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November 5, 2006

Jelena Prokopcuka


THE MODERATOR: You will end the year in the first place on the world marathon leaderboard with your second place at Boston and your first place here. Last year, you ran a very different race than this. You came from behind last year. This year, you made a move early, and then you were absorbed by the pack of women, and then you made another move. Can you talk about how you ran this year's race, and whether last year's race was in your mind?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: My thought was to run together and keep in the pack. The second part, I was going to run the best I can, but today, when I started and ran 5k, I was completely disoriented because I couldn't understand what happened because I couldn't run with the pace maker and the other women were behind me. It was a big surprise for me.
And I didn't decide to stop my pace. I was running as hard as I could and when Tatiana caught me, I decided to run with them.

Q. After you made your second move, were you surprised that the other contenders did not chase you down? On the second move, clearly they should chase you.
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Yes, it was a full half a marathon, and I was surprised because the pace wasn't very fast, and I was happy. (Laughing).
THE MODERATOR: Happy they didn't come.

Q. You said that you did not run with the pace maker; you did not want to or you felt she was going too fast for you?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Yes, today that pace was a little bit fast for me.

Q. You said that last year's race changed your life; what do you think that this one will do for you with this victory today?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: I don't know, yet. I will know about it a little bit later. (Smiling).
THE MODERATOR: Too early to tell.

Q. I guess compared to last year, you ended up winning by a minute, with the margin of victory, you were able to enjoy the last couple of miles.
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Yes, I am planning to have a rest for one month.

Q. But during the race itself, you seem to be able to be able to enjoy it while the race was in progress; true?

Q. From a mile or so out, you knew you were going to win, and so did you enjoy the last few minutes, as compared to a race that comes all the way down to the wire?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Of course, I enjoyed it a lot.

Q. What was going through your mind when you crossed the finish line?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: I was very, very happy. It was a sweet victory.

Q. When you made your break and got ahead, were you confident that you could attack all the way to the finish line, or were there any problems coming home?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: I was confident I was going to win.

Q. People talk about what a great summer running you had doing shorter races, were you more fit this year and more prepared for this year's race than even last year's?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: I've done a lot of hard workouts. I had two training camps in altitude in St. Morris, and I increased my speed because I set four national records for 10 mile and 10k, and my preparation this year was better than last year.

Q. I'd like to know how you felt when Tatiana joined you and exchanging the lead for some time.
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Before when I was alone, I was disoriented and then when Tatiana caught me, I got confident, because I didn't expect that action.

Q. Did she help you? Did it help you to have someone there with you?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Yes, it helped.

Q. Many runners are just marathon. You've done a good job combining track and marathon; is that good for you?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Yes, I think it's very difficult, the marathon, because the short distance is a good speed for marathon.

Q. You have the lead now in the world marathon majors. Are you making plans for next spring yet?
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: I will think about it later.
Now, I want to rest, to have a rest. (Smiling).
THE MODERATOR: Jelena, you're familiar with the proceedings that the RoadRunners have for you, so I know you have a busy day. Thank you for coming in today and congratulations.
JELENA PROKOPCUKA: Thank you very much.

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