Tatyana McFadden wins women’s wheelchair division at AJC Peachtree Road Race

Tatyana McFadden won her eighth Atlanta Journal-Constitution Shepard Center women’s wheelchair title Sunday morning as the AJC Peachtree Road Race returned in-person for the second day Sunday for the holiday tradition.  Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.shin@ajc.com
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Tatyana McFadden won her eighth Atlanta Journal-Constitution Shepard Center women’s wheelchair title Sunday morning as the AJC Peachtree Road Race returned in-person for the second day Sunday for the holiday tradition. Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.shin@ajc.com

Credit: Hyosub Shin

Tatyana McFadden continued her reign as the best ever to compete in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race on Sunday morning, and she did it with a smile.

McFadden, 32, won her eighth consecutive Shepherd Center women’s wheelchair division title with a time of 24:09.

“Well, it doesn’t get easier; I’m still getting older,” McFadden said. “Today was definitely a beautiful day for the first race back. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. The time was relatively fast today.”

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From the moment she crossed the finish line, McFadden was gleaming. She’s a five-time Paralympian, soon-to-be six, and yet she still appreciates the opportunity to compete.

“I felt really good on the climbs, starting out on the descents,” McFadden said. “I’m very pleased with today’s race.”

This year the Peachtree is even more important for McFadden, who hasn’t had many competitions in the past year. She’ll join Team USA and head to Tokyo on Aug. 9 to compete in the Paralympic Games.

“The preparation (for the games) has been pretty tough, so the Peachtree Road Race is great preparation to get into the competition zone again,” McFadden said. “Mentally prepare, physically prepare and get your body doing that again. That’s probably been the hardest part because we haven’t had a lot of competitions.”

For the first time in a while, McFadden will get to train in person with her teammates in Illinois. The Paralympians were forced to train alone because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

McFadden knows it will be a grind, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s going to be a lot of eating, sleeping and training, but it’s what I love,” she said.

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