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Asked to put into words what life's been like since winning the Boston Marathon, DANIEL ROMANCHUK settled on just one: "Busy."

Back in town Wednesday, the 21-year-old wheelchair champ got the celebrity treatment at M2 in downtown Champaign, with passersby offering shouts of "Congratulations" as he and his mother, KIM, visited Chicago Title to close on a new house.

It'll be a spell before Daniel moves in. Preparing for what he calls "the next thing" — the London Marathon on April 28 — is his top priority.

Since winning Boston, Daniel's been swamped with media requests ranging from the Washington Post to network TV to national radio to a spot for Southwest Airlines. At each stop, he's bragged on the benefits of training at the University of Illinois.

Before Boston, Romanchuk heard from legendary UI wheelchair coach MARTY MORSE.

"He told me, 'If you win Boston, your life will change,'" Daniel said.

"Truer words," Mom said, "have never been spoken."

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Jim Rossow is vice president of news at The News-Gazette. His email is