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November 3, 2019

Joyciline Jepkosgei

Mary Keitany

Ruti Aga

New York, New York

THE MODERATOR: We're going to bring out our top three women finishers in the 49th running of the TCS New York City Marathon. In third place, with a time of 2:25:51, from Ethiopia, Ruti Aga.

In second place, a four-time champion here with a time of 2:23:32, from Kenya, Mary Keitany.

And our winner today, in her debut Marathon with a time of 2:22:38, narrowly missing the event record, Joyciline Jepkosgei.

Joyciline, I'll start with you. Your first marathon, but you looked like a pro. When did you know that the victory was yours? When were you sure you won?

JOYCILINE JEPKOSGEI: I didn't know I won it. My focus was to finish the race. My strategy which I had planned was to finish the race strong. But in some kilometers, last kilometers, I see that I'm approaching the finish line, and I was capable to win, and I am happy.

THE MODERATOR: Can you talk a little bit about running side by side and competing with your fellow country woman, Mary Keitany, and how -- what's that like to be with someone who's had so much success over the years?

JOYCILINE JEPKOSGEI: For sure, I didn't know I can win because of my friend Mary. She has run, and she has more experience in marathons, and probably she has won a few years here in New York. So I was very happy to run with her and to compete with major marathoners here.

THE MODERATOR: Mary, even when you don't win here, you finish second. So your bad days are pretty good days. Can you talk about how you have learned this course over the years and how you've been so good at it so consistently?

MARY KEITANY: First of all, I want to say that I'm happy this morning for actually running this race today. I know I tried my level best since the race was tough. I'm happy that I finish second. I can say that I know the course of New York, and I'm saying always a race is a race, so anything can happen. So I'm happy about my results of today.

THE MODERATOR: Ruti, a hard fought third place. You had to run by yourself for three to four miles. Can you talk about those final miles of the race and what was going through your head?

GIRMA BEKELE GEBRE: I had won at the World Championships Marathon, and it was very hot there. It was a hard race. So I didn't have a lot of time to train after it. So I used up all of my strength there, and I was struggling a little bit here, but I did my best.

Q. Question for Joyciline. When you made your -- you were supposed to make your debut last year in Honolulu, and then you were supposed to make your debut in London, but you didn't end up starting either of those races. Why didn't you make your debut there? Why did you wait until now?
JOYCILINE JEPKOSGEI: I prefer New York. For my trainers and management, they prefer me to come to New York again because I run here in half marathon match, and even me, I was very proud to come again to try full marathon debut here. We are familiar with the race organizers, and they invited me, and I was very happy to come here again in New York.

Q. Question for Joyciline. Was there any nervousness in terms of moving up to the marathon distance for the first time as opposed to the half marathon? What was your pacing strategy?
JOYCILINE JEPKOSGEI: No, I was not nervous. Throughout this race, I didn't have any pressure at all. I was running my own race, but at long last, I become a winner. So I didn't actually know that I can win, but I was trying my best to do it and to make it and to finish strong.

Q. Congratulations to all the winners. This question is for Mary. You won four times. You've been a champion. Did you find any difficulties in today's race that you didn't find last year and the years before?
MARY KEITANY: As I said earlier, you have to be ready, but sometimes a race is a race. Anything can happen. So I said that I'm happy with my results of today because I tried my best, and the results that came up is okay for me. I don't have any question to ask or to think of why I not win, but also I celebrate my colleague, and we are happy that we take the winning back home.

THE MODERATOR: Ruti Aga, Mary Keitany, and Joyciline Jepkosgei are your top three women at the TCS New York City Marathon.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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