Boston Marathon

After flipping over in her wheelchair, Tatyana McFadden rallied to finish 2nd in the Boston Marathon

“I thought my front wheel was going to hit it perfectly, but I flipped over and the crowd was like, ‘Ooh, ahh.’”

It wasn’t the Boston Marathon outcome that Tatyana McFadden wanted, but a second place finish in the women’s wheelchair division felt alright for the five-time Boston champion considering the circumstances.

McFadden, who most recently won Boston in 2018, says that she flipped over in her wheelchair during mile six of Monday’s race. After sustained rain during the morning, she was already on her guard.

“It’s tough, it’s definitely a tough race, especially when the course has been wet during the morning,” McFadden told reporters afterward.

“We were pretty nervous about the beginning,” McFadden explained about the downhill start to the course. “For me it was really tough. It was slippery for about the first half of the race and then in the later half it was absolutely wonderful.”


Already on the defensive as eventual champion Manuela Schär charged to the lead, McFadden then slipped on a rubber railroad track that cuts across the course.

“For the first six miles I trying to keep in sight of [the leaders], and I could see them, but then in mile six, I hit the train tracks,” McFadden said. “I thought my front wheel was going to hit it perfectly, but I flipped over and the crowd was like, ‘Ooh, ahh.’”

“But I got back up and they were clapping and cheering,” McFadden continued. “At that point, that put me [in] like sixth place.”

Having ceded an unbreachable gap to Schar – who cruised to victory – McFadden began a new race: finish second.

“I had a lot of ground to make up,” said McFadden. “I did get a little nervous around mile 21-22 when we hit the train tracks again, but I just kind of stopped and then went over it.”

“I just used the crowd and the energy,” the 29-year-old said. And over the ensuing miles, McFadden reeled in the rest of the field, finishing on Boylston Street with her desired second place.

“I’m really happy with second place today, especially coming back from sitting in sixth,” McFadden concluded. She added one final note looking ahead to 2020.


“I’m ready for next year.”

Photos: The Boston Marathon through the years:

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