Wheelchair Racing at the Boston Marathon: A Tradition of Excellence
The Boston Marathon is one of the most prestigious and challenging marathons in the world. It is also one of the most inclusive, with wheelchair racers competing alongside able-bodied runners since the first race in 1977.
Wheelchair racing at the Boston Marathon is divided into two divisions: men’s and women’s. The men’s division is further divided into three classes: T1, T2, and T3. The women’s division is further divided into two classes: W1 and W2.
The classes are determined by the athlete’s disability and the type of wheelchair they use. Class T1 is for athletes with the least amount of disability, while Class T3 is for athletes with the most amount of disability. Class W1 is for women with the least amount of disability, while Class W2 is for women with the most amount of disability.
The wheelchair racers start the Boston Marathon in the same wave as the able-bodied runners. They race on a separate course that is slightly shorter than the able-bodied course. The wheelchair racers finish the race in the same area as the able-bodied runners, at the finish line on Boylston Street.
Wheelchair racing at the Boston Marathon is a tradition of excellence. The wheelchair racers have consistently set world records and won medals at the Paralympic Games. They are an inspiration to athletes with disabilities around the world.
Here are some of the most notable wheelchair racers who have competed in the Boston Marathon:
- Tatyana McFadden: McFadden is a 17-time Paralympic medalist and has won the Boston Marathon six times. She is considered one of the greatest wheelchair racers of all time.
- Joshua George: George is a 10-time Paralympic medalist and has won the Boston Marathon three times. He is known for his aggressive racing style and his ability to make up ground on the downhills.
- Marla Runyan: Runyan was the first legally blind athlete to compete in the Boston Marathon. She finished the race in 2004 with a time of 2 hours, 50 minutes, and 40 seconds.
If you’re interested in watching wheelchair racing at the Boston Marathon, you can do so by following the live stream on the Boston Athletic Association’s website.
The wheelchair races start at 9:30am on Patriots’ Day, which is the third Monday in April.
The wheelchair races are a must-see for any fan of the Boston Marathon. They are a testament to the power of the human spirit and the determination of athletes with disabilities.