tough,” said McFadden, who nonetheless notched the fastest of her victories here by about three seconds.
Finishing second was Amanda McGrory, in 23:59.33. Susannah Scaroni was third in 24:50.68.
With the win, McFadden joins male wheelchair legend Craig Blanchette for the most elite wins in race history.
It’s not the only history McFadden hopes to make this summer, when she will be trying to become the first athlete ever to win seven Paralympic gold medals, at 100, 400, 800, 1500 and 5000 meters plus the marathon and the 4x400-meter relay.
It’s a tall order, but perhaps no more challenging than winning six events at the Paralympic Trials this weekend in Charlotte, NC before arriving in Atlanta around dinner time last night for a 6:43 a.m. start this morning.
“There's not much time between Trials and this race, but I wouldn't miss it for the world,” said McFadden.
Asked if she ever considered skipping Peachtree with it coming on the heels of her hectic Trials schedules, McFadden didn’t hesitate.
“Definitely not,” she said. “We love coming to Peachtree.”
About Atlanta Track Club
Atlanta Track Club is a nonprofit committed to creating an active and healthy Atlanta. Through running and walking, Atlanta Track Club motivates, inspires and engages the community to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. With more than 24,000 members, Atlanta Track Club is the second largest running organization in the United States. In addition to the AJC Peachtree Road Race (peachtreeroadrace.org) – the largest 10K running event in the world, the Publix Georgia Marathon, Atlanta 10 Miler and Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon, Atlanta Track Club directs more than 30 events per year. Through the support of its members and volunteers, Atlanta Track Club also maintains a number of community initiatives including organizing and promoting the Kilometer Kids youth running program to metro Atlanta youth, honoring high school cross country and track and field athletes through Atlanta Track Club’s All-Metro Banquets and supporting the Grady Bicycle EMT program. For more information on Atlanta Track Club, visit atlantatrackclub.org.
About the AJC Peachtree Road Race
The AJC Peachtree Road Race is a 10K event that takes place every Fourth of July in Atlanta, Georgia. The first Peachtree was held in 1970 and featured 110 finishers. The AJC Peachtree Road Race is now the largest 10K running event in the world with 60,000 participants. The AJC Peachtree Road Race is perhaps most famous for the coveted AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt, which is handed out to all the event finishers. For more information on the AJC Peachtree Road Race visit peachtreeroadrace.org or AJC.com/peachtree.
About The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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