It came down to the wire for one set of racers in the Cedartown Wheelchair 5K on Tuesday evening, and then an unexpected champion came out of another due to course errors on the part of two top racers from years past.
20-year-old Daniel Romanchuk took a first place win once again, though only 11 seconds slower than his 2018 record-breaking win ahead of the Peachtree Road Race. Romanchuk finished this year’s race with a time of 9:51.83, just ahead of Marcel Hug, who ended the race at 9:53.85. It marks Romanchuk’s third win in a row at the 5K event.
Hug, a native of Nottwil, Switzerland, also shared the lead at one point in the race with third place finisher Josh Cassidy of Guelph, Canada. Cassidy came in with a time of 10:11.47. Rome’s Krige Schabort finished in ninth place for the 2019 race at a time of 11:16.17.
Romanchuk’s pass in the final stretch wasn’t the end of the dramatics in racing on Tuesday evening in Cedartown.
With a strong lead in the women’s race all the way through Tatyana McFadden was set to finish 20 seconds ahead of the competition in the Women’s 5K. Yet as the lead truck and racers were coming down West John Hand Drive, McFadden turned too soon and veered off the course too early onto North College Street.
Susannah Scaroni, who had held a solid second place up to that point, also followed on the wrong path in the turn onto North College Street around Mundy’s Lake. The pair were disqualified from the race, which left Eliza Ault-Connell of Albury, Australia to finish first with a time of 12:04.75.
Despite the mishap, both McFadden and Scaroni were in good spirits following the race.
Cedartown’s Wheelchair 5K Road Race wrapped up the annual camp and new addition of sprint racing in Barron Stadium in Rome on Monday, July 1. Racers left Wednesday to head to Atlanta to prepare for the annual Peachtree Road Race being on July 4.
The Rev. Dave Grove, Cedartown 5K Committee chair, said he believed the Tuesday races were some “of the best we’ve ever had here.”
He added that though mishaps have happened before in the race — a crash one year of an athlete went into Mundy’s Lake, another to go up a tree and a few accidental circling of the course incorrectly — no one has ever made a wrong turn.