Propelled by her silver in Rio, Tatyana McFadden won her fourth NYC Marathon. McFadden, who came into the 2016 marathon with one goal in mind, to win. “I knew today was going to be really tough because the same girls that were there in Rio were here today,” she said in Central Park after her victory. “It was great to end the season on such a high note.”
Having competed in six individual races during the 2016 Paralympics, the marathon was one of only two where she failed to win gold, finishing a split second behind China’s Zou Lihong for second.
That silver medal turned out to be a silver lining, however: She returned from Rio and didn’t waste a minute, continuing her training regimen and – last month – winning the Chicago Marathon before arriving in New York.
“After Rio there was this drive where I wanted to finish the season off strong,” she said. “It was really hard, [but] I was so motivated and I just kept training all the way up to this day.”
The win means she continues to climb in the history books, too, with no one even close behind her. Her fourth consecutive Grand Slam achievement – a sweep of Boston, London, Chicago and New York – is also marked by her 20th marathon victory (at major international races).
“I’ve always looked up to Serena Williams, who is always winning these Grand Slams in tennis,” said McFadden, smiling. “If she can do it, I feel like someone in the marathon world can do it, too.”
That someone has been McFadden, who says she already has her eyes cast on the Paralympics in Tokyo in 2020. Like Williams, in a class of her own, she’s driven by history – and her hunger to create more of it.
“I’m still quite young and it’s been an amazing year. Each marathon helps me out in racing in general; I learn from all of them.”