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November 4, 2016

Buzunesh Deba

New York, New York

Q. You went back to Ethiopia to train this time. You haven't been back in 11 years?

Q. What made you go back there to train?
BUZUNESH DEBA: Because I miss my family.

I didn't see them in a long time.

Q. Your mother is coming to see you race, right?

Q. Who else do you have there?
BUZUNESH DEBA: I have my whole family?

Q. Father?
BUZUNESH DEBA: No. Brother, cousin, a lot of people.

Q. Do you have a lot of brothers and sisters?
BUZUNESH DEBA: I have four brothers.

Q. What was training like there?
BUZUNESH DEBA: It was hard because it's high.

Q. The altitude?

Q. Haven't you trained down in --
BUZUNESH DEBA: In Mexico? It's not like Mexico.

Q. Is it higher?

Q. The last couple of years you haven't been running really great at the marathon. How do you feel confidence-wise?

Q. Yes. How is your training going?
BUZUNESH DEBA: I'm thinking good, but the training was very hard for me. And I was sick.

Q. So I guess a few weeks ago, they announced that Rita Jeptoo was disqualified from Boston in 2014. So maybe they moved you up. Have you heard anything from Boston? They said they were going to be evaluating it. So I assumed they moved you from number 2 to number 1. Have you heard anything about it?
BUZUNESH DEBA: No, I didn't hear anything.

Q. You didn't know she'd been disqualified?

Q. When did you get back from Ethiopia?

Q. Oh, very recently. How would it feel to win your first major marathon? You'd be the course record holder at the Boston Marathon. How would that make you feel?
BUZUNESH DEBA: I'm happy, but the time when I win, I feel so happy. But now, for me it's different because she took that day.

Q. How is the New York City Marathon different from other races for you?
BUZUNESH DEBA: New York is my home. I know the course very well, and it suits me.

Q. What was wrong with your stomach?
BUZUNESH DEBA: Yeah, I ate some wrong meat here.

Q. You could be doing anything else on Sunday. Why run? What keeps you going?
BUZUNESH DEBA: I keep trying to win.

Q. What does this mean for your friends and family back home?
BUZUNESH DEBA: When I run, they are so happy and excited, and they praise me.

Q. You finished second here twice. Does that make you hungrier to win it this time?
BUZUNESH DEBA: Yeah, of course.

Q. Sometimes do you get frustrated that you've been so close?
BUZUNESH DEBA: I think my training is going really well. So my attitude is very high, and my training is going very well.

Q. Does this course seem to fit your running style? You have five top ten finishes?
BUZUNESH DEBA: Yeah, I feel good here.

Q. What is your strategy this year?
BUZUNESH DEBA: I'm going to make sure -- my training is not that much.

Q. What are you thinking when you're running the course, especially the last few miles? What's going on in your head?
BUZUNESH DEBA: Just focus on my time and keep going to win.

Q. Buzunesh, your mother will be here to watch you race for the first time. How does that make you feel? What's running through your head?
BUZUNESH DEBA: I'm excited and happy, and I'm scared, you know.

Q. Scared, why?
BUZUNESH DEBA: Because she never see me when I run.

Q. You mean you're a little nervous?

Q. What do you most want to tell her about your race? Should she be -- are you going to tell her to have fun? Are you going to tell her to not be nervous?
BUZUNESH DEBA: Yeah, I tell her to not be nervous and to pray.

Q. Where will she watch from? Do you know where she will be?
BUZUNESH DEBA: Maybe finishing line.

Q. Coming back to New York, you were training in Ethiopia, did you do anything different during this buildup than your normal marathon buildup when you were living in the Bronx and training here?
BUZUNESH DEBA: My training was not like last year because the place is different. I'm not training that much.

Q. What do you think it will take to defeat Mary Keitany? She's won twice, and she's really proven her success on the course. What will it take to beat her?
BUZUNESH DEBA: Everybody comes to win. I'm looking to win.

Q. Now, in past marathons, you've really run your pace the whole time whether the leaders went out fast or went out slow. You were always very calculated with your pace. Will that be the same this year?
BUZUNESH DEBA: Yeah, of course.

Q. Do you think your experience on the course will really help, come in handy?
BUZUNESH DEBA: Yeah, because I know the course really well.

Q. Is there any special reason that your mother is here this time to see you?
BUZUNESH DEBA: Yes, this is special for me.

Q. Is this her first time to this country?

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