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November 5, 2006

Stephen Kiogara

Paul Tergat


THE MODERATOR: Our second and third place finishers on the men's side, Stephen Kiogara and Paul Tergat, world record holder, defending champion. Came down to an incredible finish. You guys could see what was going on ahead of you with the Brazilian Gomes dos Santos. Did you think you could catch him together? Can you talk about that.
STEPHEN KIOGARA: Yeah, we think we are going to catch him. We were up to push a lot.
THE MODERATOR: Paul, in Central Park, you were getting closer and closer, and the lead was shrinking. Last year's race came down to the very end. Did you think it was going to come down to the very end this year?
PAUL TERGAT: Thank you very much. I think personally I wouldn't say that Gomes, I think -- I didn't know myself, because I thought it was somebody else, and it was not going to be.
But by the time we were coming to 38, 39 kilometers, I realize this is a potential winner, now to we have to try any way we can to close the gap, but it was too late. It was too late. And when he decided to break, I think for some reason, everybody didn't want to move, so I had to wait and see who was going to move. The guy, he was motivated already. The crowd was getting bigger, bigger. But to try to close the last, it was too late.

Q. Did you make a mistake by not going with him? Did you not think he could win? Did you know who he was, a real contender or threat or someone you could beat in the end?
PAUL TERGAT: I didn't know exactly who he was, I'll be honest. He had already run a 2.08 in Chicago. So honestly, I didn't know that really he was a great threat, a great potential.
I believe it applies to most of the top athletes who were together.

Q. If that had been, say, Ramaala who had made that move in that spot, would you have gone with him?
PAUL TERGAT: Definitely that was what was happening. I don't think Ramaala had a chance like last year, I thought he would break long and he had to move. I think you saw it, it was -- he acted very fast. Certainly I think what happened is that Gomes, it was his day today. He ran incredible race, and I'm happy for him. I'm honestly very happy for him.

Q. To either runner, considering the conditions were so good today, are you surprised that the times were not faster?
STEPHEN KIOGARA: Me, it was my first time to run here, so I was being careful to how I can land. So I was just hanging, and here, you can land no time.
THE MODERATOR: Paul, same question.
PAUL TERGAT: What happened is that with the kind of company that we are today, it was, when we came through halfway, then the race became very open to everybody. That is why I think you see it was a group of top athletes together until very late in the race. So basically, I think the race, it was not a very fast race in the initial stages, and then it became more of a -- it became open, and that's why we had to run about 2:09 high, 10.

Q. Culpepper said that because of the crowd and the water stops, he kept missing; did you miss your bottle?
PAUL TERGAT: Honestly I missed the first stages of the race, and then it became very difficult. So every time you want to go, you have a feeling that probably somebody might step on you and that probably you will fall down. The truth is, it was a big bunch. Ramaala, too, at one point he had to miss his water. So he had to go back and collect from the ground and fall with the group lead again.

Q. Even though Kenyans finished 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7, this is the first time in many years an African had not won a race. Does that mean Africa is down or the rest of the world is getting better?
PAUL TERGAT: Yes, I think the rest of the world is not sitting down and sleeping. I think each and every athlete is working very hard to make sure you win one of these big races internationally. But for today, Gomes had the field today so, it was a great day for him for sure.

Q. You mentioned at 38 and 39 you thought it might be time to catch him, what was the thinking around 35 kilometers, were you still racing within the pack and thinking he would come back or was there still some concern and going to get him?
PAUL TERGAT: My side, honestly I thought somebody was going to push a little and probably to narrow the gap. But for some reason, I think there was a big blanket and people were sleeping and nobody wanted to react at all.
STEPHEN KIOGARA: Me, I was not aware, because I was not knowing that guy was just (in the lead).

Q. With Joseph, was he setting too slow a pace? You talk about how steady he usually is, did you need him to go faster on a day like today?
PAUL TERGAT: I was expecting it be around 64, 65, and the race became very open completely. Everybody could have been a potential winner today.
I want to say that everyone, including the winner of today, anyone who has run anything under 2:10, was a potential winner of this race, and the truth, it happened today. That's exactly what happened today?

Q. Was Joseph doing his usual job, usual good job as pace maker?
PAUL TERGAT: Yeah, you see the most important thing, Joseph and the other pace maker were doing, he was asked to come from the group in order to push him a little, because he didn't know whether they were pushing too hard or pushing too slow.
I think that again, the one thing I want to say, that the race was a great race, a great race. The weather was incredible today, it was nice. And like last year, we had a good competition.

Q. How were the effects of the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, and regrouping for the ING New York City Marathon?
STEPHEN KIOGARA: That depends on somebody who are running, even us, we don't know the problem, but it depends on the individual.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you to our second and third place winners.

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