Daniel Romanchuk crossed the finish line wheelchair-bound with not one, not two, but three records set and a trophy.
He reportedly finished the race in an official time of 1 hour, 21 minutes and 36 seconds, became the youngest push rim race winner in Boston Marathon history and the first US men’s wheelchair champion in 26 years.
His years of training and discipline paved way for this victory. “He started competing in track when he was probably about four, and it grew from there,” coach Gerry Herman said.
On 2018, Daniel won the Chicago and New York City Marathons. His mom, Kim Romanchuk, credits these achievements to the sports program.
“Winning all three marathons on American soil is just wonderful. There’s really no way to describe it,” Daniel said.
Daniel 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. Both athletes were European favorites and dominated the marathon with several previous wins.
“I have grown up watching them on the world stage. It’s just incredible to even push with them. It’s amazing,” Daniel said.
Now, Daniel intends to give back to his fellow wheelchair racers. The equipment for different athletic activities can come at a high cost for handicapped children. With that said, he has donated several of his old racing wheelchairs to the program and already five children have been able to use them. Romanchuk also plans to come back to his childhood training center and hold a clinic for its current wheelchair racers.
“They don’t have a real large supply of role models, people who look like them and push like them and act like them,” Gerry said. “They love to be able to call him one of our own. He’s part of the Bennett Blazers family.”