• Last year’s winner returns with two world records under belt in June

The racers will be lining up Thursday evening in Cedartown for the annual Wheelchair 5K and Road Race, and there’s good competition in town once again.

Along with racers from Central and South America, last year’s overall winner will be taking part in the event for a second year in a row.

Daniel Romanchuk was a newcomer to Cedartown during the 2017 race, where he finished with a 10:31.55 just yards ahead of local favorite and long time racer, 53-year-old Krige Schabort. He finished at 10:37.22 in the 2017 edition of the race.

Romanchuk returns this year with some other big wins under his belt since then.

According to U.S. Paralympics blog on Team USA, he’s broken two world records in the span of just a few weeks.

They reported 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.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been out in Tempe for this event so I just decided to take it out as fast as I could and see what happened,” he told Brianna Tammaro in her report on June 16.

Romanchuk will still have to face some stiff competition from Schabort, who is back to race once again according to organizer Dave Grove.

Many others will be in Cedartown Thursday looking for top placement, and will stay in town following the race until they take weekend trips back home, Grove said.

They’ll have plenty of time to get ready, with an invite-only lunch at the Cedartown Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia for racers, organizers and local officials. Following that and weather permitting, intersections and streets will start closing later in the afternoon around 6 p.m.

Grove said with several carports around the area, and an unknown weather forecast potentially getting in the way with rain like 2017’s race, they’ll more than likely look to hold off from postponing time or cancelling the race.

“The committee has worked out a plan if there’s an in climate weather,” Grove said. “We will make announcements from the start-finish line area as to what we’re doing.”

He added that Kelvin Garmon and the City of Cedartown’s Public Works department went around the race course on College Street during the month of June making sure the road surface was also ready for racers, and that work alone was among many helpful ways the city has been involved in preparations.

Racers will also be greeted by a variety of flags from around the globe now hanging from College Street utility poles, and bleachers are ready to be setup ahead of race day along College Street at Peek Park.

Grove will be picking up athletes from Atlanta on Wednesday ahead of race day.

be aware that road closings will start at 6 p.m. on Thursday and make it a somewhat difficult to get around certain parts of town.

No access will be allowed in the parking area around Peek Forest Park starting at 6 p.m., along with College Street between Girard Avenue and Jule Peek Road.

Also, the intersection of Martha Lane and College Street, along with Columbia Avenue at College Street will be close at this time. They’ll remain closed until 8:30 p.m.

Before the race kicks off at 6:30 pm., additional portions of College Street will close up to College Circle, along with a small portion of John Hand Road. All of Lakeview Drive, John Phillips Road, Ellen Hand Circle, Wiley Drive, and George West Road will also close.

Drivers also won’t be able to access some of Marshall Street and Martha Lane.

Anyone who wants to travel East or West between Cave Spring Road and Main Street near the race course should use Girard Avenue or Cherokee Road.

Don't forget that kids get to take part in a fun run as well, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Multiple sponsors are contributing to the race this year. Those include the City of Cedartown, Duane Morrow, the Polk County Community Foundation, the Cedartown Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia, Advance Rehab, Fred Barasoain and Heather Pryor, Jane and Harold Wyatt, New Hope Church, Polk Medical Center, The HON Company, Gammon, Anderson and McFall, Polk Veterinary Care, Mundy and Burch, P.C., Mike McRae, Able Sports, LLC., Georgia Power, Bradford’s Drugs, Dr. and Mrs. Jerry Weaver, Janet and Mark Edwards, Larry and Lynne Kuglar, Mike and Alice Pittman, Phil and Dale Tuck, and Polk County Public Service.