McFadden, Romanchuk second in Boston Marathon to the Swiss one day after winning Chicago

125th Boston Marathon
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One day after winning the wheelchair races at the Chicago Marathon, Americans Tatyana McFadden and Daniel Romanchuk both finished second at Monday’s Boston Marathon, racing World Marathon Majors on consecutive days for the first time in their careers.

Swiss Paralympians Manuela Schär and Marcel Hug bested their top competitors to win Boston’s first marathon in 910 days after the coronavirus pandemic canceled the 2020 edition and postponed this year’s from its traditional April date.

The pandemic has left marathon season feeling like much more of a sprint rather than, well, a marathon. The 2021 major marathons began Sept. 26 with Berlin, continued Oct. 3 in London, then moved quickly to the U.S. leg with Chicago on Oct. 10 and Boston Oct. 11. The busy schedule concludes with New York City on Nov. 7. The Olympic and Paralympic marathons were also held in August and September.

Hug was Boston’s first 2021 winner in 1:18:11, with Romanchuk crossing in 1:25:46 and Ernst Van Dyk, the 48-year-old veteran from South Africa who’s won Boston 10 times since 2001, in 1:28.43

Schär won bested the women 1:35:21, followed by McFadden in 1:50:20 and fellow American Yen Hoang at 1:51:25.

Schär and Hug extend their leads in the 2019-2021 World Marathon Majors series standings with their latest wins. The season includes the last two marathons from 2019, the two that were held in 2020 and five from 2021, plus the the Olympic/Paralympic marathons.

The 36-year-old Schär won the 2019 Chicago Marathon that kicked off the series, as well as New York that year. She was second in London in 2020. This year she won Berlin, London and now Boston; she took Paralympic silver in Tokyo and did not race Chicago this year.

McFadden, 32, maintains second place. The 20-time Paralympic medalist was the 2019 Chicago runner-up and 2019 NYC runner-up, second in Berlin this year, then third in London, first in Chicago and now second at Boston. Her Chicago win on Sunday marked the 23rd win of her career and the first since Boston in 2018.

Hug, 35, holds a narrow lead over Romanchuk, 23.

Hug’s results include four wins (2020 Paralympics, 2021 Berlin, 2021 London, 2021 Boston), three second-place finishes (2019 Chicago, 2019 NYC, 2021 Chicago) and a third place (2020 London). Romanchuk won 2019 Chicago, 2019 NYC and 2021 Chicago, was second at 2021 Berlin, 2021 London, 2021 Boston and third at the Paralympics.

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Kendall Gretsch wins six gold medals at Para Nordic Ski Worlds

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Kendall Gretsch, who won Paralympic titles at the last Summer and Winter Games, added another six gold medals at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Sweden last week.

Gretsch, 30, earned seven total medals in seven days between biathlon and cross-country skiing.

Gretsch won gold medals in three different sports across the last three Paralympics: biathlon and cross-country skiing in 2018 (two years after taking up the sports), triathlon in 2021 and biathlon in 2022.

She plans to shift her focus back to triathlon after this winter for 2024 Paris Games qualification.

Gretsch, born with spina bifida, was the 2014 USA Triathlon Female Para Triathlete of the Year. Though triathlon was added to the Paralympics for the 2016 Rio Games, her classification was not added until Tokyo.

Also at last week’s worlds, six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike earned his first Paralympic or world championships gold medal in his decade-plus career, winning a 12.5km biathlon event.

Oksana Masters, who won seven medals in seven events at last year’s Paralympics to break the career U.S. Winter Paralympics medals record, missed worlds due to hand surgery.

The U.S. also picked up five medals at last week’s World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Spain — three silvers for five-time Paralympian Laurie Stephens and two bronzes for 17-year-old Saylor O’Brien.

Stephens now has 18 career medals from world championships, plus seven at the Paralympics.

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World champion skier Kyle Smaine dies in avalanche at age 31

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Kyle Smaine, a retired world champion halfpipe skier, died in an avalanche in Japan on Sunday, according to NBC News, citing Smaine’s father. He was 31.

Smaine, a 2015 World champion in ski halfpipe, had been doing ski filming in Japan, sharing videos on his Instagram account over the past week.

The native of South Lake Tahoe, California, finished ninth in ski halfpipe at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

In 2018, Smaine won the fifth and final U.S. Olympic qualifying series event in ski halfpipe but did not make the four-man team for PyeongChang. His last sanctioned international competition was in February 2018.

Late Sunday, two-time Olympic champion David Wise won the X Games men’s ski halfpipe and dedicated it to Smaine.

“We all did this for Kyle tonight,” Wise said on the broadcast. “It’s a little bit of an emotional day for us. We lost a friend.”