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November 1, 2015

Mary Keitany

Aselefech Mergia

Laura Thweatt

Tigist Tufa

New York City, New York

CHRIS WEILLER: Welcome to our women's podium. Aselefech Mergia, in the middle our two‑time champion Mary Keitany, on her left, Tigist Tufa.
Mary, if you could start off. Please tell us how the race went. I think it was at 30 kilometers, is that something in your head, and you decided to go. Tell us about it.
MARY KEITANY: I think we started together in the race. After that turn, I started to move up, work by Tufa. And after 35 I was just alone in the street, and I kept on going.
But at the beginning, I did not go because I know the course in New York. Many times I had run it. So I said, let me just wait.
And then I got the win for this year. I'm happy. I'm very excited. I had fun. Thank you.
CHRIS WEILLER: Aselefech, you moved, I believe, we could not see exactly on television, but moved into second place at about two kilometers to go.
ASELEFECH MERGIA: Yes, I moved into second place at the 40th kilometer.
CHRIS WEILLER: Tigist, you ran a very hard race, many, many miles. What were you thinking? Tell us about, "I can still win, I can still win." Tell us what was going on in your mind through the last part of the race.
TIGIST TUFA: The race was very good, but towards the end I lagged behind because my shoes were uncomfortable and my feet were burning.

Q. Mary, before last year you had had two disappointing finishes in New York, and then last year it was so important to have such a great finish. How confident did you feel coming in this year? Because now all your memories were good in New York.
MARY KEITANY: Maybe what I can say is that I was very confident in coming to New York City Marathon. When I was at home, my training was okay. It was perfect. I wanted to come and try to defend my title. I knew the field was very tough because we had the London champion and also the 2013 champion. So I knew already the race was tough.
But I understood the course. I know New York. Many times I've come to New York, and I know about the course. So I was very excited after crossing the line again being the fastest.
So I thank God for that.

Q. Mary, when you broke away from the pack, did you think that you would maintain the lead that you had throughout the rest of the race?
MARY KEITANY: When I made my move around 30K, I say, okay, let me just go, and if somebody is more strong, she can come, and we can go. I was ready to go with her, but fortunately they never got me. So I just crossed the line alone.
But I was ready to go with somebody who might come up to me.

Q. Mary, did your familiarity with the course help you in terms of being patient and having a good idea when to make your move?
MARY KEITANY: For me I had them come past me in 2011, because I started out too fast and two ladies come and passed me. So I had to be patient today and wait. The 30K was the time for me to move. It was okay.
CHRIS WEILLER: We welcome Laura Thweatt up here, who was seventh place in 2:28:23. Laura, congratulations.
CHRIS WEILLER: Describe your day.
LAURA THWEATT: Well, it was my debut, so going into the race, I wasn't quite sure what to expect out there, especially in a field like we had today, really, really strong internationally.
So I kind of just got up that first mile up the bridge and just tried to settle into a rhythm, and was lucky enough to hang onto these guys as long as I could. So it was a good day.

Q. For each of you, if you could just sum up what it felt like to go through the finish line. I know, Mary, you said you were excited towards the end. If you could just explain what you were feeling as you went through the finish line.
MARY KEITANY: For me, when I was crossing the line, I was very happy. It was really amazing. To do it twice was really something great for me. So I was very happy.
LAURA THWEATT: Yeah, for me, I didn't win, but it was just such a huge victory to complete 26.2 miles. I didn't see myself as being a marathoner. I mean, I'm not. I still don't consider myself a marathoner, but just to complete that distance on a course like New York with the history and just how tough it is out there, it felt like I won.
Just seeing my coach and knowing that we'd done it and we got through today and got what we wanted out of it going into next year, it was just so surreal.
And finishing in Central Park, it doesn't get much cooler than that. So I feel pretty excited.
CHRIS WEILLER: You reference your coach. Who's your coach?
LAURA THWEATT: My coach is Lee Troop with the Boulder Track Club out of Colorado.

Q. Laura, you said the other day that marathon trials were not on your radar. Does today's race change that? You're sort of in the mix now in terms of your time among American women.
LAURA THWEATT: No, it doesn't change that. I'm not planning on running the U.S. Olympic marathon trials. I'm going to stick to my original plan, which is going to be the track in July.

Q. The other day you said that you were looking at this race as a cross‑country race, just a much longer cross‑country race. Did you rely upon that strength, especially when you lost touch with the leaders?
LAURA THWEATT: I definitely did. Like I said, it definitely was a very extended cross‑country race for me today. I mean, the hills, just trying to stay attached to that lead group, I definitely had to call on my strengths. And then especially, like you said, when I kind of fell off the main group around mile 20 or so.
It's tough being out there by yourself. You're fighting even more than when you're with the group. So I definitely had to give it everything I had those last couple of miles. It was brutal.

Q. Mary, the one thing you don't have yet in your career is an Olympic gold medal. The Olympics are next summer. Is that your focus from this point forward? And what would it mean to win an Olympic gold medal?
MARY KEITANY: To win the Olympics, to get a medal means a lot. Now I've just started here, maybe now I'll go home and get some rest, and maybe we wait to be selected in Kenya. I'm ready to go to try to get the medal in Rio next year. It would mean a lot to me and also to my life.

Q. Laura, tell us about the toughest part of the race for you today.
LAURA THWEATT: The Marathon, you definitely have your highs and lows throughout the race, but it really got tough around mile 20. I think that's about where Mary threw down a surge, and the group kind of pulled away, and I fell off.
At that point, I was with Sally Kipyego and another woman. And just fighting together, the three of us out there, and then our group kind of broke apart. So mile 20 forward was really challenging, and that's when I had to put my head down and fight all the way in. That's when it got really hard.

Q. Laura, you said in an earlier interview that you thought the Marathon might help you‑‑ I'm not sure if the words are correct‑‑ appreciate the 10,000 distance more or help you race better on the track. What do you think you learned from today?
LAURA THWEATT: I definitely think it will. Not only physically the strength I got from my training for the Marathon, but racing a course like New York. It's challenging from the very beginning. That first mile is definitely not a joke. So you definitely start with a bang on this course, and then it's just relentless until the finish line.
So going into the 10,000, it's a grind. They're both a grind in different ways. So I definitely think today has really prepared me psychologically going into a race like that on the track to really get out there and put myself in the mix and just really grind through it like I did today.
CHRIS WEILLER: Thank you very much, Laura and Mary.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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