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October 30, 2013

Delilah DiCrescenzo


Q.テつ Delilah, what are your thoughts on entering your first marathon?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ My thoughts?テつ I have a lot of thoughts.テつ Yeah, I mean, I'm excited.テつ I have been wanting to do this for the entire year.テつ So, yeah, our training has really been geared towards it since July 1 after Outdoor Nationals.
I mean, I'm excited.テつ I'm nervous, but I'm really looking forward to it.テつ Obviously, it's a debut.テつ So I don't know, like, really what to expect as much as like the training has been dedicated towards it.
But I do like that New York City is familiar to me.テつ Hopefully, that's going to be an advantage to me because I'm not intimidated by the City, like the crowds and the noise.テつ I experience that on a daily basis.テつ So that's really not going to be like too much out of my element.
So hopefully, that will be a calming and grounding thing for me.テつ Yeah, and then hopefully I just really want a positive experience out of it for my first one.
Like ending in the park at‑‑ I guess we get there at like 22, 23 miles, that's where I do my training every single day.テつ So I still want that like to finish the race and it to be like a positive experience for me.テつ Because, you know, those are the hills I know well.テつ That's a course I know.テつ And so I want to still have some gas left in the tank at that point and like be smiling and happy to be there.
Yeah, those are my stomping grounds.

Q.テつ Being from‑‑ or having spent so much time in New York City, you're so familiar with it.テつ It must be something special debuting here.テつ I mean, say, if you had run a different marathon, this must be very special.
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ Yeah, this is definitely really special.テつ I went to college here, Columbia up the street.テつ Did all my training in Central Park.テつ This is where I really came into my own as a runner in college, and then more recently as a professional, training with Coach Gags and the New Jersey Track Club.
We have a couple of athlete that's live in New York.テつ Mostly, we train in Jersey.テつ This is where I've really come to life as an athlete.テつ It made a ton of sense for me to do my first one here.
The New York/New Jersey Track Club works very closely with the New York Road Runners and their youth program.テつ It made perfect sense to do it here.テつ I'm excited.
We used to‑‑ when I was at Columbia, our track and cross country team used to work the marathon.テつ So we would be at different points.テつ One time I was at the Verrazano Bridge.テつ So my connection to the New York City Marathon being 10, 12 years ago before I even dreamed about running it in the elite field.
Yeah, it's been a long time in the making, but I'm really excited for Sunday.

Q.テつ Going to have a lot of people cheering for you?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ I am.テつ I'm excited.テつ I have friends in Brooklyn.テつ I'm going to be looking forward to hearing them along the way.

Q.テつ Transitioning from the track to road racing, how has that gone for you?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ It's been fine.テつ I mean, I've always had some success in cross‑country; why I think New York City makes sense, as opposed to maybe going for like an easier or flatter marathon debut.テつ Like I actually really appreciate the hills that I'll experience on Sunday in Central Park.
I think like that kind of course for me helps me keep my focus and gives me something to look forward to in the same way that it's been beneficial for me in some of the cross country races that I've done.テつ So I think in that way it's‑‑ the training has been good and kind of‑‑ it's been built towards a course like this.

Q.テつ Did you always envision running the marathon?テつ You've had such‑‑ like I said, such success in cross country track, did you always think that the marathon was kind of something you wanted to do?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ Not really before this year.テつ So it was‑‑ it wasn't an event that you could really push on somebody.テつ My desire to do it really came about like naturally, and it really started from the beginning of this year is when I really kind of got the bug to wanting to do it.
Originally, me and Coach had plans to do the New York City Half Marathon, but with the timing of World Cross Country being a week later, we decided to forego that, but we thought that that would have been a nice way to kind of like stick our toes in the water and see what racing in a high profile meet in New York City was going to feel like and just kind of gear me up for the marathon.
So that was‑‑ so definitely since the beginning of the year is when I made the decision that I wanted to do that and focus on that after cross country was done and after we wrapped up the track season.

Q.テつ You did run one half marathon.

Q.テつ What did you take away from that experience?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ That was a really positive experience.テつ We did that about four or five weeks ago in the Hamptons.テつ That was good.テつ It was very low key.テつ So there was like no stress to that race whatsoever.
I ended up going out the day before just on the bus, and we just started it at‑‑ marathon pace, and then the goal was just to pick it up.テつ So for the first mile, I knew that I was going to be competitive, win it on the women's side, and then I would probably be in the top four or five on the men's side just based on previous results.
So in the first mile or two‑‑ actually, for quite a bit of the race, I was talking to the guy that I was running alongside of, who I felt was going to be running the pace that I wanted to run.テつ So we just kept checking in with each other, and that just felt like very‑‑ you know, not competitive at all, just kind of like working together.テつ And then we were able to just cut it down from the beginning of like marathon pace to‑‑ I think I finished probably running my fastest mile towards the end.
So all in all, it was exactly what I wanted, just in the middle of some heavy training.

Q.テつ It must have given you confidence being able to start at marathon pace and cutting it down as you went.
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ Exactly, and to be talking throughout.テつ It was very‑‑ it was exactly what we wanted out of the half marathon.テつ So we were happy.

Q.テつ Now, you said you worked some of the marathons before at Columbia.テつ Can you talk about those experiences.
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ Yeah, so we used to just hand out water.テつ When we worked on the Verrazano Bridge, we used to collect the clothes that everybody discards.テつ I got to keep some of those clothes because people were getting rid of really nice things.
Yeah, so that was always really neat to be a part of that.テつ It usually happens on our Heps weekend.テつ It's a really exciting weekend because it's our conference meet.テつ And to be able to work that, it's like running in overload but in the best way to be a parts of that.
Especially when you're in college and you're‑‑ you know, you're running at your conference meet, at your national meet, and then to see what some of the best people in the world are doing, it's a really special thing, and it puts it really in perspective, like it helps you kind of establish the goals that one day hopefully you can be running alongside them.テつ So it's really a dream come true that I'm here.

Q.テつ And now you're going to be a part of that.テつ That must be‑‑
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ Yeah, and it's neat because, obviously, a lot of the Columbia kids will also be watching me on Sunday.テつ So I want it to be positive and inspiring, hopefully, performance for them too.テつ They all said they're wishing the best for me, and I'm wishing the best for them on Saturday.

Q.テつ So why a marathon?テつ Why does a person who's a successful runner at other distances say, I have to do this?テつ Is it to prove something to yourself, or is it because you feel that you are a marathoner?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ I feel like I'm at the point in my career where I really genuinely desire to do a marathon, and I also feel like I will regret if I never do one when I'm in shape.
As scary and intimidating as it is, the challenge of it, that's not a reason to not do it.テつ And so wanting to do it, like had to happen early in the year.テつ So it happened in January or February is when we first started discussing it.テつ It's not something that came about in the past eight weeks or something along those lines.テつ It's really something that has been our long‑term goal this year and something that I genuinely want in my heart to do, and I wanted to do well.

Q.テつ How did you start running?テつ Why?テつ How old were you?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ When I was a freshman in high school.テつ I was 14 years old and just started getting into it.テつ I had two older brothers who weren't athletes at all, maybe got into a little bit of trouble, so my dad wanted me to just get involved in some sports.

Q.テつ Why running?テつ You just said, I think I can do this?テつ Did you try other sports?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ Growing up, I did softball and cheerleading.テつ I was not great at either.テつ So I went out for cross country my freshman year.テつ The options in the fall sports for us were volleyball, soccer, and cross country.
My dad played a lot of soccer growing up.テつ He played on leagues.テつ He actually like also coached some of my older cousin ins their league games, and he was like, this is fantastic.テつ You'll play soccer, and I will be your personal coach.テつ I said, no, I'll do something totally different because I do not want you to be my personal coach.テつ So I set off on my own.

Q.テつ Did you have plans for doing cross country?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ No.テつ I just went out for it, yeah.テつ I recruited a friend to do it with me.テつ She lasted a few weeks.テつ It wasn't for her.

Q.テつ Were you good right away, or was it something‑‑
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ I made varsity my freshman year in cross country, and then like the big goal in track my freshman year was to break six minutes in the mile.テつ Couldn't do it, couldn't do it, and by the end of the year, I ran 5:6.テつ By that point, it came pretty quickly.

Q.テつ Have you been doing the bulk of the marathon training yourself or running with some Columbia people?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ It's been a good mix.テつ A good bulk of it has been alone, which is, I think, wise for the marathon.テつ And then a lot of it I've been doing with my boyfriend Will, who's the coach at Columbia.テつ So he'll pace me through some stuff.
I've also been able to jump on with the mid‑D guys who are going for tempos at Columbia's team.テつ So it's been nice to be able to do some stuff.

Q.テつ Perhaps we'll see another 10K, half marathoner coming to New Jersey?
Coach Gags:テつ Will be in the marathon too.

Q.テつ How much of your runs have you done on the course?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ I've done a couple runs where I'm a mile from mile 21.テつ So I'll run to 21 and then come over and do the finish loop, but I've only done that two or three times.テつ And then I did the Poland Spring race on Sunday just as a recovery run and finished along the last three miles of the course and finishing at the finish.

Q.テつ Do you have a time goal for this weekend?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ Yeah.テつ I want to run as many‑‑ I want to run six minute miles 26 times.テつ That's what I want to do.

Q.テつ If anything, what intimidates you about the distance of the race?テつ Is there anything that you say, gosh, this I really don't know about?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ There's a lot I don't know about.テつ Yeah, you practice your fluids, things like that.テつ You don't know how it's going to react.テつ Like I don't like to think‑‑ dwell on a lot of bad things because I can think of a million things that I'm not prepared for.テつ When I run 26 miles on Sunday, it will be the longest thing I've ever done.テつ I haven't been there yet.テつ So I don't know how that's going to react.
I hear there's going to be a piano on my back coming into Central Park.テつ What's worse than that is having Coach Gags on my back if I don't listen to my wrist band?
So we'll see.テつ It's going to be hard.テつ It's going to be really intimidating.

Q.テつ And do you like to talk to veterans about it, or would you rather you just want to see how this goes?テつ You trained for it and now.
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ I have some friends who have done marathons pretty competitively.テつ One girl that I went to college with, Loretta Kilmer, she was 20th at the Olympic trials in the marathon.テつ So I've been bouncing a lot of ideas off of her, just getting her advice.
So, yeah, talking to more people that I trust as friends who can give me solid advice who have been there and run well.

Q.テつ When you get to that 21 mile point, do you just feel like I'm home?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ I hope that's what I feel like, yeah.テつ That's going to be‑‑ yeah, that's going to be the goal.テつ Yeah, because that's‑‑ you know, courses‑‑ I've run that a lot.テつ I know that area.テつ I know Harlem.テつ I know the Upper West Side.テつ Hopefully, that's going to feel very familiar to me.

Q.テつ Have you jumped over your last water barrel?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ Have I?テつ Yeah, I have.

Q.テつ Can you tell me about the song?

Q.テつ You're immortal, and you haven't even run a marathon.
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ The song.テつ Where do I start about the song?テつ Yeah, so hopefully Sunday I make a better name‑‑ I make a separate name for myself being associated with New York City in a good way.

Q.テつ You already have.
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ Thanks.テつ Yeah, so I just met Tom Higgenson, who's the lead singer from the Plain White T's, when I was a freshman in college.テつ I had a friend who was very much into the Chicago downtown music scene.テつ She worked at the House of Blues, and they were playing a lot of those smaller venues at the time.テつ So she was very good friends with him.
And I ended up just hanging out with her one night when I was home in the summer, and I was introduced to him, and we just hung out that night, and we were just really friendly.
So we kept in touch because they were playing some shows in New York City and were very small at that point and said, you know, when we come to New York, we need people, crowds, because they didn't think they could fill the room at that point.テつ I said, oh, I'll definitely come see you.テつ They came to New York.テつ Me and my boyfriend, who I'm still dating now, we came to watch them play, and we just kept in touch that way.
Yeah, so we still‑‑ we text every now and then, whenever like I'm watching jeopardy and my name is a clue, so I get really excited, and I'll text him.テつ Same thing, he'll‑‑ yeah.

Q.テつ How did‑‑ was it a surprise?テつ Did you just happen to hear it one day?テつ You knew that he was writing it?テつ How did that happen?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ He was joking that he was going‑‑ not joking.テつ He was saying that he was going to, and I took it as a joke, and I was like, okay, yeah, sure.テつ And then in 2004, 2005, when I was home for winter break, he came over, to my house, and he's like, let me drop off the new CD for you.テつ I said, great, I'll have a listen to it.
He's like don't listen until I leave, and I was like okay.テつ So, yeah, it was track 13, yeah.

Q.テつ You didn't hear it for the first time on the radio?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ No, I did not.テつ Because it dependent really get air time for a couple of years after.テつ It was also really slow on that.

Q.テつ Will you be counting how many times people say that during the race?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ I'm numb to it.テつ I heard it a lot.テつ No, I'm good.テつ It's been a long time.

Q.テつ Is it good to have a song written about you?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ Yes, it is good.テつ In 2008, when it was very big, it was stressful.テつ It was a little bit of a distraction for my first Olympic trials, but now I just‑‑ now I'm so good with it.
I'm really happy.テつ It's been a lot of positives that have come out of it.テつ It's the reason I have my first sponsorship, and definitely my performances and making it through world teams have come to be the reason that I deserve it hopefully.テつ But, yeah, no doubt about it.テつ It's given me a lot of good attention.

Q.テつ How has your body responded to this increased mileage?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ Overall, it's been really good.テつ I had a very solid buildup.テつ I'm really proud of the buildup I had.テつ It wasn't perfect by any means.
Some good advice I got from David Monty is nobody's buildup is perfect.テつ When they're on the line, 80 or 90 percent is the best you can hope for.テつ I know that.テつ As soon as the adrenaline starts going, hopefully, any aches and pains are going to be the last thing I'm thinking about.

Q. テつNo matter what happens, are you planning to do other marathons?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ Ideally.テつ Hopefully, I'm not scarred by the experience, but, yeah, I'd like to.テつ Definitely.

Q.テつ Delilah, forgive me if this has been asked already, but there was a sense after Boston that mass events were going to change somehow.テつ Nobody really knew how or could predict, for better or for worse.テつ What is your sense of that now six months later?

Q.テつ The spirit, the attitude, the atmosphere.
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ I think, especially after Sandy last year and then Boston in April, it‑‑ and it definitely fortified why I wanted to do it this November.テつ It makes it really special to be a part of it, to be doing something what you love.
You know, Boston was a terrible tragedy.テつ It was very‑‑ you know, for me, it felt like, for all runners, it really hit close to home.テつ You hear about things that happen overseas and things that have a political agenda, terrible things, but at a marathon where everybody is coming together in a positive way to achieve their goals and to run for somebody else, it really hit close to home.
It made me want to be a part‑‑ like to be really proud of being a part of this community and want to take part in this.テつ I know that the New York Road Runners are going to do everything they can to make sure we're well taken care of on Sunday.テつ I have absolutely no trepidations there.
Yeah, I think it just shows our resolve of all coming together.テつ I think more people want to do it for that reason to show that we won't back down.テつ We're not going to be intimidated by some events if a couple of individuals, crazy individuals.
It definitely didn't deter me in any way.テつ If anything, it made me more proud to be part of this community and want to do it.

Q.テつ Is running the marathon just kind of like an athletic bucket list?

Q.テつ Or just an experiment, and maybe this is‑‑
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ It's a little bit of an athletic bucket list.テつ I want to do it‑‑ I'm at the point in my career where I really want to do it, and I want to do it when I'm in really good shape.テつ For me, I knew that a marathon was going to be in my future, but I didn't want to do it half heartedly.
I want to do it when Coach Gags is on my side, and he's training me well, yeah, where I'm putting in good miles and good work.

Q.テつ Why this race this year?テつ Did that just work out on the schedule of training and stuff?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ Yeah, I think it worked out, just the way the calendar is.テつ Last year was the trials.テつ Cross country was earlier this year.テつ That was the big goal in the first half of the year for me was to make the world cross country team.テつ There is no world cross country team next year.テつ There's a cross country Nationals, but they won't be sending a team.テつ So I won't have to be ready in February to go anywhere.テつ There's also no national meet next year in track and field.
So I think it just made a lot of sense that this was kind of the year to experiment with some different training and to experiment, I guess, with a different distance.

Q.テつ Is do you think it will help you in the shorter races?テつ Have you noticed that?テつ The strength that you've gained.テつ A lot of people say the best way to get in shape for a short race is to train for a marathon but then don't run it.
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ Right.テつ Maybe.テつ Obviously, Coach Gags's bread and better is track and field.テつ A lot of this longer training I'm doing, hopefully, it will make me strong for track, but I have no idea which races I'll be doing in the first half of next year.

Q.テつ You said no more Steeple?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ I know that much.

Q.テつ Why so emphatic about that?
COACH GAGS:テつ It's called the water jump.
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ Yeah, two words.テつ No, I love the Steeple.テつ It's where I became really competitive on the national scene, but it was just‑‑ it was hard on the body.

Q.テつ Do you think it's‑‑ it seems like some the best‑‑ we've had some really great women's Steeplechasers, Jenny Simpson and Anna Willard, and they all bailed from that event.テつ Do you think it's tougher on women than on the men?テつ Physically.テつ Because guys‑‑ you have guys like Jagger and that, and they pretty much their whole career‑‑ some of them are specialists in the Steeplechase.

Q.テつ Well, he's pretty new to the event too.
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ But I look back at‑‑ like Dan Lincoln, who got a really career‑ending injury from that.テつ I don't know him personally, but didn't he rip up his Achilles?テつ I don't think it's easier on one sex than the other.テつ I think it takes a certain build of an athlete, a certain‑‑ you know, like a physique is better.テつ Like a gentleman that just joined the New York, New Jersey Track Club, Donn Cabral, I think he's built great for it.テつ I think Ashley Higgins has a great body to be a Steepler too.テつ They're just great, durable, strong athletes, not just guys versus girls and a certain mentality as well.
Definitely got to be a little crazy.テつ A little nuts.

Q.テつ What did you do for the buildup to this?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ A handful.テつ I did Falmouth.テつ New Haven, Hamptons.テつ Did I do anything else?テつ I don't think so.

Q.テつ What did those‑‑ what did you learn from those?
DELILAH DICRESCENZO:テつ I mean, those all came without backing off.テつ Those were all just really good, like better than I could have done in a workout myself.テつ So that was why it was nice to get in there and just get the competitive juices flowing.テつ Yeah, so they've all been positive.

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