McFadden, Romanchuk Win As Americans Reach All Four Podiums In Chicago Marathon

by Bob Reinert

Tatyana McFadden celebrates after helping her team to win gold in the 4x100m Universal Relay at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020  on September 03, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. 


Competing in warm, windy conditions, American athletes reached all four podiums in Sunday’s Chicago Marathon, the first major marathon on U.S. soil in more than two years.

Tatyana McFadden led the way with her ninth Chicago victory in the women’s wheelchair race, finishing in 1 hour, 48 minutes, 57 seconds. It was McFadden’s 24th career major marathon win.



It was an important performance for McFadden, a six-time Paralympian and 20-time medalist who has been battling back after suffering from blood clots.

U.S. women swept all three podium places in that race. Yen Hoang was second in 1:50:14, while fellow 2020 Paralympian Jenna Fesemyer placed third in 1:50:23.

In the men’s wheelchair race, American Daniel Romanchuk used his superior hill-climbing ability to drop rival Marcel Hug of Switzerland 400 meters from the finish line to win his third straight title in 1:29:07. Hug finished second, and Aaron Pike of the U.S. took third in 1:29:28.

Romanchuk is coming off a marathon bronze medal at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, where he also won a gold medal in the 400-meter. Pike competed in his fifth Paralympics in Tokyo and finished sixth in the marathon.

McFadden and Romanchuk will have little time to rest. They both plan to board flights later today and compete in tomorrow’s 125th Boston Marathon, which was rescheduled from April because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Running in his father’s hometown, 2017 Chicago champion and two-time Olympic medalist Galen Rupp ran with the men’s elite leaders the entire way and finished a strong second in 2:06:35. Seifu Tura of Ethiopia won the race in 2:06:12. Eric Kiptanui of Kenya completed the podium in third place.

For the first time since 1994, two Americans earned podium spots in the women’s elite race. Emma Bates crossed in second (2:24:20) and Sara Hall in third (2:27:19) in a race won by Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich. Another American, Keira D’Amato, placed fourth. 

More than 33,000 started in this 43rd annual race, which took place on a fast, flat course that began and ended in Chicago’s Grant Park. The participants had to overcome temperatures in the 70s and gusty winds.


Bob Reinert spent 17 years writing sports for The Boston Globe. He also served as a sports information director at Saint Anselm College and Phillips Exeter Academy. He is a contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.
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