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November 5, 2017

Shalane Flanagan

Mary Keitany

Allie Kieffer

New York, New York

THE MODERATOR: Allie Kieffer, fifth overall today and second American; Mary Keitany, second place today; and the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon champion, Shalane Flanagan, the first American to win the race in 40 years, first American woman to win a World Marathon Major since 2006.

Allie, I want to start with you. 26-minute PR, maybe the biggest PR in the field. You train by yourself in Buffalo. I think surprise would be how most people feel seeing you up here. You were confident in your training.

ALLIE KIEFFER: Yeah, I was really confident, but I also didn't know exactly what you're supposed to do that you know you're ready to run the time you want to run. So I went out really conservative so I would make the most of what I -- my talent and the training I had in me. It worked perfectly. I felt amazing, and I rolled people up at the end.

THE MODERATOR: Mary, we're used to seeing you go out at a blistering fast pace. Not the case today. You went out at a conservative pace. Why the change in plan?

MARY KEITANY: First of all, I want to say that I'm happy for my results today because I know I was not in the form the way I wanted because yesterday afternoon I had a problem with my home, and I was not able to do it today the way I wanted. So at least finishing second, although the time is too long, but for me it's better that I finish the race, and I'm happy about the second place because in a race sometimes you can lose and that's part of life.

THE MODERATOR: We'll go to our champion today, 2:26:53, the second fastest time ever run by an American on this course. Shalane, when you had to pull out of Boston, the heartbreak was well chronicled. That was a sad moment for you. This is some consolation prize. When did you know that you were going to be the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon Champion?

SHALANE FLANAGAN: It's never over until you cross that finish line. But, yeah, about nine months ago I was heartbroken over not getting the opportunity to race the Boston Marathon. It really hurt quite a bit. I just kept telling myself that there's going to be delayed gratification and a moment down the road that would make up for it. And I've dreamed of a moment like this since I was a little girl. So this means a lot to me, to my family, and hopefully inspires the next generation of American women to just be patient.

It took me seven years to do this. It's a lot of work just went into this one moment. And in those final miles, I absolutely was thinking of the people who have helped me be in this position, New York Road Runners for putting on a fantastic race and making such an incredible day for all of us, and my family and my sponsors. I was thinking of Meb, and I was thinking of how I wanted to make him proud today, and I think I did.

It looks like we have a special delivery for Mary. That's Mary's daughter with her second place medal for today.

We'll now take questions.

Q. Congratulations on your win. This question is for all of the runners today. Was there any time that you felt that the race was a challenge for you? Or did you find any difficulties in running?
SHALANE FLANAGAN: You're asking if there was challenges throughout the race? I find that the challenges a lot of times for us can sometimes not necessarily even be in our legs, it's in the head. It's between the ears. There's a lot of sometimes self doubt that goes on during the race. So I think here and there I'd tell myself I'm doing great, and then I would think, oh, but there's always creeping in doubts of whether I was going to have enough of what it would take to beat the best in the world.

I had no physical limitations today. I felt really good. But sometimes those slower miles mixed in with some fartleking can kind of make you question yourself a little bit. Sometimes we were fartleking quite a bit, it felt like. I didn't get any actual splits, but I could just feel the up tempo. Other than that, it was a pretty flawless race for me.

Q. Shalane, congratulations. So did you know before the race when the last American woman -- how long ago it was for the last American woman to win?
SHALANE FLANAGAN: I knew it was about 40 years.

Q. So tell us a little bit about what that feels like to be the first one in 40 years.
SHALANE FLANAGAN: It's too long. That's what it is. It's way too long. But I knew that it was possible. I believe in amazing things, and I believe amazing things can happen. My coaches told me that it was possible. The training that I put in was the best I've ever had. They made me believe that today it could happen if I just ran a tactically sound race and was patient.

These are the moments that we dream of as athletes, and this is going to feel good for a really long time.

Q. Follow up to just this question, Shalane. You mentioned Meb, how you won it for Meb just now. I've known Meb for a long time. The role that Meb played in terms of running in this country and has also inspired you, made you better, can you talk a little bit about that?
SHALANE FLANAGAN: Yeah, I feel lucky and blessed to have run in what I consider the Meb era. He's been the absolute best role model for all of us in the way he lives and conducts himself. I just love being around the man. He just -- he's always smiling. I always tell him all the time, he has like the best giggle that I've ever heard.

And he was a part of healing Boston after the bombings in 2014, and that's my hometown. So his performance meant the world to me and to the people who helped raise me and the town that I'm from. He's a special person for sure.

So today I just thought just be like Meb as much as you can. He's the person that you would want your kids to emulate, and I want to emulate Meb. So I was just thinking, you know, keep it together those final miles as best I could and think about the people that have set this stage for me and have paved the way, and Meb is one of them. So I was absolutely thinking of him and thinking, I've got to make him proud today.

Q. Mary, I think you are the most anticipated and the most feared in this race. You won the last three marathons, New York Marathons, and you just said that there was something back at home that you heard yesterday. If it is not too personal, can you share us what is that problem that impacted you this much to lose -- that made you lose your title?
THE MODERATOR: He's asking if you had some sort of injury that may have prevented you from performing your best, if it's not too personal.

MARY KEITANY: No, I'm sorry. I did not say injury. I was not injured.

Q. You said there was something back at home.
MARY KEITANY: No, not home. Yesterday. I said yesterday afternoon I had a problem, and that's part of life because I experienced this at 3:00 p.m. yesterday, and I was not able today to deliver what I wanted. So that's why I did the way I do today.

But I'd like to congratulate my fellow athlete Shalane because she got this today. For me, I'm happy that I've won three times consecutively. I'm happy for New York. Thank you.

Q. Allie, can you maybe speak to what a performance like this, a breakout means for you and your running career going forward, especially as an unsponsored athlete?
ALLIE KIEFFER: Yeah, so I got the opportunity to run as part of the Moonshot project that Nike did, which is off of the Breaking2 project. It was like a semi sponsorship. So they helped me a lot in the buildup and really made it possible for me to see a massage therapist, do strength training, and I felt kind of sponsored. So that was really nice.

And I think, when I was out there, I was just -- I mean, leading up to the race, they allowed me to put in so much more training than I would have been able to on my own because I did a lot more workouts than I -- and I recovered a lot better than I could if I don't see those people.

And now having -- when I was out there, I was kind of thinking of all the people who helped me get to the start line. There were a lot of people in Buffalo that ran with me along the way and made the miles a lot easier and more doable. So now on the other side of this, I feel like I get to celebrate with everyone. I'm from New York. I get to -- I ran a lot of the race alone, and I thought that was my absolute worst nightmare, and this city screamed my name for like 12 miles when I was alone. So this breakout for me is like a thank you to Nike and everyone who helps me along the way.

Yeah, hopefully it leads to something else and it's a deal so I can continue living this magical story because the past three months, having the Nike semi sponsorship has been a dream come true.

Q. So Allie, I understand that your other marathon was on a 200-meter indoor track. Is that correct?
ALLIE KIEFFER: Yes. So I ran Miami, and then I ran the indoor marathon last year, yeah, 200-meter track.

Q. Running 26.2 miles on the roads is one thing. Could you just tell us a little bit about running on a 200-meter track.
ALLIE KIEFFER: I actually loved the experience. The people at the Armory Foundation put on an amazing event, and there was music, and they announced everything for 26 miles. So there was a crowd. I mean, you have to love running if you want to do it for 211 laps. But it was a really fun experience, and I like to run. So it was okay.

Q. Shalane, you mentioned before Meb, when he won in Boston the year after the attack of the bombing, he was the first American to win after a long time. So today you are the first American to win since 1977. It kind of sends a message in some way. It was kind of -- I don't want to say improbable, but after so many years, this seems like a great message that you, besides winning, you're sending. I don't know if you can read into this.
THE MODERATOR: He's asking about the comparison of Meb winning in Boston and then --

Q. The fact you won after the attack five days ago, it seems like a comparison with Meb, but then winning after --
SHALANE FLANAGAN: The terrorist attack, yeah, I thought of that as I finished, thinking how important it is -- there's great opportunities when there's political things and athletics cross over. Athletics is a great way to make people feel good and to smile, to kind of forget about some of the negative things in the world. So I absolutely before this race was thinking about how this was a really tough week for New York, and I could relate to it because I was in the Boston bombings of 2013.

It is -- I was thinking of that as I finished, how it was amazing that Meb was able to be that clutch person in 2014 and how now I've been presented the opportunity to be that person for New York this time.

Q. Shalane, congratulations. You've run a lot of great races before. They didn't end exactly like this one did. Could you tell us if you did anything different in preparing for this, particularly if you also had Breaking2 rub-offs that helped, if you wore the shoes, if you tried the new replacement drink, et cetera.
SHALANE FLANAGAN: Yeah, my preparation was different in that I haven't run a marathon in over a year. I had nine months ago about ten weeks break of no running because of an injury, and I think it was a blessing that I had an extended break like that.

I have been so fortunate to not have injuries, so therefore, I was continuously going from one goal to another without much of a break. I'm maybe one of the only marathoners that tries to run Majors and then also goes back to the track and runs World Championships. This was the first year that I didn't make a U.S. Team running at the World Championships this summer, but I've always cycled in major marathons mixed in with track. So I think it probably took its toll on my body.

That being said, my coach Jerry had changed our preparation. Typically, we would go do two altitude stints, which was sandwiched in between a sea level stint, and this time around we did one altitude stint and then came out for four weeks and trained at sea level before I went to race because I was finding that in a lot of my cycles the two altitude stints were making me too fatigued for the race.

So it was a shorter buildup and less actual workouts, but it did allow me at the beginning of the buildup to emphasize a lot more mileage than I've typically been able to do because there were no workouts. So I was able to just throw myself into those big miles.

In general, shorter buildup, only one altitude stint, and actually less workouts, and it allowed me to feel really good. I think mixed, combined with the bigger break than I've typically ever had in my career, allowed me to just have a lot of energy for this buildup.

Q. Shalane, was this your last marathon?
SHALANE FLANAGAN: I think I'll sit with my coach Jerry and Pascal tonight, and I think we'll have some decisions to make.

THE MODERATOR: How long are you going to wear that?



SHALANE FLANAGAN: All day. I already said that earlier. This is the only time it's appropriate to wear this, right?

THE MODERATOR: Thanks to Allie Kieffer, Mary Keitany, and our 2017 TCS New York City Marathon champion, Shalane Flanagan.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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