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October 31, 2013

Stephen Kiprotich


Q. テつHow would you describe your condition?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Here in New York?

Q.テつ Yeah, for this race.
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Actually, I'm very happy that I'm in the New York City Marathon.テつ I've been hoping to come to New York.

Q.テつ Have you recovered from Moscow?

Q.テつ What would the world marathon majors title mean to you?テつ What would it mean to win New York City?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ I think it would be good for me to win because I've been asking myself to come to New York, and if I win, it will be something special for me in life.

Q.テつ Do you expect to run side by side with Kebede for most of the race?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ It will be nice to run in this marathon, and it will be a nice competition.

Q.テつ Stephen, tell me this.テつ What is more important, to win the New York City Marathon or to win the World Marathon Majors half a million dollars bonus?テつ They don't necessarily have to be the same thing?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ This is something that has not been in my mind.テつ When I come after Moscow, and I was told you stand a chance to win, I say, wow, this is going to be really something special in my mind and in my career.
And if I win this race, it will be a special race for me.

Q.テつ So winning New York in more important?テつ Which one is more important?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ If I hadn't won the Championship, I would not be here.テつ I'm happy with the Olympics and championships, it means more.テつ If I win New York, then it will be something special.テつ

Q.テつ Do you think it would be‑‑ is it your advantage there are no pacemakers because races with pacemakers, I think it's not your strong point.
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ With the running, sometimes it depends the way you woke up in the morning.テつ I say maybe the last time when I'm running with pacemaker, it was not a good day for me.テつ I'm happy that I'm coming to New York and there's no pacemakers so I can do what I want to do.

Q.テつ Do you train for championships differently than for city marathons?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ No, I train the same training for city marathons and championship.テつ My training does not change.

Q.テつ With Geoffrey Mutai in the race, the defending champion, the course record holder, who did not factor into the world marathon majors title.テつ If he or somebody else makes a very strong push and Mr. Kebede does not go, would your mind be on the person in front, or would your mind be on that man, who has the chance to win the $500,000?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Thank you very much.テつ I think for me I always run my own pace.テつ I always run my own race.テつ I don't run somebody's race.テつ If Kebede or Mutai is in front, it doesn't matter.テつ I'm in good shape, and I don't mind.テつ Always I keep on running my own competition.

Q.テつ How would you care your condition now with your condition before Moscow?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Now I've recovered better.テつ If possible, maybe I can run my personal best here.テつ That's what I'm looking for.

Q.テつ So Moscow and London were flat courses.テつ There's some hills here.テつ Have you run a marathon with hills before?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Like in London and Moscow, the conditions were similar.テつ My body was responding, it's like competition.テつ So for this time, I see my body is fit.
I am saying comparing this race and the previous competitions, this time I see I am fit, I am more fit.

Q.テつ Who do you train with?テつ In what camp?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ I train with Emmanuel Mutai.テつ I train with Abel Kirui.

Q.テつ In which camp?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Global Sports Camp in Kenya?

Q.テつ With Kiprop?

Q.テつ How long‑‑ full recovery, how long was your recovery period after Moscow?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ After Moscow, I took one month recovery.テつ Then immediately I start training for this event.

Q.テつ But you've been planning this even before Moscow, you knew you were going to New York?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Yes.テつ Before Moscow, I was asking my manager if it's possible I run in Moscow and then go for New York City.テつ Then later it ended up I had to go for Moscow.テつ And I was preparing for New York.

Q.テつ So originally you didn't want to run Moscow?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Originally, I did not want to run, but when the national team saw there was no one capable to run in Moscow, then I was put in it Moscow.

Q.テつ The federation chose you?

Q.テつ So how far in advance did they tell you to run Moscow?テつ How much time did you have to prepare for Moscow?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ It was little time.

Q.テつ And it worked out pretty well for you.テつ Now you're the world‑‑
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ I prepared for two months.

Q.テつ Prepared just two months?

Q.テつ You'd already won the Olympics, but to be the world champion as well, was that a surprise?テつ Or validation?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ I think it was something I didn't expect winning Moscow, but when I was on the team, then I had to work hard to get me a lot of training, and I set my mind for the competition.
So after winning Moscow, then again, I put in mind that I had to run New York and I have to prepare.

Q.テつ Can you tell us about a typical training week of yours and the hard part, when you are preparing?

Q.テつ Yes.
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ The hard part was the long runs because now I did like some short long runs, but they had 40 kilometers.

Q.テつ How many times 40 kilometers?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ 40 kilometers I've done so far four times.

Q.テつ Four times?

Q.テつ And which speed do you run this marathon‑‑ it's almost a marathon.テつ These long training runs?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ It depends on what your program.テつ You know, I do long runs like two 40 kilometers twice a month, and the speed depends on the altitude.

Q.テつ Did you talk to Emmanuel Mutai about running New York since he's run here before?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ No, I didn't talk to anybody.テつ But we were training with Mutai before he comes to Chicago.テつ So we were training with him.テつ Then the last long run, I told him I'm waiting for New York, and I wish he wanted to go.テつ He told me he's training for Chicago.

Q.テつ Did you see Chicago or read about Chicago?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ I read about Chicago.テつ I saw him running fantastic.

Q.テつ And does that give you good, extra confidence in your training mate?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ That shows me that our training is not bad, yeah.テつ Give a good feeling.

Q.テつ So you train with Kipyego?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ I train with Kipyego.テつ That's why I'm saying my preparation for this race has been very good because of the others I'm training with.

Q.テつ You said you didn't expect to win Moscow.テつ Do you expect to win here?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ You know, here I have plan to run New York, not run Moscow.テつ But when I was put in Moscow, then I had to work very, very hard because I had two training mates who went together from Moscow, and I was expecting them to win because my aim was not to win Moscow.
But in the competition, I say that I would go for the win.

Q.テつ Who was the training mate that you thought would win Moscow?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Jackson Kiprop, who's here with me.

Q.テつ And who else?

Q.テつ And they were on the Kenyan team?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Yes.テつ On that side of the team, we were training together, but one month from the competition, they went to train on their own.

Q.テつ Where did you‑‑ now, some people like Hendrick Ramaala.テつ He was like the 2004 champion, second place to Tergat here in 2005.テつ He used to always go to the South African team for the World Championships and drop out at 30K and go to New York City.テつ So the Federation made him go to the championship.テつ You know he wasn't going to finish because he wanted to save himself for New York.テつ Did you have any plan, as you were running the World Championships in Moscow, until you started being, oh, I'm on good form today.テつ Did you ever think in terms of maybe I just won't run the whole race?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ No, I never said that.

Q.テつ You never thought of that?

Q.テつ Where did you take the lead in Moscow?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Actually, when I was at 27 kilometers, I tried to push.テつ And I realized that, if I can go on, I can win.テつ So I decided to keep with the pack.

Q.テつ When you won in London, you were the first Ugandan to win since 1972.テつ How did life change when you returned?テつ How were things different for you?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ When I get home, my life changes.テつ Okay, my life‑‑ my status changes, but my friends did not change.テつ After London, when I returned, so many people came to the airport.テつ People are dancing.テつ People were very happy.テつ I became known.

Q.テつ That will do it.
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Yeah.テつ So many people wanted to know about me.テつ They are happy now in the country that so many people know about running.

Q.テつ Will more Ugandans come through because of you?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Yeah.テつ Even now so many‑‑ even the phone calls.テつ I used to receive just a couple.テつ But after London, like a hundred phone calls a week.

Q.テつ Are you married with children?

Q.テつ How is your son's health?テつ Your son's not been well?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ No, it's a daughter.テつ She's now okay.

Q.テつ What was she ill?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ We live in the high altitude.テつ So she had some pneumonia, and now she's okay.

Q.テつ When was that?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ When I was in Moscow.

Q.テつ She was in the hospital?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Yeah, she was in the hospital before I go to Moscow.

Q.テつ Oh, ten days in hospital before Moscow.テつ How serious was it?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ They told me she had some pneumonia.

Q.テつ Does that mean you have to move to lower altitude for her?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Yes, now I have to move low altitude.テつ That's where she is now.

Q.テつ She has moved?テつ But you have to train at high altitude?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ I have to train at high altitude.テつ So I have to move up and down, taking care of my daughter, then training.

Q.テつ How far is Kampala from Eldoret?テつ What is the journey?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ About 400 kilometers.

Q.テつ And you fly?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ No.テつ I drive my car.

Q.テつ It's 400 kilometers?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Yeah.テつ About 400 kilometers.

Q.テつ That's where your daughter and wife live now?

Q.テつ And how often do you drive back and forth?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ I used to drive for‑‑ for a long time.

Q.テつ How many days do you‑‑
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ It's only one day.

Q.テつ But how often?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Twice a month.テつ And sometimes there's an emergency, and I have to go.

Q.テつ Yeah, if there's an emergency.テつ So just one daughter?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ No, I have three.テつ I have a daughter, then a son, and then a daughter.

Q.テつ Two daughters, one son?

Q.テつ How old?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ 6 years, 3 years, and 4 months.

Q.テつ And which ones‑‑ 4 months is the daughter.テつ And what's the 3‑year‑old?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ 3‑year‑old is a boy.

Q.テつ Son and the other daughter.テつ And the one the new daughter is named Moscow?テつ Sometimes that happens.
Now you say you're in Eldoret?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Both sides, Kampala and then the other.

Q.テつ How did you first get in the Kenyan groups?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ I first get to Kenyan group, it was 2007 when I was training in Uganda, and I found that there were no trainers in Uganda.テつ So I had to shift my training to a better place.

Q.テつ Did you just go on your own, or you had contacts there?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ I had a friend.テつ When I run in Mombasa 2007, then I make a friendship there.テつ So he told me that you can come to Kenya.テつ So when I go to Eldoret, I spend there four months.テつ Then I was about‑‑ I was able to run a good time.テつ So let me stay.

Q.テつ Now that you've become an Olympic and world champion, is the atmosphere still supportive or some rivalry and tension at times?テつ The Kenyans would love to have done what you've done?

Q.テつ Are they friends of yours or now rivals because you're the Olympic and World Champion?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ We are friends.

Q.テつ I know in Kenya, the New York City Marathon is very famous.テつ Is it famous in Uganda too, or are they just now learning all these things?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Now in Uganda, people are interested in the competitions.テつ Like when I was in Moscow, they were announcing over the TV and the radio stations we have today the marathon.テつ And everybody that day own Sunday, they were at the TV.テつ They turn on the radios.

Q.テつ Everyone was listening?

Q.テつ How special is that to you that now‑‑ you've now made this country interested in it something that before they probably did not really care about?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Yeah, before I was not known, and later, now I'm known.テつ Being unknown, and then to be known is something that is much‑‑

Q.テつ Are there two sides to being a hero, the good side and maybe the not so good side?テつ There's a lot of pressure.テつ There's a lot of attention.テつ It's hard to keep training on your own if everyone is always‑‑
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ As for now, after becoming a hero, I go to so many people, so many places.テつ So many people wants to be in touch with me.テつ But I always keep on doing my training.テつ Keep my focus.

Q.テつ Do you think that even just a few years we're going to start seeing a lot more successful Ugandan runners?テつ It's not going to be you?テつ We're going to see a lot of them?テつ Like the Kenyans and Ethiopians, there's going to be several days in every race.
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Even the young people studying in school, they want to become a champion.テつ So there's a lot of interest for the people of Uganda.

Q.テつ Do you know the story of Samuel Wanjiru, your predecessor, an Olympic champion, he died a few years ago, and pressure and fame made things quite difficult for him?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ I don't really know his story.テつ But first time I hear his story is in the Olympics.テつ I don't have too much to say about him.

Q.テつ Can you say how it happened?テつ How his life changed not always for the better because of the fame he had, the money that he had?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Before I went to the Olympics, I did not know about him.テつ So when I went to the Olympics, that's when I knew about him.テつ I had nothing to do with this man.

Q.テつ New York, like the Olympics, like the World Championships, a championship style race, no pace‑setter here in New York, you seem to like that kind of race.テつ Why do you think you've been successful in that sort of race?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ It's something that, if you see the championships and the Olympics, there's no pacemakers I respond to those competitions.テつ The first marathon I ran in Holland, Netherlands, and I see the course, and the marathon was very‑‑ people there say it's a tough race, and no one has ever run under 2:37, and I did it.
So if I see that race, I can compare.テつ I see this is a tough course.

Q.テつ Do you feel like now in this day we live in, that 2:07, I can't go home with a 2:07.テつ I mean, we live in a 2:03 world, and your best is still 2:07.テつ It's like it's time for me not to be a 2:07 man anymore?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ So many people ask me, whenever I won the big competitions like Berlin, London, people want the big times.テつ And I start fearing, I keep saying, I can't run 2:03.テつ But people say, if you can win Olympics, 2:07 is not your personal best.テつ Maybe you can run a 2:05.
So I was asking myself if maybe next year I can start preparing to run less.

Q.テつ Have you run many 10,000s or do much track running?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Yeah, I did some track run, but I was not all that good.

Q.テつ Not serious?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ I remember one time I ran a 27:50.

Q.テつ That's your best?

Q.テつ And how about half marathons?

Q.テつ Half marathon.
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Half marathon, I did 61:15.

Q.テつ This year?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ This year in Spain, no pacer.テつ So I was pushing and pushing.

Q.テつ Where did you finish in the world cross country in Mombasa?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Mombasa, I finished 19th.

Q.テつ Very humid?

Q.テつ Very uncomfortable.
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ It was not easy because I was not able to sprint at the end.

Q.テつ Best of luck to you.

Q.テつ I have a question about the place where you are from, the place where you live, the place where you train.テつ Has he always been‑‑ is it a peaceful place, or have you seen war and fighting where you grew up?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ No, it's a peaceful place.

Q.テつ What about the news of Boston with the bomb.テつ Where were you when you found out?テつ Has he changed the way you train or race?

Q.テつ The Boston bombing, how did you hear the news of that?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ I was not comfortable about it because that time I was also in London, and I was very sad about it.

Q.テつ Does it change what you think about bringing your family to the finish line?テつ Do you think about how close you are to the people?テつ Or is it just the same as it always is?テつ Any effect?

Q.テつ Not really?テつ Okay.テつ Thank you.テつ Do you worry about safety or anything?

Q.テつ A lot of people have talked about a sub‑two hour marathon.テつ Do you think that's likely at any point down the line?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ Maybe‑‑ you see the first world record was held by a Kenyan, Tergat, and he owned it for some three years, and then it was broken.テつ And that was like three, four years, and again it was broken, and it lasted like two years.テつ And last month was broken again.テつ And in the same month‑‑ no, this month.テつ No, last month.テつ Then this month it was broken.テつ So I see in the future, they will break every month, every competition, and I think under two hours would be possible.

Q.テつ How far away do you think that is?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ We see now people are training, pushing a lot of things.テつ I see it not less than five years.

Q.テつ Are times important to you?テつ Are you interested in a record here?テつ Or is it the win that matters?
STEPHEN KIPROTICH:テつ It's not easy to talk about the record, but what I want is the win.テつ Record is something that comes automatic.テつ When you see 2011, people didn't expect 2:07.テつ When they did that, they say, what is this?テつ What's happening here?テつ So that's what I'm saying.テつ Maybe in the future, sometimes they may find the record is under two hours.

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