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October 30, 2013

Ryan Chalmers

Josh George


JOSH GEORGE:テつ It's my favorite race of the year.テつ The course is one of the most challenging courses we have on the schedule, but it's one of the most rewarding courses.テつ On top of that, I have family.テつ I have family that live here.テつ I have family from D.C. that come up to watch.テつ So it's just a big, fun weekend of getting to see old friends, getting to see family, and getting to do the best course of the year.

Q.テつ And then how long have you been training for this year's race?
JOSH GEORGE:テつ Our training is pretty much nonstop.テつ We train all year round.テつ This is‑‑ this is my third marathon of the fall season.テつ Three weeks ago, I did the Chicago Marathon.テつ And the week before that, I did the Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis.テつ So I've been training through all of that.

Q.テつ So what are you expecting out of the races?テつ Do you have any main goals, anything specific you want to achieve?
JOSH GEORGE:テつ This year I'm coming in with my sights set a little high.テつ I'm shooting for top three this year is my goal.テつ So we'll see how that goes.テつ My best finish ever is fifth, but that was a while ago.テつ That was‑‑ I don't know, 2007, 2008.テつ So top three hopefully.

Q.テつ How do you feel when you're racing?
JOSH GEORGE:テつ At what part of the course?テつ At this race at the beginning, I'm hating life because you're sprinting up the Verrazano Bridge.
Then is settles down in some places.テつ Actually, different parts of the marathon can be quite enjoyable.テつ If you're going through a cool neighborhood, if you're settled in with a pack of guys, it can be enjoyable at times.
But then, especially on this course, the end of the race just kills you.テつ You're climbing up 5th Avenue, and you turn into the park, and all those rolling hills at the end.テつ You're just not really thinking about anything except for each push takes me one push closer to the finish line.テつ That's one push I'll never have to do anything.

Q.テつ Josh, you mentioned, you said you want to shoot for the top three.テつ You want to shoot high.テつ Is there anything particular this year that you feel you're in better shape, you're more confident, you improved on something?
JOSH GEORGE:テつ All of those things.テつ I actually‑‑ I changed up my pushing style a little bit in the spring, and over the summer, it really started to pay dividends for me.テつ I won the 800 meters at World Championships this summer in France.テつ I finished‑‑ I was fifth place in the marathon in the World Championships as well, in a sprint finish with second, third, fourth and myself.
And then at the Boston Marathon a few weeks ago, I was in a sprint finish for third, I was in the lead pack sprinting for the end.テつ So I felt stronger than I ever have in my career, and I've already been pushing well against the top marathoners in the world all summer and all fall so far.
I feel like with a course like this with the climbs, climbs in it, it's a good course for me.テつ So I'm top three, I think, is‑‑ I have the best shot of the top three this year than I've ever had in my career.

Q.テつ For both of you guys, you don't mind if I ask some questions?テつ I find it fascinating that you're able to compete so many times, almost back to back.テつ Boston, London, Chicago.テつ Obviously, runners can't do that kind of thing.テつ Could you just talk a little bit about that.テつ Is it‑‑ as far as physically, obviously, you did 71 days and things like that.
JOSH GEORGE:テつ That's a little extreme.

Q.テつ That was a great statement that you said that you think the marathon is going to be a little short for you this year.テつ Could you explain‑‑ is it harder physically or mentally for that, to be able to keep going so many times?テつ Both of you gentlemen.
RYAN CHALMERS:テつ For me, during the Push, obviously, it was mental. テつMost of the entire thing.テつ I mean, I went through pain throughout it, but it was mostly mental.テつ You know, you go through‑‑ I mean‑‑ I called you Roger.テつ Josh has done, like you said, this is his third marathon.テつ It's less impact for us.テつ Runners choose to do a certain amount a year, less impact on‑‑ for knees.テつ That's why runners, from what I've heard, can only do a certain amount per year, whereas for us it's less impact in that way.
But, yeah, for me it's mental.テつ This year it's going to be mental as well.テつ I'm not in the best shape that I've ever been in in my life, to put it lightly, but I'm still excited for the race, and I'm looking forward to it.テつ But this year is definitely going to be more mental than physical for me.

Q.テつ Josh, this will be, what, your second marathon in three weeks or four weeks?テつ You did Chicago?
JOSH GEORGE:テつ This is my 10th or 11th of the year.テつ It's a busy year for me.テつ To carry on what Ryan was saying, physically, it doesn't affect us as much because it's a more fluid motion, a lot more similar to like a cross country skiing type thing than running because it's less pounding on your joints.
But mentally, it's been a long year.テつ I think one of the keys for me this year has been breaking down the year into sections and taking like little mini off‑seasons.テつ So I had my spring marathon season, where I did five or six marathons in a two or three‑month period of time, and then I took a few days off, and that was like a mini off‑season and then come back.テつ When I came back after that, the focus is more on track racing for World Championships.
And then after World Championships, again, I actually had a forced vacation.テつ I was in Brazil doing some presentations, and it was not a very good location to train.テつ So I couldn't have trained if I had a choice, and that forced me to take a week off then, which, again, was sort of like a mini off‑season.テつ So then when I came back after that, I was refreshed.
So you have to find little ways to refresh yourself mentally at different parts of the year to be able to do so many races.

Q.テつ What made Brazil not so good to train?
JOSH GEORGE:テつ I was in a city called Belo Horizonte.テつ Brazil is‑‑ driving in Brazil is dangerous, let alone being on the roads to train.テつ I made the decision to not bring my racing chair with me because I knew that, if I did train, it wasn't going to be safe, and if I had my chair there, I'd want to train.
So I just didn't even give myself the option.

Q.テつ You guys work and train and race with Tatyana.

Q.テつ Could you talk a little about‑‑ just about her and what she has‑‑ what she has done so far, her accomplishments. As when you're training with her, is she‑‑ what makes her so good right now?テつ If you mind talking just for a minute.
RYAN CHALMERS:テつ I mean, Tat's just a special athlete.テつ It's the love of the sport.テつ Every time she trains with us, she tries to beat the men.テつ We have the best in the country when it comes to that.テつ I mean, Josh George is there, Ernst is there, Adam Bleakney.テつ We have the best in the country.
She tries to compete with the men each and every time, and it's special.テつ She wants‑‑ she goes into each race wanting to win, and she goes into training each time trying to get better.テつ It's just‑‑ she's just a special athlete.
JOSH GEORGE:テつ Yeah, and it's really‑‑ like she loves racing so much.テつ I think that's really what does it.
She's actually living with me at the moment.テつ She's moved in temporarily.テつ So I get to see her every day, and she's‑‑ most of her day is spent stressing out over graduating from school, and so I think the times that she gets to train and the times that she gets to race are times where she actually gets to relax and just be who she is and do something that she has fun with.
You know, you can tell the joy when she gets to just race and not have to worry about all this other stuff that she's doing right now.
And in terms of her accomplishments, it's pretty amazing.テつ There have been racers before that have won three majors in a year.テつ Kurt's done it, and Ernst has done it, on the men's side.
But that has never‑‑ I don't think there's ever been a wheelchair racer to win four.
RYAN CHALMERS:テつ Not in one year.
JOSH GEORGE:テつ On the men's side or the women's side.テつ So if she ends up pulling this race off, that will be incredible to win Boston, London, Chicago, and New York in the same calendar year.

Q.テつ What makes her so special?テつ Is there something she does out on that race course?テつ Is she stronger, fitter?テつ Is she‑‑ you know, does she have more of a fit?
JOSH GEORGE:テつ I think one of the things that helps Tatyana is coming from a sprinting background.テつ She was a sprinter first.
So like Amanda behind us is, again, one of the best wheelchair marathoners ever, female wheelchair marathoners ever, and between the two of them, they have very similar strengths, where if you look at their strengths, Amanda's endurance is a little bit better, but Tatyana's top speed is a little bit better.
So depending how the race goes, Tatyana, she can kick that pace up to such a break neck speed, and depending on how the race goes, that's a huge advantage for her.

Q.テつ So I know you guys ‑‑ you're friendly with both of them, and it is on the record, but who do you think is going to win?
RYAN CHALMERS:テつ Oh, geez.

Q.テつ No, you don't have to answer that.
RYAN CHALMERS:テつ We have to see these girls every day.
JOSH GEORGE:テつ Tie.テつ Absolutely.

Q.テつ Can I ask Ryan some questions?テつ So what are some of the reasons that you chose to participate in the race?テつ They're kind of the same.
RYAN CHALMERS:テつ For me, this is a very different year for me than ever before with the Push Across America being under my belt.テつ So this year is just a special year for me.
One, I'm from New York.テつ I'm from Upstate New York.テつ I know you guys separate those two, Upstate and New York City, so it's always special for me to just do a marathon in New York.テつ But now also, New York is where I finished the Push, and it was just such a significant part of who I am and what type of athlete I want to become going forward.
So this year is‑‑ I'm excited for it because it's going to be‑‑ it's going to bring back a lot of memories, pushing‑‑ I pushed through the Verrazano Bridge when I was doing the Push Across America campaign, and that was an incredible turning point for the campaign because we originally thought we weren't going to be able to go across the bridge.テつ I thought I was going to have to get on a police escorted car and go drive across the bridge and get out of the car and then push again.
For me mentally, it was a point where, oh, I've pushed this far, and I have to drive a couple of miles.テつ So I felt I was cheated.テつ But luckily, we were able to go across the bridge, and so that was something significant for me, and I'm excited to have that moment again while I'm starting right by the Verrazano Bridge.
Even though it's the most difficult start of a race you'll see, I'm excited about that.テつ It will be fun.

Q.テつ So how long have you been training for?テつ This particular race.
RYAN CHALMERS:テつ This race would be‑‑ this would not be my best race ever.テつ This will be a struggling race, like I was saying, it's going to be mental for me, this race, because I've actually been going, ever since I got back from the push, medically, I haven't been right.テつ So I haven't actually been in my racing chair for the past three weeks.
So ever since I got back from the Push, I haven't had a great training session.テつ So I don't know how this will go.テつ I won't be training until I get‑‑ I won't be in my chair for almost a month before I get in my chair on Sunday.

Q.テつ What do you do to train?テつ What are some of the exercises?
RYAN CHALMERS:テつ It changes based on the race we're doing.テつ I actually had to scratch out of the Chicago Marathon.テつ I was planning on doing it, but I had to scratch out of it for medical reasons, but you train differently for the Chicago Marathon than you did for the New York City Marathon because Chicago is very flat.
For here, we have to train more of a hill climbing regimen.テつ So it definitely changes based on the race, but our coach, Adam Bleakney, does a great job with figuring it out and knowing the race that we're going into and then changing our schedule for that.テつ It changes week to week.テつ It's very difficult to say a training schedule that we do, but it is just depending on if it's a flat race, if it's a hilly race, if you're sprinting or not.テつ It's very different.

Q.テつ So how do you feel when you're racing?
RYAN CHALMERS:テつ You know, I'm kind of just in my element there.テつ I love racing.テつ I've been racing since I was 8 years old, so I just feel like I'm in my element there and kind of just‑‑ I don't let it stress me out.テつ I just push to get out there for the love of the sport.

Q.テつ Did your parents introduce you to it, or how did you become involved?
RYAN CHALMERS:テつ When I was 8 years old, I got lucky.テつ I was in the hospital after surgery, and a woman named Jo Ann Armstrong, who is a Paralympics herself, she was coaching a team from where I'm from in upstate New York, and she came in.テつ She worked at the hospital and came in and introduced my parents to wheelchair basketball and wheelchair track and all sorts of different sports.テつ Wheelchair track is just one of the sports that I fell in love with.
So I just got very lucky that I had a woman who was willing to coach a team and introduce the sport to kids all over the state of New York.

Q.テつ Are you expecting anything special out of the race, any like main goals or issues like‑‑

Q.テつ Not really?
RYAN CHALMERS:テつ I'm looking forward to the race itself.テつ That will be fun.テつ It's a great atmosphere here in New York.テつ So I'm excited for that as well.テつ And I'm just going to go out there.テつ I have no expectations for myself.テつ I'm just going to push and have fun with it.テつ So we'll see.
JOSH GEORGE:テつ We race just because we love it.テつ It has nothing to do with the disability.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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