11 U.S. Paralympians To Watch During The Chicago Marathon

By Kendra Hansey | Oct. 06, 2017, 11 a.m. (ET)

Eleven U.S. Paralympians will return to Illinois for the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 8. The event has been won a combined 16 times by five of these athletes.

These Paralympians are seeking their first major win of 2017.

Tatyana McFadden returns to defend her title after winning by one second in 2016. At the beginning of 2017, McFadden suffered from blood clots and was hospitalized two weeks prior to the Boston Marathon where she finished fourth. She did not compete the following week at the 2017 London Marathon.

Amanda McGrory and Susannah Scaroni finished in second and third, respectively, at both the 2017 Boston Marathon and the London Marathon.

Aaron Pike, Josh George and Krige Schabort are coming off top-10 finishes at the 2017 London Marathon. Pike and George also finished in the top 10 at the 2017 Boston Marathon.

Here’s a look at the 11 U.S. Paralympians who will be racing in Chicago.

Adam Bleakney | Savoy, Illinois

  • Age: 42
  • Experience: A Paralympic medalist and four-time Paralympian, Bleakney is no stranger to the Chicago Marathon — having raced in the event 15 times — winning it in 2002 and finishing in the top 10 another nine times. Bleakney is currently the head coach for the renowned Illinois men’s and women’s wheelchair track, field and racing program.
  • Fun Tidbit: Plays the banjo

Josh George | Herndon, Virginia

  • Age: 33
  • Experience: The 2017 Chicago Marathon marks the 14th time George will compete in this event. Not only is he a five-time Paralympic medalist and four-time Paralympian, he is also a four-time Chicago Marathon champion. He’s never had anything but a top-10 finish all 13 years he’s raced in the event.
  • Fun Tidbit: Has blogged for the New York Times

Ray Martin | Jersey City, New Jersey

  • Age: 23
  • Experience: Seven-time Paralympic medalist and two-time Paralympian that’s competed in the Chicago Marathon five times.
  • Fun Tidbit: Speaks Japanese

Chelsea McClammer | Richland, Washington

  • Age: 23
  • Experience: McClammer is a two-time Paralympian and a three-time Paralympic medalist. Achieving a top-five finish at the Chicago Marathon three times, her highest finish came in 2015 at third place.
  • Fun Tidbit: Joined the national team at 12 years old and became the youngest member of the Beijing 2008 U.S. Paralympic Track and Field team at 14 years old

Tatyana McFadden | Champaign, Illinois

  • Age: 28
  • Experience: Owner of an astonishing 17 Paralympic medals, McFadden is a seven-time Chicago Marathon champion and the course record-holder for women (1:41:10). She’s soared into the finish line in the top three all eight years of racing in the event. The five-time Paralympian is the first athlete to win four consecutive wheelchair marathon grand slams — Boston, London, Chicago and New York — in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
  • Fun Tidbit: Wrote a children’s book titled, “Ya Sama! Moments from My Life”

Amanda McGrory | Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

  • Age: 31
  • Experience: McGrory set the American women’s record for marathon (1:33:13) at the 2017 Boston Marathon. The seven-time Paralympic medalist and three-time Paralympian has won the Chicago Marathon three times and placed in the top five all eight years that she’s raced the event. 
  • Fun Tidbit: Was a dual-sport athlete at Illinois in basketball and track and field and is now pursuing a master’s degree there in library and information science

Aaron Pike | Park Rapids, Minnesota

  • Age: 31
  • Experience: Pike returns to the Chicago Marathon for the 10th time. In all nine previous trips, he finished in the top 10. In addition to track and field, the three-time Paralympian also competes in Nordic skiing for Team USA.
  • Fun Tidbit: Played wheelchair basketball all four years of college

Daniel Romanchuk | Mount Airy, Maryland

  • Age: 19
  • Experience: Romanchuk raced in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. The 2017 Chicago Marathon will be Romanchuk’s fourth time competing in the event.
  • Fun Tidbit: Working towards a ham radio license

Susannah Scaroni | Tekoa, Washington

  • Age: 26
  • Experience: Another Chicago Marathon veteran, Scaroni has contested in the event five times and finished in the top 10 every time. The two-time Paralympian’s best finish occurred in 2012, coming in second behind McFadden.
  • Fun Tidbit: Developed a passion for sports nutrition and majored in dietetics at Illinois after suffering from an injury due to malnutrition

Krige Schabort | Rome, Georgia

  • Age: 54
  • Experience: A six-time Paralympian and two-time Paralympic medalist with nine Chicago Marathon experiences, he’s finished in the top five for six of those years. In 2005, he clinched the championship title.
  • Fun Tidbit: Started his Paralympic career competing for his birth country of South Africa at the Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games

Brian Siemann | Millstone, New Jersey

  • Age: 28
  • Experience: Well acquainted with the Chicago Marathon, this marks Siemann’s ninth time competing. The two-time Paralympian has placed in top 10 of the race three times.
  • Fun Tidbit: Is a quadruplet with three sisters