American with C-U ties sets wheelchair record at Boston Marathon

American with C-U ties sets wheelchair record at Boston Marathon

Fisher senior Lucas Chittick has completed the Boston Marathon in a personal-best time.

The 18-year-old came through the halfway mark at 1 hour, 25 minutes and 28 seconds. He then picked up the pace over the final 13.1 miles, finishing with an unofficial time of 2 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds.

That far surpasses the result from Chittick's previous marathon, his first ever. In October 2017, Chittick put forth a time of 2:59:44 in the Shawnee Marathon at Harrisburg, hitting the Boston qualifying time in the process.

Chittick traversed the Boston layout within the event's top 1,000 competitors, finishing 962nd overall. That included coming in 900th among all males and 753rd in the 18-34 age group.

Preps coordinator Colin Likas chatted with Chittick prior to the latter departing for the East Coast on Saturday.

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Daniel Romanchuk, who trains at the University of Illinois, won the men’s wheelchair race at the Boston Marathon with the fastest time ever by an American.

Romanchuk, from Baltimore but now living in Urbana and training under coach Adam Bleakney, crossed the finish line Monday on Boylston Street in an official time of 1 hour, 21 minutes, 36 seconds.

Bleakney had a good feeling early in the race, when the lighter Romanchuk kept contact with his competitors on the race's downhill portion, not one of his strengths. Romanchuk then pulled away from Japan's Masazumi Soejima late in the race and won the race by 2:54.

"He kept in touch, so he wasn't too far off when things started to level off and once he was in that position, he was in a pretty sound position to attack," Bleakney said. "Once they started into the climbing, into Heartbreak Hill and into the finish, that's when Daniel applied a little more pressure and broke off and put about three minutes between him and Masazumi. That's incredible. That's pretty impressive for him to do that."

Manuela Schar, meanwhile, is on her way to a sweep of the World Marathon Major women’s wheelchair races.

Schar won Boston for the second time on Monday, finishing in 1 hour, 34 minutes, 19 seconds with no one else in sight. She is already the defending champion in Berlin, Chicago, New York and Tokyo. If she wins in London in two weeks, she will have swept the series.

Romanchuk is the youngest winner of the race at 20 years, eight months and 12 days. He is the first American winner since Jim Knaub in 1993.  

Romanchuk finished three minutes ahead of Japan’s Masazumi Soejima, who was second in 1:24:30. Marcel Hug was third, coming in at 1:26:42.  

Romanchuk: “I knew it was possible, it was just a matter of everything coming together.”

Romanchuk’s victory breaks up the recent dominance of Hug and Ernst van Dyk, who between them have 14 Boston Marathon victories. Hug had won the previous four Boston races.   

Schar, a 34-year-old from Switzerland, was about six minutes slower than the record she set in her other Boston victory, two years ago.

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HOPKINTON, Mass. — Runners were focused on staying dry Monday morning as they awaited the start of the 2019 Boston Marathon.

Thousands of runners — including several from the area — prepared to take part in the 123rd running of the world's oldest and most prestigious annual marathon huddled under tents, though the rain was expected to taper off before the first race of the day began. Temperatures were in the 60s, far warmer than the initial winter-like weather that was expected for race day.

"Runners are neurotic about checking the forecast but then you just realize you can't control it," said Michael Bersani, 30, of Cortland, New York. A seasoned runner who is heading into his fourth Boston Marathon, Bersani said he came prepared with trash bags, tarps and hope.

Monday is the sixth anniversary of the deadly Boston Marathon bombings, and the first time the anniversary date falls on the same day as the marathon.

Ginger Howell, a 33-year-old professional triathlete who is running her sixth Boston Marathon, said she finished the 2013 race 25 minutes before the bombings and was on the train home when the twin detonations went off near the finish line. Three people were killed and hundreds were injured in the terror attack.

Thinking back on the day has taught her to appreciate being present at the race, and in life.

"Even if you run slower than your goal time, thinking about the bombing puts everything in perspective," Howell said.

"The Boston strong attitude made a big difference. When people think about the Boston Marathon now, they think about people coming together and overcoming adversity," she added.

Howell was among the throngs of runners gathering in the tents outside of a high school in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, ahead of the race.

Defending champions Des Linden and Yuki Kawauchi have said they're not bothered by the forecast for a rainy, windy day because they won last year in similar conditions. They lead a field of about 30,000 runners on the 26.2-mile (42-kilometer) trek from Hopkinton to Copley Square.

The mobility impaired division is scheduled to begin at 9:02 a.m. EST.

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