November 6, 2005
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the 2005 ING New York City Marathon Champion, from Latvia, Jelena Prokopcuka. 2:24:41. Questions?
Q. When you got the stitch, how bad did that hold you back for a while, and were you worried you might be out of the race?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Yes, I felt a little pain, but I hope to recover and it happened. It was 10 kilometers before the finish.
Q. Were you worried it might be serious enough to cost you the --
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: It's serious pain, but it's not to stop me a lot.
Q. Where was the pain?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: The liver. I feel my pain when I am running downhill.
Q. Have you run marathons as large as this before? Were you comfortable running in that large of a group?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: It was my tactic not to give the lead until 25 kilometers.
Q. Did the heat bother you at all? Was it too hot?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: The weather was good. But it could be a little bit colder because I like colder weather. But today wasn't shiny; it's very good for running.
Q. This is the first major marathon that you have won in terms of the top five, do you think this will put you on the map in the world?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Yes, New York is very important, very huge marathon and maybe I want to win Chicago and Boston and London. (Laughing).
THE MODERATOR: Maybe Berlin. You have won in Osaka, as well. So now you have Japan, and now New York.
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: But a very fast race, if I want to set my personal best, maybe I will run Berlin.
Q. I think earlier in the week, talking about the prize money, you were mentioning you might be wanting to build a new house; is that right? Will this go toward that?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Yes, it's my dream to build a family house in my country.
THE MODERATOR: Your winnings will help today.
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Yes, that's true.
Q. You said after you won in Osaka that your goal was to win this marathon. Why was this one in your mind? Why did you set out to win here?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Because before Osaka, I know that I would run in New York after Osaka, and it is my long-time dream to win New York City marathon, and my dream has come true.
Q. Did you see Susan getting sick? Did you see her having trouble when you caught back up to her?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Yes, I saw.
THE MODERATOR: I know the next question.
Q. Did you feel like your chances were pretty good?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Yes, and I got confident..
Q. Did you see the New York City marathon growing up or anything? You said it was your dream. When did you first really know about it or how old were you when that dream started?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: I ran the New York City marathon last year. I was fifth, and I know New York City is a very tough course. I like New York. I was in New York three times. It was my dream. I decided, I don't know, I feel it, that I can do it.
THE MODERATOR: You were second here at the mini, right? The Circle of Friends in the summer?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Yes.
THE MODERATOR: How much different is the feeling when you finish first?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Feeling? I am satisfied. I am really satisfied. It's great, it's brilliant, it's excellent. It's very important and very big success in my running career.
THE MODERATOR: Are you going shopping now? After this you'll go shopping in New York?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Yes. (Smiling).
Q. Do you feel like you're not well known around the world yet, but do you feel like the runners who are running against you know what you can do in these races?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: My dream will be to run with Paula Radcliffe. I want to win against all the runners.
THE MODERATOR: Our congratulations to you on winning the ING New York City Marathon. Come back and see us in New York before you win all of these other marathons.
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Thank you so much.
End of FastScripts...