Two days before the 50th AJC Peachtree Road Race, Daniel Romanchuk said he was feeling pretty strong about winning and earning the course record.

In 2018, he finished with a time of 18 minutes, 34.42 seconds, missing the course record by only two seconds. On Thursday, Romanchuk blew by the record, finishing the 10,000-meter race in 18:11, winning first place and a $50,000 prize for his record-breaking time. He didn’t know the record was broken until well after the race. 

“I had no clue,” Romanchuk said. “It was an all-out sprint, time trial the whole way ... (I) just (went) as fast as I could. Still haven’t fully processed it.” 

Daniel Romanchuk wins the men's wheelchair race in record time and a $50,000 bonus during the 50th AJC Peachtree Road Race on Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: compton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton

It was for third consecutive win in a row in Atlanta for Romanchuk, who won the 2019 London Marathon in April with a time of 1:33.38. The native of Baltimore participated in the Paralympics in 2016 and currently attends the University of Illinois, where he races with the collegiate team.

The temperatures, reported by Channel 2 Action News, were expected be in the mid-70s by the time the racers lined up at Lenox Square. Romanchuk was surprised the heat itself wasn’t much of factor. He did take note of the humidity though. 

“It’s always something we’re thinking about,” Romanchuk said of the humidity. “(But), surprisingly, it wasn’t too bad.”

Daniel Romanchuk hits the finish line to win the men's wheelchair race in 2017. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton

Atlanta’s road race is one that sticks out in his mind. Not only for him, but wheelchair racers in general. 

“From a young age I’ve heard about the Peachtree Road Race,” Romanchuk said. “It’s a race that I think is on everyone’s list of races to win.”

The $50,000 bonus for breaking the course record is the largest monetary prize for any 10K race in the world. Romanchuk was elated when talking about it. He sees that and the name change that made the United States Olympic Committee now the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. 

“I’m just thankful for all the generations before (me) that have pushed for the sport to help it become what is today. 

» RELATED: Results, photos and more from the AJC Peachtree Road Race

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