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November 3, 2016

Tatyana McFadden

New York, New York

TATYANA MCFADDEN: I know that I can do it. Just to even medal in each event is unbelievable, just being on the podium, being in the top three, and even getting golds in my previous events. Like the bag was full that I got for the first time in Rio. So it's unbelievable. I'm really, really proud of myself.

I knew it was going to be really tough. So I'm really proud.

Q. Talk a little bit about the wheelchair racing program here.
TATYANA MCFADDEN: We're so excited. It's the first year that we've launched the youth wheelchair division through the Team for Kids, and it's an amazing turnout. It's so important to move for the future, and it's absolutely amazing that we're starting from kids as young as 6, and then we have some kids who are in their late teens. That's amazing. We have kids who never knew about wheelchair racing, and we're providing the help that they need.

Through my foundation, I've donated a few chairs where they were able just to get started, and they can take the chair home. It's theirs. They can train with it. It's really important for that and just to create that education side of it. You never know. We might see them doing the Mighty Mile one day, and we'll see them hopefully doing the half and then the marathon. So these are great steps.

I think they're doing the quarter mile here on Friday. So it's just really, really exciting to see the future move so quickly.

Q. This is like a blockbuster field. I was wondering if you could break down kind of the people in your race and just what you're expecting in terms of the competition.
TATYANA MCFADDEN: It's going to be really, really tough. Chicago was really tough because it was right after Rio. I knew that was going to be really challenging, especially coming down to the end with Manuela. This course is a little bit different. It's a lot more climbing than in Chicago, which I really like, but I know that the downhills are going to be just as hard for me as well.

So it's definitely going to be really challenging. Manuela climbs really well, and she also goes down really fast. This will be the first time seeing an athlete from China doing the New York City Marathon, and she won gold in Rio. So it's going to be fun, and it's going to be really competitive.

Q. What's the most difficult part of this race? What distinguishes this course from all the other marathons?
TATYANA MCFADDEN: I think the climbs. We start with a climb, and then going through Central Park, I mean, it's a steep climb through Central Park. It doesn't look like it. It doesn't look very hilly, but it's painful towards the end. So just really being smart towards that.

But it's always great being back on the East Coast. Hopefully, it will be a great way to end my season.

Q. What about turns on the courses? Is there like a crazy 90 degree turn? What are some of the other things?
TATYANA MCFADDEN: Yeah, the turns are -- they're definitely challenging, but we have the same turns like in London this year, where it's pretty sharp. You just have to take those wisely, make sure that you don't run into anyone and create your own space, but also take them fast enough so you don't lose the pack.

The course is really quite challenging. For every downhill and a turn, if it there's a little bit of a getaway, you also have climbs that you can make it up in. So I know that's going to be really, really tough.

Q. Tatyana, can you talk a little bit about your Rio experience. I know going in, obviously, the goal was 6 for 6 in golds. You got 4 of 6. Can you just talk a little bit about that and how you came out of all those races.
TATYANA MCFADDEN: It was a really good Games for me. I decided to go for seven events this time. I mean, to medal in each event is unbelievable, especially because I'm going against competitors that focus only on sprinting and competitors that focus only on the distance. The 100 meters has always been the hardest for me. I didn't medal in Beijing. In London I got bronze. This year I got silver. This means I'm getting stronger and quicker, which is really good.

Then you have the 5,000, which is on the track, which is very opposite of the one, and I got gold in that. So that was really quite amazing. It was my first five. So to get a gold this year in Rio for the marathon was also incredible.

London, I had some technical difficulties, and I wasn't able to medal. So it was nice coming down. It was a very, very close race, head to head, but I was really happy to walk away with a medal.

Q. When you're training for that variety of distances from sprint on up to the marathon, how difficult is that?
TATYANA MCFADDEN: It's really difficult. We have to break up our training, kind of almost like in semesters. Over the summer and the spring, we really focused on just the track portions, really focusing on the speed and my track events specifically. In the fall, we did a lot of the building phase, more strength and endurance. So it was a really tough season, especially because of Chicago and London right before the games, and then we had to quickly transition over toward the track part to get ready for Rio.

Q. How did you come out of the Games physically?
TATYANA MCFADDEN: I came out exhausted. It was really tough. I was going every day, twice a day for about two weeks, and then I had all the media obligations right after Rio. So when I got off the plane, I flew straight to New York. I felt like I was kind of globe trotting all over the U.S., but it was amazing.

I got to be on Ellen, which was so much fun. So it's just been so wonderful. Then back to short training to get ready for Chicago. That was really tough. That was really quite painful. I think we all felt it. That was really quite painful, but I still had that endurance from Rio and still that peak from Rio, which is good.

After Chicago, we got a little bit of recovery time to get ready for New York, and then picked it back up just in time for the New York Marathon.

Q. From a physical standpoint, given how long the season was and how many races that you added to the schedule, which wouldn't be a typical year, how are you feeling coming into this last race of the year?
TATYANA MCFADDEN: Excited. I've had only a week off after Rio. So I haven't had that much time off at all. I had just only a week of not being in my chair, or I'm in training. So it's been really, really tough. It's a lot mentally. It's really a mental battle during the Games and staying focused and then getting -- turning around and doing Chicago and turning around and doing New York.

It's tough, but I love it. It's been so much fun. So much positivity, great media coverage. I think, when New York is done, I'm really excited to take some family time. We'll be going to Florida for Thanksgiving. And I'll be marching in the Macy's Day Parade with Team USA, and then we'll be going to Mexico for winter break. So I'm really excited for the little time off.

Q. Having gone through and swept all the Majors multiple times, how would you compare this season in terms of the challenges and certainly the volume of racing in comparison to some of those other seasons you've had?
TATYANA MCFADDEN: Yeah, I think the volume has definitely increased this year. It's been just crazy with track meets and qualifications for Rio and then training for Rio and then doing all the events in Rio, then turning around and doing the marathons. So it's been nonstop all year since last January. So it's been a really long season. You're looking at from January all the way to pretty much about now. It's been a really kind of like a long haul of training and a lot of miles going in.

But it's fun. Next year is going to be just as tough, especially with all the Majors coming up again. But in an Olympic year, it's always really, really tough, especially just with the track meets and the marathons on top of that.

Q. So what's the secret to your success? How do you get through all this grueling training and all of these races?
TATYANA MCFADDEN: I make it fun. So I put on my favorite song before I go to work out, and I have like fun snacks. I'll make a waffle and have a little Bacon and eggs and just make it fun. With the volume intensity and training, I'm allowed to have that. So I just make things really fun and good and really rewarding for the time being.

I mean, my family has been really incredible, so have my sponsors, helping me get through the Games and getting through the marathon. So it's been easy but not easy.

Q. What would it mean to cap this year with a victory here again?
TATYANA MCFADDEN: It would be my 16th straight marathon win, which would be unbelievable. That's something that no one has ever done before. So it will be absolutely insane. Serena Williams has always been my role model. She's conquered so many tennis matches, and she's just such a dominant force. So I just hope to be like her going along this journey.

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