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October 27, 2009

Marilson Gomes dos Santos

Mary Wittenberg


RICHARD FINN: I'd like to welcome Mary Wittenberg, President and C.E.O. of New York Road Runners.
MARY WITTENBERG: Thank you so much, Richard. Welcome to the 2009 ING New York City Marathon. This year we will celebrate 40 years of growth, innovation, and personal triumph. It's incredible to think that what began with barely a whimper 40 years ago when 55 men finished the race on September 13th, 1970, is today one of the world's greatest sports and entertainment spectacles. And this year after our finishers cross the line, we will have had over 800,000 runners cross our famed Central Park finish line.
This year for the first time ever we will welcome over 40,000 runners to our start line from around the world, from 118 countries, all 50 states in the United States, and, of course, all five boroughs of New York City.
We expect to achieve our highest economic impact ever, with $250 million. We'll have our most robust media package in years with NBC adding an extra hour of time from 2:00 to 4:00 on national television here in the United States, and WNBC on from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Universal Sports will stream nationally and internationally from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and as well, we'll be covered around the world into some 125 territories.
Among our runners we expect over 6700 runners to run for charity and to surpass our record of charity dollars raised. We hope to hit over $20 million raised, including, I have high hopes, that we'll actually hit $4 million for our Team for Kids. Our fundraising program that fuels on our youth running programs that we conduct throughout New York City and well beyond.
We'll have two and a half million spectators. Quite a contrast to the handful that were out there on that first marathon day in 1970.
We'll have a hundred, over 100, bands keeping the runners and spectators entertained throughout. We'll have celebrities across a variety of industries, and we will have the greatest athletes in the world here.
In the wheelchair race, we welcome our strongest field ever. 16 of the top men in the world, top 10 women in the world. We'll have all three from the men's, women's podium last year. We'll have the winners in both the men's and women's side of the Berlin Marathon, the London, Chicago, Boston, and Noida. And we'll welcome back our defending champions, Kurt Fearnley, and Edith Hunkeler.
In the woman's race, Paula Radcliffe will try to be the first woman since Grete Waitz to win four ING New York City Marathons.
And on the men's side, I believe that we will be hosting our strongest field ever, and I think the strongest field we've seen run in 2009. When the field has names like Lel, Kwambai, Makau, and goes on and on for a long list of world marathon major champions.
To just give you a few numbers: 11 current and former world marathon major champions in the two fields; 14 men under 2:10, seven men under 2:08. And it's also going to include this year a special treat for us, the very best American men as we host the USA amen's national championships. Ryan Hall, Meb Keflezighi, Abdi Abdirahman, Jorge Torres debuting, and the list goes on.
But that list, as impressive as it is, and it goes on, wouldn't be what it is without having our defending champion back. A man that knows how to run in New York. At age 32, Marilson Gomes dos Santos is our defending champion. He became the first South American to win this race in 2006.
In 2006 the field underestimated Marilson and he surprised us all with his win. Last year, everybody was prepared for him, but there is nothing Goumri could do in mile 26 as he watched helplessly as Marilson marched by and on to the victory again last year.
Takes a special athlete to win in New York City. It takes an extraordinary athlete to win here twice. And this year Marilson, who seems to know how to get it done here, will seek to join lofty company of Bill Rodgers and Alberto Salazar, our only two men to have won three New Yorks.
We welcome Marilson back, we also welcome Marilson's wife Juliana, an accomplished 1500 meter runner herself. And we welcome Coach Dominguez, and we very much look forward to hosting Marilson again on marathon day.
We'd like to ask you to turn to the video for a few clips of Marilson.
[Video playing]
RICHARD FINN: We're going to ask Marilson to make a couple of opening comments about returning to New York, then we'll open it up for questions. Marilson?
MARILSON GOMES dos SANTOS: I'm very prepared, physically and mentally for this event. The champions, the media for now is much more. My priority now is the marathon.
RICHARD FINN: Can you talk about is there anything special about New York?
MARILSON GOMES dos SANTOS: Well, I think it's very special because it's very different than my country. It's bigger than anything. It's more beautiful every time.
RICHARD FINN: Questions for Marilson.

Q. Can you talk about how you felt about your World Half Marathon performance? And what that told him about what he needed to do for this race?
MARILSON GOMES dos SANTOS: I don't change much about everything I've been doing to the past marathons, basically my training and nutrition and everything else.
RICHARD FINN: Did the Half Marathon performance, did it give him confidence coming in?
MARILSON GOMES dos SANTOS: Every marathon and every tournament I go to gives me much more confidence and opens my mind, and makes me be more prepared for the next one.

Q. I'm wondering about last year's race. A lot of us watching figured well, Goumri's won this thing and he had a pretty sizeable lead. I'm just wondering how Marilson felt? Could he see that Goumri was in fact running out of gas in front of him? Or did he think that maybe the race was lost?
MARILSON GOMES dos SANTOS: I feel very good because the second -- because the first I feel like a little bit more -- to the first part I'm not there, but in the second part is when I really feel like my body pushing and I feel much better to the second part. And I feel the second parts much more faster than the first one.

Q. But did he at any time think that Goumri's lead was too big to catch?
MARILSON GOMES dos SANTOS: No, I'm very confident.

Q. When Marilson looks at the athletes he has to beat this year to win for the third time, what does he think? Mary described the field as the strongest ever. Does he feel that if he can win this year it would be his best win in New York?
MARILSON GOMES dos SANTOS: Well, for the event, I have to their level, we never know. But I'll be very prepared for a win.

Q. What does he think about the quality of the field? When he looks at the names of the option, what goes through your mind?
MARILSON GOMES dos SANTOS: It's a very strong group. I think it's going to be like a big, big, big race. I think anything can happen.

Q. Is it the strongest field he's ever run against?
MARILSON GOMES dos SANTOS: I think every single one is the same feeling. It's not a difference if you're in New York or if you're in another country or another state. Every single event is the same feeling, the same rush.

Q. He's in such a unique position having already won it twice. I wanted to know if he won twice and went home, what was his recognition in South America? And what parties and what happened to him when he was so honored to win twice? I mean, that's really fantastic. What happened?
MARILSON GOMES dos SANTOS: It's not only in my country, but everywhere in south America. And I see myself equal and a not an athlete. It's because of the two, you know, championships that I won, the two marathons that I've run, so...

Q. I wonder if you've thought about whether you might still be running the marathon for the 2016 Olympics when they're in Rio?
MARILSON GOMES dos SANTOS: I'm going to try very hard. There's going to be a big, big party for me. It's the first Olympics and running in Brazil is -- can't be bigger than that for me.

Q. Have you seen any evidence that because of your victories and because you've won and gained some fame, has it had much of an effect on young people in Brazil? Is there more interest in running now?
MARILSON GOMES dos SANTOS: Yes, of course. Of course I see this every day, and everywhere I go. The new athletes always mirror themselves after me right now.

Q. Who are the other athletes in the elite field that you regard as your main challengers? Maybe just two or three athletes that you think are your main challengers?
MARILSON GOMES dos SANTOS: I think it's very difficult that I mention any names because it really is not just two. It's a large, you know, very strong athletes. And he I don't want to mention any names because I don't want to be unfair.

Q. In this book here you've been named the marathoner of the decade for the New York City Marathon. What do you feel about that honor?
RICHARD FINN: Marilson is one of the eight athletes that have been named one of the Marathoners of the Decade as part of on our 40th Running celebration. Marilson is for the decade of 2000.
MARILSON GOMES dos SANTOS: Well, I'm always dreaming highly about this. Now I see myself in a really conquering what I really work so hard and dreaming of.
RICHARD FINN: We'll have Marilson here with several other athletes, Bill Rodgers, Grete Waitz, Tegla Loroupe and German Silva tomorrow to be formally presented with their Marathoner of the Decade honor.

Q. Do you prefer to train alone on or in a group and why?
RICHARD FINN: The question is whether Marilson trains or prefers to train alone, or do you train with a group, other athletes?
MARILSON GOMES dos SANTOS: The big part of my life I train by myself. But when you're in a group, I feel more easy, and I feel -- well, I think, again, I love to be in a group, but I feel more benefits for me if I train alone.
RICHARD FINN: Coach, is there anything you'd like to add to that?
COACH DOMINGUEZ: It's different who I train with, too. In Brazil, there are very few athletes that I can train with. So it depends for me who I train with.

Q. For our Brazilian audience in Brazil, where do you train following you up on the coach's question? Where do you train when you're training in Brazil? What is your favorite place to train and practice in Brazil?
MARILSON GOMES dos SANTOS: Campo of Jourdan. It's a city one hour and a half from Sao Paolo. It is 700 meters, and that's my favorite place to train. Campo de Jourdan.

Q. Where is that in Brazil?
MARILSON GOMES dos SANTOS: It's an hour and a half from Sao Paolo.
COACH DOMINGUEZ: And the climate is very, you know in favor of my training. It's a mountain climate.
RICHARD FINN: How much time did he spend there before coming to New York?
COACH DOMINGUEZ: After Berlin, I went back to Campo de Jourdan for training. And I only left after the Half Marathon, and get back to competition.
RICHARD FINN: So he went there after Berlin. And the only time he left after Berlin was to run the Half Marathon in Birmingham. Thank you.
Thank you for joining us. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

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