CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) — Daniel Romanchuk might be the best athlete you don't know about yet.
"It's really become second nature," he said. "I don't really think. If something happens in the race, I know what to do."
Romanchuk started wheelchair racing when he was 4 years old. For the past 16 years, the sport has taken him from Europe to South America.
But few places in the world compare to Boston — its iconic marathon serving as the Super Bowl of endurance.
Romanchuk won the 2019 wheelchair race on Monday.
"Boston is such a historic and iconic race, being where the wheelchair marathon got its start," Romanchuk said.
He's not coasting on the biggest win of his career. Six days a week, you'll find him training around Champaign and Urbana — emulating the greats who inspired his passion in the sport.
"[It's] very rewarding to see him as part of the lineage," said coach Adam Bleakney. "As a coach, the best part of this sport is seeing the athletes rise each day."
Romanchuk trains to win. He trains to push boundaries. He trains to race to a legacy — a race that doesn't have a finish line.
"It's kind of a dream come true to progress the sport," Romanchuk said. "How I look at certain things like a lot of records — they're things to be pushed."