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November 3, 2010

Shalane Flanagan

Katie McGregor

Madai Perez

Mary Wittenberg


RICHARD FINN: Welcome, everybody to ING New York City Marathon week, ladies and gentlemen here at the media center, and to the global audience tuning in and watching us on New York Road Runners race week live. This is the second day of our daily news conferences here during race week. We have a full lineup of athletes. I'd like to turn it over to New York Road Runners president and CEO, Mary Wittenberg.
MARY WITTENBERG: Thank you so much. On behalf of all of us at New York Road Runners and our chairman of the board, George Hirsch who is here with us today, welcome to Wednesday of race week. We're so happy to be here.
While this may be the world's race, and where the world comes to run, we love to have a lot of red, white and blue up front. We love to see a lot of Great North and South Americans in this race, And that's what we have this year. So let's take a look at the video for a little preview of what's to come for our north and South Americans.
[ Video Playing]
MARY WITTENBERG: New York's been the stage for many, many years of phenomenal performances from North and South Americans and this year will be no different. As part of the race this year, we will be hosting the USA American Women's Championships, just like we did with the men last year.
This will be our largest professional women's field ever, with 47 athletes. And exactly as we did with the men last year, we have upped the ante. This woman's field from around the world is simply phenomenal.
Last year, despite what many people would like us to do, which maybe would be to water down the race and let the Americans shine, we have always believed in our American athletes, and we have always believed that their podium finishes here and their wins here should really be hard-earned, because we know they can rise to the challenge to do really well here.
So last year we stacked the field against the American men in many ways and they rose to the challenge - Six American men in the Top 10, 13 American men in the Top 20. And so this year we applied the same philosophy to the women's race. It is one of our best fields ever.
I know these American women and South American women, in Madai, and I know that that higher level of challenge will ensure that they bring their best game to New York. So look for an incredible international field and a really super American field.
So let me introduce our athletes today. On the podium, who is representing the Americans in our field, I'm going to start with Madai Perez. Madai is the national record holder in Mexico. Having run her national record in Chicago years ago. Madai has been on the podium in the Boston Marathon. She's now the mom of two children her daughter is just a year old.
Madai has performed really well here in New York City, third in our New York City Half, and she has the benefit of training with one of the greatest Mexican marathoners of all time and a favorite here in New York, German Silva. So we welcome you back, Madai.
Next up, she's on a tear on the USA running circuit this year. She's the U.S. Champion at 15K, 25K, and most recently 10 mile. Another favorite of ours on the American circuit, she's been knocking on the door of greatness in the marathon for several years, I think this may be your year for a big one, Katie. We welcome back Katie McGregor. It's Katie's third New York.
Next up, we really love and pride ourselves of our great tradition of America's best debuting here at the marathon in New York. We've had our eyes set on this young woman since her high school days and have been watching Shalane Flanagan get better and better and better.
I like to call her a thoroughbred. She was great in high school, she was great in college. She's having a super professional career. Just really so pleased on behalf of our whole team, Shalane, that you're here.
I want you to feel comfortable. You know, all of us in New York, you know New York and New York Road Runners, I should say. And you know you follow in the footsteps of so many of our great Americans who have begun here and begun their marathon careers here. So we're really pleased to welcome you as our 10,000 meter American record holder, our bronze medalist from the Olympic Games and are really excited and wish you well on your very first marathon.
These are our ladies. We'll give you all a chance to ask questions of them. And I on behalf of our team want to say how absolutely thrilled we are to have you guys with us again.
RICHARD FINN: Thanks, Mary. We'll start with a quick question to each of the ladies up here, and then open it up for questions.
We'll start with Madai. You came here, you ran well in New York before, can you give us some thoughts about coming back and your excitement about being here in New York again?
MADAI PEREZ: I'm very happy to be back here in New York. I ran well the last time I was here in New York. I hope to run even better this time. Of Course I am here to do my best possible job and, of course, I also aspire to place among the first three and if possible to win.
RICHARD FINN: Thank you. Katie, as we've mentioned, has had a great year so far on the U.S. road circuit. How has that helped build up New York and your thoughts about coming back to New York?
KATIE McGREGOR: Well, one thing I love is running road races, kind of been my thing over the years. I think that I have had some success here. I've been happy with my races, but I'm hoping that knowing the course and having a good year so far will just carry over and I'll have the race of the year here. That's what I'm hoping.
RICHARD FINN: Shalane, there has obviously been a huge amount of excitement building up to your debut here. A few days away, on the covers of Runner's World and Running Times, it's only a couple days away now. What are your feelings now that it's here?
SHALANE FLANAGAN: Well, I've been dreaming of running a marathon since I was a little girl. So I'm looking forward to fulfilling that dream and that goal and calling myself a marathoner on Sunday.
THE MODERATOR: We're going to open it up for a few questions.

Q. Shalane, can you talk a little bit about your training since the Philadelphia Half Marathon?
SHALANE FLANAGAN: Since Philly we've just put in a lot of hard work, a lot of the specifics that maybe we didn't do prior to the half marathon. Went in with a lot of strength and really just kind of honed our skills over the past six weeks.

Q. Following up on that, but more specifically, the question is the ability to handle the 26.2 mile distance. Can you give us some indication of a couple things that have happened in training on long runs that make you confident that you can, in fact, thrive through 26.2 Miles?
SHALANE FLANAGAN: Well, we'll find out Sunday if I can thrive over 26.2. But in the course of our training, I think I draw the most strength and confidence through the long runs, the long tempo runs. I've done on two occasions an 18 miler on a really hilly course that I think simulates New York really nicely.
Then we did a little less aggressive one about three weeks out, a 16 mile. I'm trying to strive to be a podium runner. My coach and I feel like being in 2:25 shape is a podium type status. So we set ourselves up for those kind of workouts over the 18 miles and the 16 miles.

Q. You're saying the longest run you've done is 18 miles?
SHALANE FLANAGAN: Prior to the Philly half, we did longer ones, not sure exactly how far they were. They were about anywhere between two hours and two and a half hours, so I would say that's over 20 miles.
I don't think I've ran over 22 on any given run. But specifically race pace, we didn't run anything further than 18 miles.

Q. Katie, any particular strategy or anything? How do you see the race unfolding? It's a very strong field, Shalane, Mary Keitany, Derartu Tulu. Is there anybody you'll key off, or is there strategy or just see how the day shakes out?
KATIE McGREGOR: I think the marathon is hard because once you key off on anybody, it's a strong gap. I'm excited for the strong field because I think I'll have more people to run with, and I'm hoping that will help me out a lot. The marathon is hard enough on its own, and you have to stay mentally focussed the whole time.
The last time I was here, I ran a lot of the race on my own, which was fine because I ended up not having the race I wanted. But I'm hoping I'll have some other people pulling me along this time. I feel better prepared to run faster than I have here before, so I think that also puts me closer to a lot of the top runners.

Q. Deena Kastor is expecting a child, we have Shalane and yourself, how exciting or what is your assessment of U.S. Women's long distance running this time and maybe looking ahead to 2012? Is it a really exciting time for us?
KATIE McGREGOR: The last four years have been amazing, and before that women's running had even taken a turn. And I think that over the years, the last few years it's just been booming. Everyone's started moving up to the 10K and the marathon.
I think that it's really exciting. Not just for us as athletes, but just for everybody participating, because everyone from the 1800s, 1500 meters up, everyone sees how much potential the people they race against all the time has.
When you see someone that you compete against all the time step up and run a great race, you know you can do it too. And that's what's given so many of the American women confidence coming into the marathon. Because they realize that if so and so has done it the year before, they realize they can do it, too. And I think that's what's helping us all out a lot.

Q. How would you compare your mental approach between running an Olympic or World Championship track race with the marathon?
SHALANE FLANAGAN: For me, the marathon is all about patience. The track is intense, and I'm pretty aggressive. But the marathon, I know that that can lead to being quite disastrous for me, especially a first timer. So I've really worked on my focus and my ability to stay calm and patient.

Q. As Mary mentioned you're really on a tear this year. Championships left and right. What is different about this year that really you're running for this race and how did you get there?
KATIE McGREGOR: You know, I'm not really sure. I think part of -- part of the thing with the U.S. circuit with distance racing and the road races is you never know who is going to show up for a race.
So I think part of it is my training has been going well and I'm a competitor. I just put myself in there a lot, and I run a lot more than most people because I just like to do it.
I think I've also, you know, just kind of lucked out a little bit in most of the races I've been in. I don't care. I'll take it, one way or another.
RICHARD FINN: I do think they say sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, or both.

Q. Do you plan on Sunday to run off of splits or run with the competition?
SHALANE FLANAGAN: My team and I focused pretty much solely on this marathon just on competing and beating as many people as we can. And we have high goals and high expectations. All of us hope to be podium finishers.

Q. Madai, your coach is German Silva. Obviously, he's one of our great champions here. He's won here. Any kind of advice that he's been able to give you about running here and you've run here before? Anything that German's been able to help you out and give you a little bit more of an advantage?
MADAI PEREZ: I am profoundly thankful to have such a great coach as German Silva. And, of course, German gives me advice for each of the marathons and each of the races that I run. All of that advice is tailored to the race in particular.
But when you run a marathon, it really is a specific moment. And only the day of the marathon and in the marathon itself do you really know how you're going to run it. And once I'm in the race, I will certainly tap into the vital and precious advice that German Silva has provided me with.

End of FastScripts

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