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October 30, 2009

Ann Glover

Dan Jansen

Pat LaFontain


MARY WITTENBERG: It's been a week of celebrating 40 years of the ING New York City Marathon. And looking forward to a big, big Sunday. Today we begin the press conference with one of our most important relationships, our long-time now partnership with ING. And I'm really so pleased on behalf of all of us at New York Road Runners really pleased and appreciative of the fact that we have agreed with ING this week to extend the relationship through at least 2013. And that would make it ten years that ING has been the title sponsor.
As much as we've talked about our deep history as you think about 40 years, in some ways that's a long period of time, but in others you sort of get a perspective of a decade long title sponsorship within a 40-year race or just over that in a few years, it gives you a perspective of ING's place now, not only in the present, but in the history of this race.
They've been instrumental working with us these last several years. The first year of our partnership was 2003, we've done nothing but elevate the race year after year after year. And we've worked hand in glove together to accomplish all that we have. And as you know, it's never good enough for us. We're always on to better and better next year, and to have a partner that grows with us is ideal.
Also to have a partner that believes in all that we're doing, and in the power of running to do so much good, makes a big difference to us. From the earliest days of negotiation in early 2003 to today, our commitment to youth running has been a shared commitment between New York Road Runners and ING.
So to speak some about that, it's my great pleasure on behalf of all of us at New York Road Runners to introduce ING's chief marketing officer, Ann Glover.
ANN GLOVER: Thank you, Mary. And we are delighted on behalf of ING to come out here today and honor all of the terrific elite runners that are going to be participating in Sunday's events and to thank Dan and Pat for having helped us support kids running leading up to this event.
I'd also like to congratulate Mary and the New York Road Runners on 40 years of outstanding running in New York City. We've been a proud sponsor since 2003. In fact, we were the first title sponsor of the race, which was really, really kind of exciting. And we are just as thrilled as Mary is to be extending this partnership through 2013, and that will be a lucky number for all of us.
Our partnership has flourished for several reasons, and first it's because we're putting on a great race, and we're committed to that. For all the tens of thousands of participants and also for the city, we've got millions of spectators that cheer everybody on race day. Second, the marathon is a great platform for our brand and for ING to connect with our financial services customers.
Then, thirdly, the marathon aligns with our community values, specifically our ING Run For Something Better program, and our commitment to Kids Running.
We also aligned the race with our orange laces fundraising campaign. You can see my bracelet, when you've got them on your shoes and you want another pair. You wear them as jewelry.
Let me tell you a little more about run for something better and the orange laces program. Since this initiative began in 2003, more than 50,000 children around the country have taken part. The kids have run a combined nearly 2 million miles, and nationally ING has committed over 2.5 million dollars to this program.
And here in New York City, in our big apple, the run for something better dollars support a couple of programs. They support the New York Road Runners mighty milers school running program, and we also work with the Road Runners to support the city parks foundation summer track and field program.
As I mentioned, you can get your own laces by going to INGorangelaces.com, and show that you're tied to kids running. I don't know how many we've sold this year and last year at the recall registration booths, but I know it's catching on. It's a movement and it's spreading, so help us spread that.
Speaking of orange laces, it's my pleasure to introduce two athletes who you'll be seeing on Sunday wearing our orange laces. One is Olympic speed skating champion Dan Jansen, and the other is the hockey legend Pat LaFontaine. Dan and Pat thank you for being here today and partnering with us to promote this really great cause. It really, really means a lot to us. You've both been really great role models and you're also great ambassadors for the program.
I've gotten to know these guys believe it or not, via today's technology. They've been tweeting about their training, and they've been on face book. We have an ING run for something better Facebook page, and we have a runners nation page and they're all linked together. And we've been posting pictures of them in their orange laces. It's really fun to meet you in person because it was like, Oh, wow, okay. This is what they're up to today.
So Dan and Pat are going to tell us more about what they've been up to, and I'll turn it over to you. Thank you, everybody.
PAT LaFONTAINE: Thank you so much, Ann, and Mary congratulations on 40 years of the New York City Road Runners and obviously ING. I have a great respect and commend both of them for not only doing such an amazing job here in New York City, but also for realizing the importance of giving back and helping children.
The fact that the ING New York City Marathon impacts so many children locally and around the country, it helps them know the importance of physical activity. It's a much needed program in our country today. There are so many kids out there fighting obesity and fighting the importance in knowing what it's like to get out and do physical activity and what that does for them.
And the fact that ING and New York City Road Runners realizes that, I commend them for their great efforts. I'm so proud to be here to wear this orange jersey today and orange laces on Sunday to help out.
I have great, great respect for runners. I've learned how to basically become a runner in the last I would say six years, seven years. Ice skating and running don't quite go together. Though I know this guy can run a lot faster than I can. I've gained so much respect for marathons. To see what they do. To know how I run, and to know that they're way in front of me in the training and the amount of time they put in, the amount of focus.
I did that in my craft to become a hockey player. But to see them and meet them and see what they can do, I have the ultimate respect. So I'm just proud to be here on behalf of ING to help out the cause. Run for something better, to help out these children, and be a part of this and support this great program and be with Dan, and more importantly to have a chance to be a part of this great race that helps children.
DAN JANSEN: I also want to echo pats thoughts about the program. We truly are running for something better. We were both, I know excited to get involved. We both have children for one, and we all know what the problems. I think, certainly the United States is facing and maybe even worldwide. But with lack of physical fitness these days, something needs to be done. So this program is a great start for that. We were both proud to represent it. As Pat said also gain great respect.
This will be my third marathon, but they never get any easier, I tell you that. I was a sprinter on the ice, and it is -- it's been a challenge. But a lot of fun as well. And it's great to have a goal again and something to train for.
Again, just to ING, our sincere thanks for creating this program and continuing it on. We hope to spread the word, get the kids active, get them starting in fitness now while they're young and make it a lifestyle not just something that they do because they're supposed to. When it's a lifestyle, it's not fitness is not a difficult thing to do. So thank you, and we look forward to Sunday.
RICHARD FINN: Compared to anything else that you've done athletically, and you've done a lot of great things athletically, what do you think it's going to be like out there Sunday in front of millions of spectators and 40,000 people running through the five boroughs? Is it something totally different? Special? What are your thoughts?
DAN JANSEN: It's different. For me, personally, it's just I did New York back in '96. So this is the second time I've done New York, but I know it's grown since then. The fans out watching is really helpful. Because after about 15 to 18 miles when you start to begin to hurt a bit, you feel like you're in a parade coming down First Avenue, and it's very exciting. And then of course, once you enter Central Park, they kind of bring you home.
PAT LaFONTAINE: Yeah, I've only heard amazing things. Everyone says just wait until you do New York. There is no race like it. So I'm thrilled and excited. I've heard the same things, just the support, the fans, the adrenaline that they give you, the excitement around New York.
I've had the pleasure of doing some Ironman events and I've done Half Marathons. I've never done a marathon by itself. So to do New York it will be special. I just live in the area, too, so everyone that I speak to says if you're going to do a marathon, you have to do the New York City Marathon.
RICHARD FINN: Will you wear one part Rangers one part Islanders?
PAT LaFONTAINE: Throw a little Buffalo in there, too. Mary's from Buffalo, so I've got to wear three jerseys.
RICHARD FINN: Questions for Dan or Pat?

Q. Being former elite competitors, is it possible to go into a marathon for you without being competitive? Without setting goals? Or if you set goals what are they?
RICHARD FINN: The other question would be who is going to win between the two of them.
PAT LaFONTAINE: I can tell you who is going to win already. He's going to win. I've actually it's a great question, because we're wired to achieve and to work hard to the point where in some cases you can develop little injuries, and I'm fighting a little tendinitis myself.
But the interesting thing about it is the competitiveness will come out. The adrenaline will kick in. And I know that I'll feel a lot better than I have been. And I think for me having competed at high level, I know Dan winning an Olympic gold medal, it doesn't get any higher than that, to know that you're doing this race and to experience this race and more importantly to know why you're doing this race, that's what motivates me.
To know that it's going to impact kids, that's, to me, the whole philosophy behind it. I don't need to run for myself. It's not my craft, although I have amazing respect for any marathoners who do this for their life. But I'm running it really to help the kids and that's my motivation.
DAN JANSEN: Yeah, that's very true what he said. That's why we're doing it. But having said that, yes, we're still competitive. When I trained I started out thinking I just couldn't do this one. To enjoy the crowds and have fun, it doesn't work.
I started running, and I start look at my mile times. The last one I did was 3:20, so I'm hoping to be in the 3 and a half range, give or take ten minutes.
PAT LaFONTAINE: The only way I'd beat him is if he I threw an elbow on the first turn. I could do that. But I wouldn't do that to him.
RICHARD FINN: We've told both gentlemen is the rules of this is a foot race, so no skates. No skates.

Q. You mentioned a little bit about the injury. I was just wondering how the running is versus the gliding and any other injuries?
PAT LaFONTAINE: Skating would be easier, I have to be honest with you. When you pound the body it's different. I ran this week, and I felt some twingeing, and the recovery is different. Riding a bike is easier, skating is easier. Running is the most difficult.
Even when we do the triathlons, and I do it for my foundation that helps kids also. The race begins at the run. You know, that's where you really have to bear down and know that this is where the race is won or lost. And this is where you have to bear down and fight through a lot of that.
Unfortunately, I don't think this is an injury that you have to fight through. You have to be really smart. So I'll be icing down and doing everything I can. But my goal is just to finish and do it for the kids.
DAN JANSEN: Same deal for me. It's a finish thing, but skating is not nearly -- we've grueled and grueled training for our sport, but in a much different way. And the running takes its toll on your joints especially, that's what I'm noticing. Granted I'm getting old, and that is the bottom line in all of. But the knees, those kinds of things are starting to ache a little more than certainly -- skating is very smooth, so there's not a lot of trouble there.
PAT LaFONTAINE: I think the mindset as we were, you know, thoroughbreds and now we're trotters. It's kind of hard to change the courses, but it's what we do.
RICHARD FINN: We thank Pat and Dan, and we wish them the best of luck not only for their own personal race on Sunday, but for what they're doing for children. It's certainly part of our mission here at New York Road Runners and we applaud both of them and our partner ING.
We're going to take Dan and Pat off, and we're going to move in some other athletes, so if you could just stay put for a minute while we move people around. Thank you.

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