To elite runners and marathon-rookies alike, the New York City Marathon has always been an iconic competition. With a course weaving through the City’s five boroughs, the sidelines packed with cheering spectators for all 26.2 miles and a finish line in the middle of Central Park, “The Marathon” sits a top many running bucket lists. This Sunday, as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg stood at Fort Watson on Staten Island and shouted “on your mark,” the forty-third running of the race began. This year was especially significant for two reasons. First, last year the annual marathon was canceled just two days before race-day due to the devastating after-effects of Superstorm Sandy. And secondly, many Boston Marathoners who were not able to complete the race in April traveled to New York to compete.
In one of Sunday’s most exciting results, WSF Friend and 2013 Sportswoman of the Year finalist Tatyana McFadden completed the Grand Slam of Marathons. The 24-year-old Maryland resident won the women’s wheelchair race Sunday after taking the titles in Boston, London and Chicago earlier this year. No other athlete has won those four races in the same year. Tatyana also was the 2010 champion in New York. Born with a spinal defect and left at a Russian orphanage as a baby, Tatyana was adopted by an American family and got involved in swimming, basketball and track as a young girl. She is a senior at the University of Illinois and attended our 34th Annual Salute to Women in Sports in October.
We were proud to be officially represented by five inspiring runners in Sunday’s race. As a part of the New York Road Runners’ Charity Partners Program, runners Esi Eggleston Bracey, Julie Miller, Kennedy Thorwarth, Heidi Roussis and Maureen Smith teamed up to raise more than $20,000 for our programs that benefit girls and women. Although not officially a part of Team WSF 2013, marathoner Pam Wheeler continued to fundraise for us after her 2012 NYC Marathon plans were stopped by Superstorm Sandy.
Team WSF was coached through their months-long of training by 1974 NYC Marathon champion Kathrine Switzer, armed with expert nutrition and hydration information by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute and fueled by WSF National Partner Gatorade. A special thank you to Kathrine, GSSI and Gatorade for their help getting Team WSF across that finish line on Sunday!