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November 1, 2015

Tatyana McFadden

Ernst Van Dyk

New York City, New York

CHRIS WEILLER: Our 2015 wheelchair champions: First from the men's side, finally pulled off the last‑second victory at the line. First win in New York in ten years. Please welcome Ernst Van Dyk (applause).
And for the 12th straight time with a major victory and our three‑time consecutive champion, please welcome the new shattering‑course record holder for the New York City Marathon, Tatyana McFadden.
Just a quick presentation first. We talked about the Chicago‑New York Challenge, a preview to the Abbott World Marathon Majors Professional Series 10, which starts next year in Boston. Chicago and New York decided to pit the wheelchair racers against each other, and our two champions today in New York are our same two champions for the Chicago‑New York Challenge. To present them with their awards, the general manager of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, Tim Hadzima.
For winning the award, they each win a $10,000 prize to go along with their $15,000 first‑place prize here in New York.
First question: Ernst, a couple years in a row eked out at the finish line. This time you did the damage. How does it feel?
ERNST VAN DYK: Eventually, I got it right. Yeah, it was great. It wasn't a race today, it was a battle. It was a really epic battle, and I was just so ecstatic to come out on top.
CHRIS WEILLER: When did you feel that this could be it? Or did you ever have that feeling that this was going to be your day?
ERNST VAN DYK: Well, after Josh did a big surge and we dropped ourselves, then it was just me and him‑‑ well, he was gone, and eventually I caught up to him, and it was me and him, and I could read his body language. I felt like he's not looking that great.
Then in the park I just attacked him and attacked him and attacked him, and then took it out of him for the sprint. I think the biggest thing is he's never really sprinted here. So he didn't know the finish that well, as I've probably learned from it being second the last two years. So he went just a little bit too early, and that gave me the edge to get it. I didn't know I would get it until the last 100, 200 meters.
CHRIS WEILLER: Tatyana, you shattered the course record, and with that comes a nice $5,000 bonus. So it's a nice payday for you, as well. You really took a commanding lead. Was it ever in doubt from when you started on the bridge?
TATYANA McFADDEN: First, I want to say thank you to New York Marathon and New York Road Runners. Today was absolutely a wonderful day, just from even flying in and to the start line, we got treated like royalty. So thank you so much.
Today was definitely‑‑ I knew it was going to be a fast day because, looking at the weather yesterday, there was going to be a tailwind for the first 20 miles, and I knew that if I hit the first climb hard and take it down, if I'm the first one down that hill, then everything should be okay.
I was really nervous about Manuela catching me and the other pack catching me because I knew they could work nicely together. If not, I knew that Manuela could come alone eventually. So I just kept hitting the hills hard and hitting the turns really hard, and really just hope for the best and stay focused.
CHRIS WEILLER: Twelve straight majors, is there a sense of invincibility, or is every race just another race and you're not thinking about the past races? Twelve straight major wins is sort of unprecedented anywhere. What's it feel like?
TATYANA McFADDEN: What's special about this one is it's a New York‑Chicago Challenge. So it had a little bit of a different perk. Each race is a new race, new competitors. I'm always‑‑ training's different. I'm hoping to get stronger and a little bit faster. My competitors are doing the same. So I take each race with a clean slate and hope for the best.

Q. Ernst, did you happen to see what happened to Kurt Fearnley out there?
ERNST VAN DYK: I didn't see, but I heard because he was right behind me, and it's the most terrifying sound that you can imagine when a body and aluminum and carbon fiber hits the road at high speed. So I heard it.
We hit the same area that was not so great. I went into the air, and fortunately, I'm a heavy guy, so I landed on three wheels again. Kurt is not so heavy. So I guess he went over. He had a pretty bad tumble.
So I think it was an amazing performance that after getting a flat tire in that crash, that he could still come back and finish in fifth place.

Q. Tatyana, when you're by yourself and you're going as fast as you were, how do you keep yourself under control?
TATYANA McFADDEN: That's always a great question. I just think about each mile, and I think about where the biggest climbs are and just where the wind direction is and just really trying to stay focused on that.
A couple of times when the course got really rough, I was starting to lose a little bit mentally, saying, Oh, my gosh, this is rough here. But it's just saying I can do this and keep going and just really racing with your heart and just focusing on my own goals, and really just focusing on hitting the climbs hard and descending as fast as I can.

Q. One follow‑up, Tatyana: You've won 12 or 13 marathons. I heard 13, and now I'm hearing 12. First of all, congratulations. How do you keep yourself motivated at that level of domination?
TATYANA McFADDEN: That's a great question. At the University of Illinois, it's a national training center for two years now. I train with the best of the best. I love training especially with men. I feel like, if I can keep up with them, I can do anything in life.

Q. Ernst, can you talk a little bit about any changes you made to your training and equipment that you think made the difference in you coming out on top of one of these sprint finishes at the end.
ERNST VAN DYK: The last three months have been pretty intense. I've been working really hard and especially focused on my hills. That worked out. I also got a new chair that was made by Honda in Japan, which at the moment for me is a prototype. It's a one‑piece carbon fiber chair. I think it handles the rough roads a little better, the way it absorbs the rough surface and vibration.
So I felt a little bit more fresher at the end than I would normally be. I didn't feel so beat up. I think that contributed a little bit to the sprint.
Josh George is the current world champion in the marathon. So to beat him in the sprint on a tough course like this, where it doesn't favor my body size, it was great.
CHRIS WEILLER: One last question for both of you: What's next? A little bit of a break?
TATYANA McFADDEN: Thanksgiving and Christmas. A little bit of a break and then hitting training pretty hard because Rio is next year. Really focusing on that, and the Abbott World Series. I feel like I'm wiping my slate clean again for next year. So that's really exciting as well.
CHRIS WEILLER: No competitive skiing this winter?
CHRIS WEILLER: Ernst, what's happening this next month?
ERNST VAN DYK: I'll be racing in a marathon in Japan on Sunday.
CHRIS WEILLER: There you go. Quick turnaround. We've got to get him out of here. He's got to get to Japan. Congratulations again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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