Wheelchair racers came together in Cedartown after rolling through the Peachtree Road Race over Independence Day, and one in particular had his eyes set on a new course record.
Daniel Romanchuk, now of Urbana, Ill., set a time 0f 9:40.92 for everyone else to try and beat in his latest win on courses across the globe in the past months.
He won the Peachtree Road Race ahead with a time of 18:39.42, then came to Cedartown last week to beat a record set in mid-2000s according to organizer Dave Grove.
“This is a wonderful race, being here with the organizers and athletes,” Romanchuk said.
He took close to a minute off his time from his win in 2017 after he finished at 10:31.55.
Romanchuk not only beat the record at Peachtree and the Cedartown Wheelchair 5K, but others in the past weeks.
The 19-year-old Paralympian shaved nearly seven-tenth-of-a-second off the previous mark to cross the finish line in 1:29.66 in the men’s T54 800-meter.
Earlier in June, Romanchuk smashed the world-leading time in the 5,000 by more than four seconds at the Daniela Jutzler Memorial meet to write his name in the record books. His record-setting start in Tempe led to victories in the 800 and 5,000 on the first day of competition.
He said “we’ll see” when it comes to whether he’ll be breaking more records.
“Every race is different,” he added.
Joining Romanchuk on the finish line this year for the Women’s Open was Susannah Scaroni who took first place in her race with a time of 11:37.33.
“It feels really great, especially to get back to these races, because organizers are so supportive of wheelchair racing,” she said. “When I was 10 and taking part in Peachtree, for a kid it is so valuable to young kids. To give back, to give them a good race, is something special. Especially at Peachtree.”
She said “I enjoy going as hard as I can. So through the full course, I did that.”
Longtime racer and previous winner Krige Schabort did win the Men’s Masters Division with a time of 10:58.82. Cristian Torres won the Men’s Quad Division with a time of 13:37.41, and a lone Junior Racer joined the ranks this year as well.
Colin Lancaster finished the race at 27:08.92.
Like the 2017 race, organizers were forced to push back the start of racing slightly due to wet weather, but storms pushed off before a 7 p.m. start for the women’s open race.