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ING NEW YORK CITY MARATHON


October 31, 2012


Janet Cherobon-Bawcom

Brett Gotcher

Amy Hastings

Meb Keflezighi

Molly Pritz

Kim Smith

Mary Wittenberg


NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ I just want to say firstly my heart goes out to New York and vicinity who's been hit pretty hard with hurricane Sandy.テつ I've been glued to the TV on CNBC and CNN with my wife.テつ To hear everybody's comments is one thing but to see it on TV is another.テつ I hope everybody as much as possible is okay and moving on with life.テつ Mary as you said has got her hands full as always, but I don't expect any less, New York will come through, and I'm just happy that the marathon is still going and hopefully it can be something positive coming to the city.
As far as my training, it's good to be home.テつ I've been in Mammoth Lakes for about four weeks now, have not traveled.テつ Training is coming along really well, I feel I'm getting fit and strong and trying to give it another run for the title.
I feel very excited as always when you come to New York to compete, have a stacked field both nationally and internationally, and hopefully we can be the sunshine of what's going on with the storm.

Q.テつ You are scheduled to come in as you were always scheduled to come in on Thursday, I believe?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ Yes, I'm scheduled to come in tomorrow flying from Mammoth to LA and then catching a red eye in time to come for the press conference.テつ That was the original plan.テつ I just wanted to stay home and come at the last minute, and the New York Roadrunners have been gracious enough to allow me to do that, not to come early, but with the hurricane going on, I haven't changed any plans.テつ Hopefully my flight will depart from Mammoth tomorrow and I'll get in Friday morning taking the red eye.
JANET CHEROBON‑BAWCOM:テつ My heart goes to the people who have been affected, the people of New York and the whole city, and I have not watched a lot of TV but I've followed it online.テつ It's crazy to think about it, to be in that position.テつ I know the people there are best equipped to come through for sure.
Concerning my training, it's been going great.テつ I've been in Flagstaff for the last‑‑ almost a month, came back from Georgia‑‑ I came from Kenya via Georgia.テつ Training has been going okay.テつ I didn't expect any of the things that have happened in my life to have happened, and it's one more blessing ahead of me that we can all come to New York and just make a light out of that.テつ The race will be a blessing to most of the people there and just a happy day for them.
My travel plans will be we're leaving tomorrow and heading to Philly.テつ I was supposed to come in on Tuesday but I had to cancel and rebook and cancel and rebook and hopefully tomorrow it's going to work out to fly to Philly and then drive to the hotel.
Other than that, I'm looking forward to it, whatever the city and people are excited about the race, we'll be ready to do whatever needs to be done.
BRETT GOTCHER:テつ First off, I'd just like to echo the sentiments of Janet and Meb to all the people that have been affected by this crazy storm out there.テつ I've been getting some accounts from my sister who lives there in the city, and she said it's just like a different world over there now.
I hope everyone is starting to pick up the pieces and everyone is doing great.テつ Like they said, I hope to be able to be a part of something positive on Sunday.
But in terms of my training, it's been going pretty well.テつ It's a little different this time around because I've never done marathon training at sea level, so this time for the past four weeks I've been in California doing my training.テつ So it's a lot of unknowns for me, just not having any markers to go off of from previous workouts.テつ They've all been at altitude.
It's been kind of interesting, but I'd like to think that I'm in pretty good shape, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see when Sunday rolls around.

Q.テつ Brett, you're supposed to fly in tomorrow?
BRETT GOTCHER:テつ I was originally supposed to fly in on Tuesday, but that got canceled, so the earliest flight I could get was Friday morning.テつ So I get in in the afternoon to New York.
AMY HASTINGS:テつ Guess it's the same thing where it's just I really think that this is going to be a great event.テつ The storm was an incredible force of nature, and if any city can pick up from it and keep going, it's New York.テつ That's why this race is still going to go on, and it's going to be absolutely wonderful.

Q.テつ I'd just like to ask each of you, and I appreciate the thoughts that you've had about the storm and carrying on, I had just like to ask each of you if you think that the race should be run?テつ In other words, obviously it's a great uplifting thing and it kind of proves, look, we can carry on.テつ On the other hand, there's some really, really serious problems, police have other things to do, so on and so forth.テつ Do each of you think it should be run now or somehow delayed or canceled?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ You know, there's a lot of definite concerns, and only the people that are there can make that judgment according to what's been‑‑ you hear something and you live it is different.テつ As far as they're going to make the best judgment, if it's going to be something detrimental to health or more danger or not go on, I think they will make that decision.テつ But I really believe it should be run because I think it will be something positive.テつ The city has a lot of flood, and to see people run through it is the complete opposite, and then especially it's going to be live on ESPN2, I think it just will be something really positive.テつ If they need to delay for a reason, then I guess they have to take that prerogative, but there are people that will make that decision, not us.テつ We hope it will be something positive coming in and trying to support and maximizing our potential to the fullest because it will be motivation to say look what happened and we'll put on the race and we'll give them a good show.テつ But if it's something that should not be done then there are people and officials that will make that call.
MOLLY PRITZ:テつ I completely agree with Meb.テつ So long as the conditions are safe, it seems like sporting events and group activities that bring the city together or the world together, so I think the New York City Marathon shows off the spirit of the city like no other.テつ I think after tragedy the best thing we can do is come together and celebrate and try to work together to try to create a positive experience through all the aftermath.テつ As long as it goes I think positive energy in the city is nothing but helpful.

Q.テつ Meb, I read somewhere recently that you thought you could run 2:07 or 2:08 in New York which would obviously be a PR for you.テつ Do you feel like this is the best fitness you've ever had, or what makes you think that you can run so fast in New York?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ I mean, when Mutai ran last year, he shattered the record, but Coach Larsen and I always felt that we ran the course record, which was 2:04:43, which I believe I could have done in the past.テつ I believe probably 2005, 2004 was the best shape I've ever been.テつ As far as can I do it again to run 2:08, 2:07 last year I definitely felt I could have done it had I not had to stop twice.テつ I stopped twice and was about a minute off.テつ Unfortunately that's part of racing, but I hope I am in good shape right now, and as long as it's consistent pace like it was last year versus crazy moves on 1st Avenue, I think where I think that's why Mutai ran because it was consistent 4:40s to 4:50s so he showed that course can be fast if you run intelligently and conservatively.
But I still believe I can run 2:07, 2:08 if it's going to be a New York course, that can be seen.テつ But I feel confident about the last two marathons that I had with the trials with the foot infection and the fact of what I did at the Olympic Games.テつ That doesn't always guarantee results, but I hope to produce that on Sunday.

Q.テつ Janet, you were one of the near misses at the Olympic Trials in the marathon.テつ You went on to make the team in the 10,000 obviously.テつ But do you think‑‑ I know that was supposedly your first real serious effort, you had had a couple before that when you were a lesser runner.テつ Do you have reason to believe there could be substantial improvement from January until now as far as your performance is concerned?
JANET CHEROBON‑BAWCOM:テつ Yeah, definitely.テつ You know, when I ran in January it was my first serious marathon.テつ There were a lot of unknowns, and I learned a lot from just running the Olympic Trials in the marathon.テつ I think I'm going to apply‑‑ I feel like I'm stronger, just getting into the‑‑ just getting a little speed really helped.テつ I think I'm in the best shape, the best marathon shape I've ever been.テつ We'll just see what happens on Sunday.

Q.テつ Have you been in Flagstaff‑‑ how long have you been in Flagstaff?
JANET CHEROBON‑BAWCOM:テつ I've been in Flagstaff for the last four weeks, but before that I was in Kenya pretty much the same altitude.

Q.テつ Janet, I have a question about the time you spent in Kenya.テつ We followed you as you were tweeting and spending time with your mother.テつ Can you talk a little bit about that training and trip to Kenya?
JANET CHEROBON‑BAWCOM:テつ Yeah, you know, actually the Olympics, it was great.テつ I've never really had a long season like this, so it was a really good downtime.テつ At the same time I had really fun places to run and had a lot of people to run with, so it didn't feel like (inaudible).テつ It was a really great time to have both sides of my family there, so we spent about a month, and it was just awesome.テつ You know, it was really special just to celebrate the Olympics and try to refocus on New York.テつ It was really good.テつ It rained every single day, I think, but I had a really good group of people.
It was hard to chat when I was running.テつ Running on the muddy ground was a challenge.テつ But I went to the 10,000 meter event and I had really good results.

Q.テつ It sounded like when you were in Kenya you resumed having to have some of your old chores back around the farm.
JANET CHEROBON‑BAWCOM:テつ Yeah, I did.テつ It's fun.テつ I have a big family, and the best way to spend time with them is just to do the chores together.テつ We would go to the river to get water like every single day with a group of them and just eat like we were growing up when I was in my 16s.テつ So it was fun.テつ I really enjoyed it, and I think it was part of the strength training anyway.

Q.テつ I'd like to ask those of you who are in New York now how the cleanup from the storm or the conditions or trees down or anything, where are you running, how has it affected your training, what adjustments have you had to make, and where are you running, mostly in the park or where?
RICHARD FINN:テつ Let me just clarify one thing.テつ Amy and Kim drove down from Providence and only got in late last night, so I'm not even sure whether they've gotten out today yesterday.テつ Molly has been here for a day or two, so I'll let Molly make that‑‑ I think she's been seeing some of the stairwells.
MOLLY PRITZ:テつ Yeah, I got in really late Sunday night and I ran outside for my Monday morning run, and the storm really hadn't hit yet so it was a little windy but nothing crazy.

Q.テつ Where did you run on Monday?
MOLLY PRITZ:テつ Well, all the parks were closed and I was afraid of getting lost so I ran the outskirts of Central Park and made loops.テつ There was a lot of people out there so you could tell there was a lot of people training for the marathon.テつ But ever since then I've been inside on the treadmill for my other workouts because it's less about the wind and rain and more about trees falling down on people.テつ It's just hazardous.テつ I figured it would be better to be safe inside.

Q.テつ The treadmill, that right at your hotel, and how much mileage are you putting in on the treadmill?
MOLLY PRITZ:テつ Well, the first day I was here the Hilton's fitness center was closed because of safety with their windows.テつ I called about 15 different gyms.テつ Luckily the Sheraton let me use their fitness center.

Q.テつ When you went out Monday the thing was still about to happen and it was windy and so forth.テつ Everything pretty normal on Monday, just a nice windy day, you got your miles in around the park?
MOLLY PRITZ:テつ Yeah, I certainly got my miles in and it didn't slow me down too much.テつ Although the city was starting to shut down just for safety concerns and the park was closed, the city was still quite alive with people running and out living their lives.
RICHARD FINN:テつ Just a follow‑up from Roadrunners.テつ The Hilton gym is on the 5th floor, the Sheraton I believe is on the lobby or ground floor, so both hotels are a part of our official hotels and they're right across the street as you probably know here.
The park as far as we know, still Central Park or all the New York City parks are still closed to public use, and our athlete office headed by Sam Grotewold and David Monti will certainly work with all the athletes as they arrive to help make any arrangements possible to make sure that they continue with their training as best as possible over the next few days.

Q.テつ So just one other thing to clarify:テつ Molly said she was calling around to all these gyms.テつ Is that because that one hotel was closed because of the windows and you didn't know where to go?
MOLLY PRITZ:テつ Yeah, because the Hilton was closed Monday and they said they'd be closed indefinitely because they didn't know what the storm's effect would be, so I wanted to have a backup plan in place.

Q.テつ Meb, you ran a pretty great marathon at the Olympics.テつ Can you tell us a little bit more about how you've been coming down from that and then regrouping for this marathon, what you've been doing and training and staying, etcetera?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ The Olympics was a great effort for me, I was healthy but not 100 percent fit because of the setback that I had in April and then right after San Diego Rock‑N‑Roll.テつ But at the Olympics I thought I'd go for a bronze because of my fitness.テつ I wasn't too confident going in but I thought people go crazy and try to run.テつ It turned out to be that way but not because I started having problems with my feet and then I had a side ache, like I wrote on my blog, cramps basically about mile seven all the way to 21, and my foot was getting really beat up from the cobblestones and the pebble rocks, and I'm actually still dealing with it, believe it or not.テつ I took two and a half weeks off.テつ I was able to see a doctor here which cut a little bit of the‑‑ I thought it was a blister but it was more like a wound, really all the layers of my skin, people refer to it as a third degree burn because of the impact that I had for a long time.テつ I wasn't able to walk Wednesday after the race.
Yes, I put everything on the line.テつ I did think about dropping out about 13 or 15 miles into it, and then I thought, you know what, I know I've already got a silver medal, I already have New York lined up, just stop, and then I thought about something positive, two things.テつ This is representing our country.テつ When I made the Houston trials, I said to the guys and myself, hey, this is the best team we are sending, how we can represent the best we can, and although dropping out was an option it was an option I wasn't going to take and it wasn't my best.テつ And also my girls were the daughters of an Olympian and a medalist, and they're going to be asked how did he do.テつ DNF or did not finish did not sound very good, so I carried on to the finish.
I was 19th place or so and I didn't know how many people was going to pass me.テつ But after that I just said a race within a race, rather than compete against those people that are in the second pack, I finally made it to the second pack, I was in the third pack before that, just run the race and compete.テつ It kind of went back a little bit to the memory of New York Half this year, the first group just took off and the second group was kind of a battle within a race, and I got the tail end of that, but this time around I got the front part of it, and I basically said, hey, mile by mile and just made new goals and keep pushing forward, and I saw Coach Larson's hand, he pointed out six fingers, and I didn't know if it was for the Japanese runner, and I start to do an analysis, he's in fourth place or he's in fifth place and I'm in sixth, not that I'm accusing anybody, but if anything happens to those top three guys, I have no idea who they were or who won or what pace they were going, I want to be the guy in fourth place and represent our country the best that I can and maybe be on the podium some day if something ever happens.
But I put it all on the line.テつ I spent in London three days and then another five days in Italy, but I wasn't able to do any sightseeing because I couldn't walk.
So it was a great effort for me and pushed my body to the limit, but the consequences are still with me to this day and this week.テつ Late last week or this week is the only time I have run without supports on my foot, but I feel it's healed, and how much damage I'm going to do to it on Sunday is another thing that is still on my mind because I'm doing four marathons in one year, and with the incident last year, it's the same foot that got re irritated, and every time I reinjure it it's pushing the envelope.テつ I took two and a half weeks off, not by choice but because I was forced to, and my training has been good, and I have covered at least three times the distance, 26.2 miles, and the tempo has been good.
I feel confident going into New York whereas I wasn't like that going to Houston and the Olympic Games.

Q.テつ Brett, your marathon experience has been mostly on flat Houston courses.テつ Are you doing anything different for New York?テつ Are you familiar with the New York course?テつ And what are your thoughts?
BRETT GOTCHER:テつ I'm somewhat familiar with the New York course.テつ I was fortunate enough to get to ride on the lead car in 2009 when Meb won, and so I got a pretty good taste in my mouth of what New York is like.
But I haven't really changed my training a whole lot to fit what New York might offer.テつ I know that those bridges can be pretty brutal.テつ So I haven't been shying away from hilly runs like I would, I guess, but for me I'm just trying to get myself into the fastest shape possible, and I think that's going to put me in a position to run well on any course.
That's kind of been the focus, and hopefully I won't get out there on Sunday and think that I should have done more hills.

Q.テつ Brett, hopefully there aren't any Detroit Tigers fans within earshot, but congratulations on the World Series.
BRETT GOTCHER:テつ Thank you.

Q.テつ Did you have fun at that game you went to?
BRETT GOTCHER:テつ Oh, yeah, it was amazing.テつ It was a really cool experience, a good way to kind of take a break from the training and all that stuff and just kind of get up there and have a fun night.テつ I really enjoyed it.テつ Pretty special to see that happen right before the race.テつ It gives me a good feeling about the race.

Q.テつ I'd like to ask the people that are in New York if you guys could just briefly say what kind of fitness you think you're in and then maybe talk about what your goal is for Sunday, and specifically for Kim, wondering if you've been focused on this race or are you more focused on the half marathon, and Kim, since you've won major marathons before is the goal to try to win on Sunday?
KIM SMITH:テつ Yeah, I'm feeling pretty good going into this race.テつ This was definitely the focus.テつ The BAA was $100,000, that half marathon was just part of the buildup really.テつ It just worked out well that I could win $100,000 doing that pretty easily.
No, this is the focus, and after the Olympics I definitely thought I would struggle maybe a little bit with the‑‑ with coming back and recovering, but I actually feel pretty good, and I think I'm carrying a lot of the fitness I had for the Olympics into this marathon, particularly being a short buildup, but I'm actually feeling really good and training has been going really well.テつ It definitely helped having Amy there to motivate me to get out the door every day.テつ I think it's been a really good buildup even though it's only been two months or so.
MOLLY PRITZ:テつ After struggling last winter and spring with injuries and illness, I was excited to finally start to get fit this spring, and I certainly feel like I'm in much better shape exciting.テつ Workouts have been going faster and I haven't had any interruptions in training for months now, so it's nice to show up to the marathon fit and excited to go.テつ Certainly looking for a PR of 2:30.テつ I've been training for around 2:27, so hopefully start at the line and you never know with the marathon, but I'm willing to put it out there and try.
RICHARD FINN:テつ We now have New York Roadrunner president and CEO Mary Wittenberg here.テつ She'll make an opening comment and then we'll open it up for questions from people here in the room and any of those on the phone.
MARY WITTENBERG:テつ Thanks, Richard.テつ I want to thank Janet and Meb and Brett and Kim and Molly and Amy for being here and on the phone with us.テつ It means a lot to all of us at New York Roadrunners and to our fellow New Yorkers.
I want to begin by saying on behalf of our whole team at New York Roadrunners, we are absolutely heartsick for the many New Yorkers and people well beyond who have been negatively impacted and hurt by Hurricane Sandy.
I've always said that the marathon is something much more than a race.テつ Once again, it never seems more true than this year, as was the case after 9/11.テつ Our whole focus now is on delivering an event that can aid in New York's recovery.
To us the marathon really epitomizes the spirit of New York City, the vitality, the tenacity, the determination of New Yorkers, and now our every effort is to once again tell the world that New York Roadrunners‑‑ I mean New York City, as the mayor would say, is open for business, and we welcome the support of the world at this trying time.
All efforts of our team are focused on marathon Sunday, by far the most meaningful and significant part of marathon weekend and marathon week.テつ We are adjusting plans to take into account the impact of Hurricane Sandy.テつ We are in assessment mode.テつ As I said yesterday, we remain in assessment mode with the city.テつ We will await official decision from the city, as Mayor Bloomberg said last night, the hope is the marathon goes on.テつ We will await confirmation that that will be the case as we work‑‑ as we continue at New York Roadrunners all of our preparations for Sunday.
We began moving to the Javitz Center last night, we will open Javitz Center tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.テつ Our athletes, obviously Amy, Molly and Kim are here.テつ Our other athletes are booked on flights, and many are en route.
We have received an extraordinary amount of interest, words of support from runners, New Yorkers and others who want to volunteer and who want to join in relief efforts benefiting all the city, so we are launching a relief effort in conjunction with our charity flat form partner Crowdrise, so Crowdrise.com will help us support everybody that wants to help, and we will be directing relief efforts towards the Red Cross and a number of other charities that are in the throes of supporting the city and rebounding recovery.
I'm happy to take questions at this time.

Q.テつ Are there any specific course issues that have arisen, either start, finish or on the course that were affected by the hurricane?
MARY WITTENBERG:テつ We remain very much in assessment mode.テつ As you know, or some of you know, emergency management and continuity of operations, our constant team of preparation for this marathon and for our major events, so we continue throughout this assessment period to see if we need contingency plans, where we might need contingency plans, and I can certainly say New York Roadrunners' efforts are well underway in several areas to maybe modify as may be needed.テつ But there is at this time no announcement of any of those modifications.
The only reason I'm talking right now is because you're gathered and we wanted to at least tell you and update you what we could share at this time.

Q.テつ It sounds like you're stopping just short of saying this is absolutely going to happen.テつ Sounds like there's still a chance that you could get word that, no, we're not going to be able to pull this off, and do you have any idea when that final word will come?
MARY WITTENBERG:テつ Definitely the mayor's statement last night is the one that we should all continue to see as the best summary of where we are, which is we hope the marathon goes forward, and we're awaiting confirmation.テつ I don't have time for that confirmation, and certainly when and if we receive it, we will be sharing that‑‑ either we or the mayor will be sharing that with you and with the public.

Q.テつ As far as the Javitz Center, what's the Javitz Center power situation at this point?
MARY WITTENBERG:テつ Javitz Center is fully powered.テつ I was there last night with our team, and everything was ready to go.テつ We had had, as some of you knew, we had accelerated some of the operations at the end of last week so that we had everything at the expo that we needed to begin buildout, so at 8:00 p.m. last night they were ready to go for a 36‑hour straight shift, and we looked very much on track, as I said, for tomorrow morning at 10:00 with everything that we need in order to get started.
I will certainly state, if we get that confirmation that the marathon is on for Sunday, there will be significant modifications that we will be sharing with runners in terms of what we've had impact on deliveries well beyond some of the things that might be more obvious, so we will be sharing details like that.テつ Many exhibitors are in.テつ We will begin at least with New York Roadrunner bib pickup and our Asics partners will be fully in.テつ Exhibitors are coming here, they're here, and largely on track with the expo.
We are expanding hours.テつ I don't know if we've officially published them finally, but we're hear from many international runners that they are coming, they want to be here.テつ Some flights have been‑‑ obviously flights have been delayed, but some groups are coming in Saturday.テつ So we will extend hours well into Saturday evening to ensure people can pick up their bibs.

Q.テつ You made several comments about how the efforts were being concentrated on Sunday.テつ I've seen a tweet that the Dash to the Finish Line 5K is not going to happen.テつ Can you confirm that?
MARY WITTENBERG:テつ Absolutely no changes at this time, but again, focused on Marathon Sunday and we'll keep you updated as soon as we have anything to share.

Q.テつ What is the status as far as getting runners to the start because of the situation with the ferries and the tunnel?
MARY WITTENBERG:テつ Certainly among the elements of the‑‑ among the aspects of the assessment is certainly transportation.テつ We are well into contingency planning, and we will determine if that is or is not necessary, and again, we'll share an update as soon as we have one.

Q.テつ How optimistic or pessimistic are you right now, and how has that changed from yesterday, two days ago and the situation today?
MARY WITTENBERG:テつ What is the constant here is that the marathon has huge positive impact for the city and is greatly valued by New Yorkers and by the city.テつ The economic impact has been estimated to be $350 million.テつ We've just gone through a period of time where businesses have been closed.テつ It's a real advantage to have international people here, have people from around the nation here and able to support our businesses.テつ Obviously, as well, we know the positive impact of this event is quite significant when it comes to charity, so we still would be very hopeful of raising over a million dollars a mile for charity.テつ The great majority of that stays in New York City.
So all that positive impact on top of sending the message to the world of the resiliency of New York City, those are the reasons this event is so important to New York City.テつ Because of that we've always known that‑‑ if it is possible to run the marathon, the marathon will run.テつ If it's not, it won't.テつ But I remain as confident as ever that the mayor will make the right decision for the city at this time, and that decision is solely in his hands.

Q.テつ Is there some sort of drop‑dead deadline here?テつ At some point don't you have to announce it's either on or off, and is there a deadline?テつ And also, are there certain triggers?テつ It seems to me that transportation is an enormous, enormous problem not only for getting runners around before and after but getting family and friends and spectators and so forth.テつ So I'm wondering if there's any sort of trigger that the mayor would say we just can't do this.
MARY WITTENBERG:テつ That's a question for the mayor.テつ From New York Roadrunners' perspective we remain very confident and have now looked extensively at contingency planning and most importantly basics of the marathon can be delivered, and we are certainly working hard and ensuring that every‑‑ to the great extent resources are private resources, so from a New York Roadrunner perspective, we should keep focused on every element of preparation because we can deliver this marathon for the city.
In terms of time frame, I respect the spirit of our runners and what we are seeing is exactly what we are seeing here with Amy, Kim and Molly.テつ Runners are going to get here from outside the city if they can, and again, especially with the international airports open, where international runners are getting on planes.
There are timelines, but we still have time on our side.
Also I think it's really important to note that we are two days away from Hurricane Sandy hitting.テつ Yesterday was not the day to be focused on the marathon.テつ Yesterday was the day to be focused on restoration, recovery, and as I said, assessment.テつ So we are not worried about the time frame.テつ We are very confident where we are right now and in the ability to plan for an event on Sunday.

Q.テつ I don't mean to be skeptical, that's my job, but at some point you need to know whether all the police will be available, yes?テつ Things like that?
MARY WITTENBERG:テつ Yes, I'm confident we will know that.テつ I'm confident we'll know that in enough time.テつ Again, I don't think anyone should ever underestimate the level of resource, the level of expertise, the level of capacity that this city has from the people of the city to those who work in the city.

Q.テつ I don't mean this to sound too mean spirited or anything, but there are people suffering.テつ Do you worry at all that even with this great message that the marathon can and has sent over the years, do you worry at all that it could send the other kind of message, that for goodness sake, there's people out there running in their underwear when there's people flooded out and don't have homes?
MARY WITTENBERG:テつ I think there's two elements of that.テつ There's a New York Roadrunner element and there's a city element.テつ It is for Mayor Bloomberg to speak to, but you know this event will not go if it were in any way to inhibit the restoration and recovery efforts.
The event will only go on if it, in fact, is deemed to further the city's recovery efforts.テつ From a New York Roadrunner perspective, that is the vein in which we work and which we are supporting these efforts.テつ We too would not‑‑ that is the vein, and that's every focus.
Already what we're hearing from people is we went through the 9/11 marathon, and there was never a more moving marathon, and what that marathon did was it unified this city and brought people back to the streets for the first time in six weeks, and what was most striking about that marathon to me was, once again, it was not about running and it wasn't about the runners.テつ It was about the city, and on that day, instead of the fans being there for the runners, the runners were there for the city, and this marathon already has that same feeling. テつWe just received yet another email, what can we wear, what can we do to show New Yorkers our support of them.テつ So that's the vein.テつ That's the idea, and the only reason to put this marathon on now is to support this city, help us move forward and be a springboard back to the vibrant New York City we all know and love.

Q.テつ Generally how many workers does the marathon require to go out there?
MARY WITTENBERG:テつ Again, I leave those questions to the city, but certainly what we're used to, we can work with the numbers in our media guide, they change a little bit every year, but I'll say this about the marathon:テつ It's a real experienced team that works with the marathon, so it's a highly efficient, effective team, and I'd leave city numbers to the city to answer those questions.

Q.テつ If there's still only limited subway service on Sunday morning, do you believe that the marathon can still work with limited subway service?
MARY WITTENBERG:テつ Yes.

Q.テつ How many cancellations have you had so far because of the storm or even in terms of people saying they're not sure if they can make it?
MARY WITTENBERG:テつ It's interesting, not so many.テつ We have not seen a spike in cancellations.テつ We have received emails, again, in two directions:テつ One, people really sorry they can't make it.テつ I do think it might be harder for some national people, but again, they've got time.テつ But we'll see.テつ Nothing significant.
For New Yorkers, again, if we're in position to move forward, people will have to really plan and figure out how to get here.
Again, I wouldn't underestimate the creativity of people who want to run this event and their ability to get here.
Also, this is no longer just any old marathon.テつ I do not expect 47,000 people to stand on that starting line, and they certainly won't be getting there like they had planned.テつ So this is now, again, a marathon that's about supporting the city and it's about putting together the most important parts of it.テつ It will not be the year for everybody to run the marathon that had planned to run, and we'll be really sorry to miss those who can't be here.テつ But there will be plenty to make it‑‑ in terms of sending this message of support for the recovery of New York.

Q.テつ Have you heard any concerns from runners about the refund policy?
MARY WITTENBERG:テつ Where we are first with social media is we get all kinds of perspectives very quickly.テつ We have generally seen people be very supportive.テつ If somebody can't be here, most people have reached out to say I really want to be there, I especially want to be here for this year, for whatever reason I can't be there, and so they are most concerned can they come next year.テつ As you know, 140,000 people apply to this race, it's very, very difficult to get into, so of course our immediate answer is we will save your spot for next year.テつ We don't have a refund policy right now, similar to Boston when they had a nor'easter and they had a heat wave and issues with people travelling because of the volcano a few years ago in Scandinavia.テつ People understand, too, as an organization, a not‑for‑profit organization, we needed a plan, and the policy stands right now you'll get an entry next year, and there's not a refund.テつ We deal always on a case by case basis with extreme situations and hardship situations, but the general policy is what it is.

Q.テつ (Inaudible)?
MARY WITTENBERG:テつ Not quite.テつ So far, so good.テつ So we'll see.テつ Again, I have seen extreme cooperation from our athletes and real desire to be here.テつ I think Molly probably is Exhibit A.テつ And the same from our international runners.テつ Our athletes flying out of Kenya and Ethiopia, most have gotten to London, certainly David and Sam will put our pro athlete fields, can provide the added details, but an advantage we have here is obviously a major‑‑ even though compromised at this moment ‑‑ still a major transportation hub here and many can come through London which has major flights.テつ Same thing with international travel partners.テつ Those are big groups.テつ Our pro athletes, at the end of the day we're talking about a handful of athletes compared to the totality of this field, so we're worried about one seat, two seats, three seats.テつ Our travel partners are worried about hundreds of seats, and so far most are all rebooked, and leading all the way up to coming in Saturday afternoon.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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