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November 4, 2016
New York, New York
C.J. WANG: Will there be another Kenyan sweep of the pro runner titles this year?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Thank you for the question. I am defending champion. We have also Kenyans and some from Eritrea and also Ethiopia and United States. I know someone who can win is someone who is in shape for the race. So I cannot predict who is going to win right now, but on Sunday it will show itself. I think the best person will win. Thank you.
Q. What is your strategy this year?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Last year it was too windy to start fast. So the last part we were able to run very fast. So in the race on Sunday, I will see what the pace will be. That's when I rely on my tactics for the race.
Q. Stanley, do you think it's possible to run 2:03 or close to that as you did in London?
STANLEY BIWOTT: To run 2:03 depends on the weather. Sometimes it's very good. In New York the hills are bigger. So you have to push. When you are in shape, everything's possible. It doesn't matter the course when you're in shape. The record now is 2:05. So it's possible.
Q. Stanley, you threw down that 4:30 mile or 4:40 mile last year in mile 16 or something here. You made a move last year coming into the park maybe right before the park, you put in like a very fast mile, like 4:30 or something like that. Do you recall that? Was that a strategy going in or just something --
STANLEY BIWOTT: No, that mile, I knew it remained a few miles until the finish of the race. So it was a way to separate from the group and also to put another high speed as I was forecasting to pull ahead the last miles to the finish line.
Q. I know you don't want to give away your strategy this year, but is this the kind of course that's good with the final hills and the final miles to throw in a quick mile like that towards the end?
STANLEY BIWOTT: This course is tactical because the last part of it is more hilly. You need to have extra energy to run the last two to three miles. I think that I have to do it.
Q. Do you train specifically for this course or not?
STANLEY BIWOTT: As I train to come to New York like this one, I have to train up and downs so I can get used to the course and also for the race of New York.
Q. Stanley, after the disappointment in Rio, how are you using that experience to head into New York?
STANLEY BIWOTT: I think I am training. After Rio, I continue with my training. I was focusing on some other races. So that one gives me also more effort to train a lot and also to have more experience.
Q. Did you just stop on purpose in Rio knowing that, if you didn't have a chance for the medals, you would just save yourself for a fall marathon?
STANLEY BIWOTT: When I stop in Rio due to I took some drink, special drinks which was not mine. So I think I'm drinking water. When I drink, it was tasting Citrus, and mine was sugary. So this make my stomach to be painful. So I could not go on with the race because I was feeling pain in my stomach. So that make me to withdraw from the race.
Q. About 30K?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Yeah, at about 30K.
Q. Stanley, what are you thinking in the final miles, in the final stretch? What's going on in your head?
STANLEY BIWOTT: During every race when you're approaching the last part, you feel that this is now you have to put all your energy towards the end of the race because that will make you do something better. Maybe you break your time or you win the race. So that is what replays during the final miles in a marathon.
Q. What do you have to understand about this course to do here, and what do you have to understand about yourself to do well here?
STANLEY BIWOTT: In this case, you have to be prepared very well. You have to have speed. You have to train. You have to have more endurance. A race like New York, it is not easy because it's up and down. You have to apply your mileage towards that.
Q. Can you give us an idea of what sort of up and down training you were doing? Give us an idea of one of your -- you're doing your up and down training, what it consists of.
STANLEY BIWOTT: Yes, the training can do some work up and down. Training is sometimes up hills. So part of preparation when training for a race like New York, which is comfortable in my place where I'm training. And I like it because I trained there last year, and I won.
Q. Where do you train? Kapsabet?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Yes, Kapsabet.
Q. Do you have particular times you do?
STANLEY BIWOTT: No. I run maybe one hour or 1:20 minutes. We usually train with a group. On morning runs we go out in the morning. So usually daytime or morning hours, and that's where we do some down and uphill training.
Q. Who's in your group?
STANLEY BIWOTT: I have a group of athletes, 14 to 15 athletes. We have a lot of upcoming runners.
Q. Have you had a chance to talk to your fellow Kenyan teammates, your fellow Kenyan runners. What are they thinking heading into Sunday?
STANLEY BIWOTT: For now, I arrive last night. I just met with them right now, but I hope they are very well, and they're prepared to run a good race on Sunday. That's what I know is in their minds.
Q. Stanley, in London did you know you guys were so close to the world record?
STANLEY BIWOTT: In London?
Q. Did you know that you and Eliud were so close or not?
STANLEY BIWOTT: For me, myself, I didn't know. I don't know about Eliud. When I reached the finishing line, I saw that I was in the time of 2:03. So I was happy. I was not prepared to run 2:03, but it just came, and I was happy for that.
Q. So you were surprised as everyone else that you ran that fast?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Yeah. To run 2:03 in London is not expected.
Q. Yeah, it was a windy day.
STANLEY BIWOTT: I hope in the future, I run better than that.
Q. Did you up your mileage, did you change your training at all for New York or not?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Not much, but I train like last year, and I also increased some speed for this New York Marathon.
Q. Can you give us an idea of your speed work?
STANLEY BIWOTT: We are doing track. We are doing 1,000 in the track, 1,000 times ten times, a time of 2:50 approximately.
Q. How much rest?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Rest is like 30 seconds.
Q. Ten times 1,000?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Yes.
Q. What's the altitude?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Altitude is like 2,000.
Q. 2,000 meters?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Yes.
Q. Kenyans always seem to win a marathon in New York City. What do you think it is in particular about the Kenyan mentality, the Kenyan attitudes that make Kenya runners unique?
STANLEY BIWOTT: You know, as I say, maybe Kenyans we have talent. That's what God gave us. So hard practice and that talent make the most of the Kenyans win the races like here in New York. I think it's their talent, part of their training also, the daily training and getting up to train. That's what wins the race.
Q. Do you have any rituals prior to the race? Any pre-race rituals?
STANLEY BIWOTT: No, no. Just pray and go and do the race.
Q. What happened at the Olympics? Was that very disappointing?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Yeah. At Olympics, they changed the drinking water with my fellow athlete from Kenya. The water was tasting Citrus, and my special water was tasting sugary. So I got the water, and when I drink, already I swallowed, and it was Citrus. So that bring me a problem with my stomach and make me to feel bad with my stomach. I didn't finish the race. I stop at like 30 kilometers. So that was the problem. But I was in good shape in Rio.
Q. Do you recall what place you were in when you dropped out? Were you among the leaders at the time?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Yeah, you are among the leaders.
Q. How upsetting was that? The officials mixed them up, right?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Yeah, because I know maybe the bottles were the same. So it was a mistake. They changed not knowing who was whose. I think that was the problem. But later, they ask forgiveness because it was their mistake, and we forgive them because it was difficult to identify the two bottles.
Q. Are you ready for Sunday? What are your expectations? What do you want to do?
STANLEY BIWOTT: I'm ready on Sunday to run a good race and also to defend my title.
Q. Why is winning New York so special for all the peoples coming? For you, professional athletes too, it's special winning in New York?
STANLEY BIWOTT: For the people who come also to run. Winning to me is a big honor because New York has put me in the limelight. I am now a big athlete in the world. So that makes me to want to win another.
Q. Do you remember the first thought you had last year when you passed the line?
STANLEY BIWOTT: I was happy to win the race. I was very happy. I thanked also my training group because it was not me alone doing that. It was my training group also and people who give me support for the race.
Q. There's going to be extra security this year in terms of police presence in New York. Are you ever concerned while you're running about security?
STANLEY BIWOTT: No. I just run.
Q. How do you feel right now physically?
STANLEY BIWOTT: I'm now fit. I'm okay, and I'm ready.
Q. Between today and Sunday, are there any things you're going to do?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Just doing some running just to make our legs ready for Sunday.
Q. Where are you going to run, in the park?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Yes, in the park.
Q. How do you like running in the park here?
STANLEY BIWOTT: The park is very nice. It's a good place for training. A lot of people. So it's a good place to train.
Q. There wasn't a lot of time between the Olympics and New York, but since you didn't run all of the Olympics, did that make it easier to get ready?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Yeah, to recover, just have the focus in mind that you have another race. So you should recover a little because you know the race is more close. So you recover a little, and then you start training as you focus on the next race.
Q. If you had finished the Olympics, if you had run the whole 42K, would you have been able to come back and run this race?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Yeah, of course.
Q. Would you have done it anyway, both?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Yes.
Q. Your dropping out at the Olympics, does that give you added motivation to do well here?
STANLEY BIWOTT: No. I was ready for the Olympics, and also I'm ready for New York. That was what was happening in my mind.
Q. How much time did you take off? Tell us about your recovery after the Olympics. How much time did you take off?
STANLEY BIWOTT: I take off like a week. Then I continued with the training.
Q. How would you compare your fitness level now to last year?
STANLEY BIWOTT: I am in shape, but on Sunday I'll see now if I run better than last year. So waiting for Sunday.
Q. Now that you're defending champion, did you feel extra pressure, or do you feel some freedom because the weight is off?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Yeah, as a defending champion, proud to be back. I don't have pressure because I have trained good for the race.
Q. Who else is in that training group that you spoke of. Are there other runners we will have heard of?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Yeah, there is a lot of runners.
Q. Who else is in that group?
STANLEY BIWOTT: Wilson Kipsang.
Q. So you're in Eton?
STANLEY BIWOTT: No, Kapsabet
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports