Tatyana McFadden of Clarksville, Md., won the women’s Shepherd Center’s wheelchair division of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race with an unofficial time of 24:18.
“This year was slightly cooler at the start,” McFadden said. “Which if you sit there for a little bit your muscles kind of get tight, so it was a little bit sore trying to get going.”
But the cold couldn’t stop McFadden, 25. She defeated top-seeded and defending champion Manuela Schar of Switzerland.
“I knew that I had to go down the hill pretty quickly and to get off the start as fast as I could because I knew Manuela and the pack would come behind her,” McFadden said. “As Maneula did, she came and she passed me on that first downhill and it took me the second climb to catch her again and so we we’re going back and forth between…”
Coming down 10th Street with the prized finish line in sight, McFadden narrowed her focus in on maintaining her speed through the end.
“I was breathing pretty hard, I was really exhausted, I just needed to tell myself just to keep moving,” McFadden said. “I kept looking at my speed and I tried to keep it as constant as possible, not to slow off.”
This is McFadden’s fifth time racing the Peachtree. She won in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
“It could be anyone’s race and to win it this year and to win it in the past, it’s just unbelievable,” McFadden said. “The race is so fast and it’s so quick, it’s really really difficult.”