Winners Announced for 2019's Historic Shepherd Center AJC Peachtree Road Race Wheelchair Division
Winners awarded $50,000 bonuses as course records fall.
Thousands of spectators turned out today to watch this year’s historic Shepherd Center AJC Peachtree Road Race Wheelchair Division. The 38th annual 10K race drew 59 wheelchair athletes from eight countries.
This year, Manuela Schär, 33, of Switzerland, won the women’s open division with a first-place finishing time of 21:28.00. This is Schar's first win. In the men’s open, Daniel Romanchuk, 20, of Champaign, Illinois, took the crown to win with a finishing time of 18.11:00. It was his third win.
Both Schär and Romanchuk broke course records, triggering a $50,000 bonus for each in addition to prize money. It is the first time that wheelchair and runners earned the same amount – and one of adaptive sports’ most powerful statements for equality.
"This is a historic year for the AJC Peachtree Road Race,” says Rebecca Washburn, MS, manager of Shepherd Center’s Beyond Therapy® and wellness programs. “The $50,000 in bonus prizes is the highest amount for a single event in wheelchair racing, and it sets a precedent for equality among the elite runners and wheelchair athletes."
The 6.2-mile competition began on Lenox Road in the heart of Buckhead, Atlanta’s shopping district, and followed Peachtree Road for six miles before slicing through the heart of Midtown to the finish line at 10th Street and Piedmont Park. The race is the one of the largest and fastest wheelchair 10Ks in the country.
The top finishers in each division received peach-shaped crystalline trophies in a ceremony following the race. Then, racers attended a post-race brunch at Shepherd Center.
The Atlanta Track Club was the platinum sponsor of the event, and MARTA was the silver sponsor. Other donors included JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead, the Kyle Pease Foundation and Halls Atlanta Flowers. Sponsors provided pre-and post-race brunches, defrayed travel and lodging expenses for racers and awarded cash prizes to winners.
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 935 inpatients, 541 day program patients and more than 7,300 outpatients each year.