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American Rivals Look to Thwart McFadden Bid for History

August 14, 2013

2011 returning champion Amanda McGrory and 2012 Paralympic gold medalist Shirley Reilly lead challengers

Josh George, Ryan Chalmers top USA men’s field

New York, August 14, 2013— Tatyana McFadden, the 2010 champion of the ING New York City Marathon, will be challenged by a formidable group of fellow American stars when she sets out to make history at the 2013 ING New York City Marathon wheelchair race on Sunday, November 3.

McFadden won both the Virgin London and Boston Marathons this spring.  She enters the fall marathon season aiming to become the first athlete ever to win the “Grand Slam” of all four major marathons in a single season by winning the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and then in New York. 

If she falters at Chicago, McFadden could still claim a spot in the record books if she wins in New York; she’d be the first-ever single-season “triple crown” winner of the wheelchair races in London, Boston, and New York.

Additional American women announced today by NYRR officials were 2011 and 2006 ING New York City Marathon champion and course record-holder Amanda McGrory, 2012 and London Paralympic marathon gold medalist Shirley Reilly.  Leading American men announced were Josh George, Ryan Chalmers, and Adam Bleakney.

Athlete Backgrounds and Notable Performances

  • McFadden, 24, of Clarksville, MD, swept the 2013 Boston and London Marathon titles in the span of seven days. Her winning time in Boston was 1:45:24. She won London by two seconds over McGrory, in 1:46:02. The University of Illinois senior showed off her versatility at the IPC Athletics World Championships last month by winning six medals in six different distances from 100 meters up to 5000 meters.  She was nominated for an ESPY this year.

  • McGrory, 27, of Champaign, IL, trains with McFadden and the University of Illinois powerhouse wheelchair program. She was third at Boston and the runner-up in London this year. McGrory set the New York course record of 1:50:24 in 2011. She has five top-three finishes in New York.
  • Reilly, 28, of Tucson, AZ, is the reigning Paralympic marathon gold medalist. She set her career best of 1:37:36 when she won Boston in 2012. She was fourth in Boston this year and was also nominated for an ESPY. Her best finish in New York was fifth, in 2005.  
  • George, 28, of Fairfax, VA, is a three-time Chicago champion. With a string of equipment troubles, he has yet to break into the top five in New York in four career starts. He is a two-time Paralympian (2008 and 2012) and he won the 800 meters at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships.
  • Chalmers, 24, of Churchville, NY, stirred hearts this spring with his emotional “Push Across America,” a 71-day trek from California to New York that raised funds and awareness for Stay Focused, a non-profit organization that helps teenagers and young adults with disabilities. In 2010 he was fifth in the Los Angeles Marathon and fourth in the Twin Cities Marathon.
  • Bleakney, 37, of Savoy, IL, remains an active competitor while also serving as the full-time head coach of the prestigious and prodigious University of Illinois track and field and road racing wheelchair team. Members of the team won 12 gold medals at the IPC Athletics World Championships. Bleakney was second in Chicago last year.


Tatyana McFadden

“I am very excited to be coming back to racing the ING New York City Marathon. I know that it’s going to be a very tough field, and that makes it a lot of fun. It’s also extremely hilly, so you will just have to be strong and ready to race. I’m more nervous going downhill; I’m like a grandma going downhill and then I explode up the hills.”

Shirley Reilly

“I’m excited to be back in New York, especially after the hurricane. I think the course is a very difficult one, probably one of the hardest marathons around. I know the field will be strong and I’m looking forward to being back!”

Ryan Chalmers

“This year will be even more special than past years because of my completion of Push Across America. Starting on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge will bring back amazing memories.”

Adam Bleakney

“The New York City Marathon wheelchair division is and has been the standard for excellence. The quality and depth of the competition, the challenge of the course, the energy of the city, the support given to the wheelers all combine to make New York an incredible race. It’s a real pleasure bringing my team out every year and a highlight of our season.”

Bob Laufer, ING New York City Marathon Wheelchair Race Director

“New York City will provide the spectacular backdrop and the ING New York City Marathon the grand stage for Tatyana’s bid for the history books. But nothing ever comes easy in New York, and so Tatyana will have to be at her best to beat a deep line-up of USA challengers including Amanda and Shirley, and a demanding race course with plenty of ups and downs to handle. It should be a race for the ages.”

Elite Women

Marathon Personal Best

Twitter Handle

Tatyana McFadden



Amanda McGrory



Shirley Reilly




Elite Men

Marathon Personal Best

Twitter Handle

Adam Bleakney



Ryan Chalmers



Josh George




The Marathon will be televised live nationally on ESPN2 and from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST, and will be available on mobile devices via WatchESPN. Locally, New Yorkers can watch the race on ABC7 or from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. or via WatchABC on mobile devices. Also on Sunday, there will be a national highlight show on local ABC affiliates from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

For the latest Marathon news, updates, features and media information, please visit the NYRR online media room at or follow on Twitter @prowheeler and @nyrrnews.

About the ING New York City Marathon

NYRR’s premier event, the ING New York City Marathon is the most loved and most inclusive marathon in the world, attracting elite athletes and recreational runners alike for the challenge and thrill of a lifetime. The race has grown tremendously since it began in 1970 with just 127 runners racing four laps of Central Park. Now, some 48,000 participants from all over the globe flock to New York City every November for an adrenaline-filled road tour of all five boroughs, starting on Staten Island at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and ending in Central Park. Some run for prize money or bragging rights, others for charity or their personal best. All are cheered on by more than two million live spectators and a TV audience of 330 million.

Categories: Marathon News