As the saying goes, records are meant to be broken, and Manuela Schar did just that.
On Thursday, the Paralympian took first place at the 50th AJC Peachtree Road Race, snatching the time record in the process. She finished at 21:28, followed closely behind by Tatyanna McFadden, who’s has won the race seven times, and Susannah Scaroni.
“It was really a close and a tough one,” Schar said. “We really went out for that time. We worked really had, and I was really lucky that we were finishing downhill.”
For most of the competition, it seemed as if Schar, McFadden and Scaroni were neck-and neck. Schar didn’t take the lead until the finish line was in sight, which made for a stressful – but exciting — scrap for the blue tape, she said.
“It was really close. I didn’t know who was going to take it for a really long time, until the last part of the race,” Schar said. “I was thinking, ‘I should really just keep trying and go for it.’”
Born in Switzerland, Schar, who’s competed in multiple Paralympics and recently won the Boston Marathon, said winning the Peachtree Road Race was special for a lot of reasons.
Mainly, it’s because the winners are awarded $50,000, and it’s reported that it’s the first time that wheelchair and runners earned the same amount. Schar said it’s a step in the right direction for equality, and she’s glad to be a part of it.
“It’s a historical day,” Schar said. “For us, it’s really a special day. It’s a huge statement for wheelchair racing, and we’ll see what the future brings.”
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