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March 14, 2014
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
THE MODERATOR:Â We're very excited to have her back after her runner‑up finish at the New York City Marathon in November, her second consecutive runner‑up finish in the New York City Marathon.Â She's by way of Ethiopia, but over the last seven or eight years, she's become a New Yorker.Â She's definitely one of us, and we love her.Â From East 195th Street in the Bronx, New York, this is Buzunesh Deba.
Immediately to her left, it's been a long road to get here.Â She raced in New York City in November 2011 at the Dash to the Finish 10K, followed that up with an Olympic silver medal in the 10,000 meters in Beijing, and pretty shortly after that endured a series of foot injuries that took her about 14 months to recover from.Â She's back at 100 percent, running her first ever half marathon, Olympic and World Championship silver medalist Sally Kipyego.
To her left, making her second appearance at the New York City Half, she is using this race as a tune‑up for the Boston Marathon.Â As you will recall, the last time she ran Boston in 2011, she nearly took it to the house, ended up finishing second in the fastest Boston Marathon ever by an American woman.Â This is her first appearance in New York since being a married woman.Â This is Desiree Linden.
To her left, I hope she's warmed up by now.Â She and I were out in Central Park for quite a while this morning doing a video shoot.Â She was a good sport.Â She got her nails done at Bliss Spa with Carrie Tollefson there in the back.Â We had a lot of fun.
We've been working on this one for a couple of years.Â We're really glad she's with us for the New York City Half.Â She won the Dash to the Finish on Marathon Weekend in November in an event record, going uphill the whole way.Â Followed that up a few weekends later with a world best over the 12K distance at that Dot US Championships in Virginia.Â And just ran an awesome, at BU, last chance qualifier, ran 15:13 for 5,000 indoors, the fastest time this year.
She's on fire.Â She's making her half marathon debut.Â Took the train down from Providence, Rhode Island, last night, Molly Huddle.
THE MODERATOR:Â And I am happy to introduce our 2011 New York Marathon Champion, who will be in our first ever wheelchair division at the NYC Half, Amanda McCrory, who I think we can safely say is definitely the fastest female half marathoner in the U.S. and maybe even the world.
I don't know, we were trying to figure out.Â I don't think anyone's beaten her 50:47, which that was the Illinois Half, and she's also the record holder at the Atlanta Half Marathon.Â We're so happy to have her join us for our first division.
MARY WITTENBERG:Â We talked earlier, but I just want to say from our whole team at the New York Road Runners, ladies, we're so excited to have you.Â I think Dave and Sam have done an amazing job, and Dorian and Bob.Â I think we have incredibly intriguing matchups here on the women's side especially.Â So we can't wait to see you all together.
We usually try to be subtle, but we're not going to be subtle.Â We want to replicate this in November too.Â Let's start with Sunday.Â But we really like the mix of new half marathoners, Buzunesh and Desi coming in here with lots of miles on their legs, and the strength that comes from that.Â Just really excited to see you guys run.
And, Amanda, we're so excited to have our first Pro Wheeler field.Â I think it's got some great matchups with Diane and the whole team.
From all of us, we thank you so much.Â As I shared with everyone earlier, we're just really excited.Â The idea is to have the kind of positive impact we have through the marathon, getting people excited and inspired, and lifting the city and many watching with this event.
So we wish you all well, and thank you for putting on the show that I know you will and leading the way on Sunday.Â So thank you, thank you, thank you.
THE MODERATOR:Â We'll just go down the table and ask each one a question.
Buzu, New York City is your home now.Â It has been for, what, eight years, seven years?Â Talk about running the New York City Half Marathon in your home of New York.
BUZUNESH DEBA:Â I just thank God that I can be here.Â Thank you, Sam.Â Thank you, David.Â Thank you, Mary, all New York Road Runners.Â I'm so happy to be here.Â I am ready.Â I am healthy.Â I am excited.Â We'll see.
THE MODERATOR:Â And what's next for you after the New York City Half Marathon?
BUZUNESH DEBA:Â After New York City Marathon, Boston Marathon.
THE MODERATOR:Â Sally, your first go at the half marathon.Â You moved to the roads a little bit over the last couple of years, put your‑‑ dunked your foot in the water.Â How have things been going now that you're fully healed from all the foot problems, and what are your thoughts for Sunday?
SALLY KIPYEGO:Â I'm really excited.Â I'm excited about Sunday.Â Like you mentioned, just coming back and being healthy for me is more of a victory than anything because I can just get out of the door and run without thinking about any pain in the legs.Â That, to me, is just the great victory by itself.
But I'm really happy to be here.Â It's a new distance for me, and just knowing that I hope to someday run in the marathon.Â So I'm kind of getting myself there slowly and see what happens on Sunday.
I look forward to competing on Sunday.Â I'm healthy.Â Training has been going fantastic.Â We'll see what happens.Â I'm just thrilled to be here.
THE MODERATOR:Â Sally is here with her husband Kevin, who was fifth in the New York City Half last year.Â Kevin will be running.
So what is it‑‑ how is it helpful to have Kevin, your husband, here and supporting you but also‑‑ you know, running his own race, but here to support you in your half marathon debut?
SALLY KIPYEGO:Â It's amazing just to have a partner, but also to have someone that has already competed in the New York Half Marathon before.
But also for us to be able to come here and be able to enjoy New York and be part of New York Half Marathon event and travel together, that's amazing.Â And to have that support system, even without him as a partner, but to have that support system here with me this weekend is fantastic.Â That's definitely something that I'm privileged.
THE MODERATOR:Â Has he given you any tips on the course?
SALLY KIPYEGO:Â A little bit.
THE MODERATOR:Â Des, you had, obviously, a really special late summer/early fall.Â It took a little bit different approach to your spring marathon training you have.Â Talk a little bit about where you've been and how this all leads into Boston next month.
DESIREE LINDEN:Â Sure.Â Definitely a different approach this year.Â I came off the injury in 2012 and took a whole kind of rebuilding year, and a lot of that is like being frustrated, getting out the door.Â You kind of hurt, everything's harder, and I just wanted to make running new and exciting and fresh again.
So I took this winter‑‑ actually, perfect timing, this winter, to go to Kenya and train up at altitude and just try something fresh and new and be in a different culture.Â It was perfect to have this community that loves running, and everyone‑‑ you can go out at any time and find someone to run with and log in miles.Â These people are enjoying just every step out the door.
So it was exciting for me to get to do that and kind of rejuvenate my love for running, bring it back here, and remember that while I'm in the Michigan winter‑‑ and I have.Â So it's good.Â It's been a really good process.Â My fitness has come around really well, and I'm excited to test it out here.
Obviously, the next step will be getting ready for Boston.Â This is the step towards Boston.Â So it's going to be intriguing matchup on Sunday with the speedsters and the strength guys.Â So it's a fun distance to see where we match up between the two.
THE MODERATOR:Â And, Molly, the 12K in Virginia, it wasn't the longest race of your career, but it was longer than we've typically seen you run.Â By all accounts, it went pretty well.Â So what does something like that tell you about as the distance goes longer, and what sort of confidence does it give you heading into Sunday?
MOLLY HUDDLE:Â Yeah, the Dot US run was a really great matchup between me and Shalane.Â Any time we can both run an honest pace like that, it's a confidence booster for me.
Still, a half is quite a bit longer than a 12K.Â I still do take confidence from it even though I took a little bit of a break after that race.Â I feel like I'm just coming back around, maybe not quite as fit as I was then because I was coming off a really fast track season as well at that time, but definitely getting back there.
The 5K I did a couple of weeks ago definitely helped my confidence too.Â I'm hoping I feel good early, and I'm hoping that the half distance treats me well like the 12K did.Â Really looking forward to Sunday.
THE MODERATOR:Â So, Amanda, obviously, this is a new field for this New York City Half.Â So it's new to us, but it's also new for your race calendar.Â So how does this fit in with all the marathons?
Wheelchair athletes compete in many more marathons than runners during the year.Â So you have to sort of squeeze this in because we found out from the city sort of later than we thought we would have, and we found out, and we got a field together.Â So how does this fit into your calendar?Â How's it going to work?
AMANDA McCRORY:Â That's absolutely true.Â Wheelchair racers have a much shorter recovery period than runners do.Â So I do eight to ten marathons a year versus I think that four would be a crazy amount for a runner to do.Â So that's‑‑ there's definitely a difference there.
But we are‑‑ speaking for myself and all the other wheelchair racers, super excited that New York Road Runners put this on and has invited us and went through all of the effort of changing the course and setting this up for us.
I think it's going to be great.Â We've had a terrible, terrible cold winter in Illinois.Â I've only been outside twice, minus a little January vacation to Australia, but only been pushing outside twice.Â We've been training all indoors.Â So I'm really excited to see how it's going to go pushing outside.Â I think this is a great race to start our season off with.
A little bit shorter than a marathon, so not quite as daunting, and good to get outside, to push a little bit, to see how everyone else is pushing, and see where you stand for the season.
Q.Â Amanda, talk about indoor training.Â Like do you have an indoor track?Â You train on the track or you guys use rollers like cyclists?
AMANDA McCRORY:Â We do it all.Â We do have an indoor track.Â It's a 200‑meter track.Â That's a little bit tough for us because our racing chairs are‑‑ we set our turns to cut around the turn.Â And it's difficult to hold a speed and cut in any tighter than you would around a traditional 400‑meter track.Â So we get a little speed work there.
But most of it comes from pushing on rollers like you would for a cyclist.Â They're mostly free spinning, which is both good and bad.Â It lets us work on some really high speeds.Â So pushing on the road, I max out probably around somewhere between 18 and 20 miles an hour on flat with the tail wind.Â On the rollers, I can comfortably hold 22 to 24 miles an hour.
So it's really good working on that overspeed, but at the same time, you're losing everything that you gain from climbing hills, pushing into the wind, and just dealing with different road surfaces, turns, steering, being aware of what's around you, by just pushing at a concrete wall for a couple hours a day.
Q.Â You do that?
AMANDA McCRORY:Â Well, the rollers‑‑ unfortunately, someone had the brilliant idea to set them all up facing the wall.Â So we push towards the wall on the rollers, which doesn't give you a lot to look at.
There's no TV or nothing else to look at, but it gives you kind of a different perspective, and you can really pay attention to your stroke and your technique and how you're hitting the rings, which is something you don't get to do on the road because you're constantly adjusting for wind and for camber on the road and where everyone else is.Â So you can really just think about pushing and going hard and fast.
Q.Â So you don't have anything like a mag trainer?Â You know like a lot of cyclists have the stands that have magnetic or hydraulic resistance.
AMANDA McCRORY:Â We actually just‑‑ we ordered some new equipment, but we're a little bit behind as far as the cycling trainers go.Â We've just ordered some new equipment, and we've managed to hook up one of the cycling trainers to the side of our roller.Â We run it through an iPhone app, and we can do a little bit of resistance that way.Â But it's still not the same as being outside.
Q.Â Molly, the one 5,000 you did in Boston apparently is the fastest woman's 5,000 in the world this year by like 17 seconds.Â I know there haven't been a whole lot, but who was in that race with you?Â Was it a mixed race?Â Was it all women?Â Were you lapping the field?Â What was going on there?
MOLLY HUDDLE:Â Yeah, it was a last chance meet.Â There were a few college girls there.Â One of my training partners, Katie DiCamillo was there.Â I started pacing off the William and Mary girls, who were there for their last chance meet.Â And my coach told me to do whatever I wanted, to try to run faster the last mile, mile and a half, just because I wasn't sure how I was feeling.
This year it seemed like there weren't many indoor 5K's.Â There usually aren't.Â I didn't think it would be that high on the list.
Q.Â It's not that bad of a time period.
MOLLY HUDDLE:Â For me alone, I was very happy with it.Â I usually struggle to run alone that fast.
Q.Â Did it make you think that maybe you should‑‑ there weren't many indoor opportunities that way.Â I know you're heading for this, but did it make you feel like maybe I should get a couple more indoor races in?
MOLLY HUDDLE:Â Yes and no.Â I usually find indoor to be a little too short.Â The 3K, mile race is a little too short for me.Â I can't afford to lose strength work that time of year.
It went well.Â My workouts weren't really indicating that I was in the shape I thought I was in.Â So I didn't really think of doing indoor.
Q.Â What's your focus going to be this year?Â No World Championships.Â This is generally when your people figure they can just go for time.Â Is that it?
MOLLY HUDDLE:Â Definitely.Â I would love to PR in the 10 and/or the 5.Â We'll see how that goes.Â It's a great year to do that.Â The races usually go pretty fast.
Q.Â So that's the focus, going to Europe and getting fast times?
MOLLY HUDDLE:Â Yeah, definitely.
Q.Â And Sally, you're interested in the marathon, I take it.Â Might it happen as soon as this fall, do you think?
SALLY KIPYEGO:Â It's a possibility.Â I don't know.Â I don't know.Â It's just one of those things.Â I hope I can get there, but I have to have the groundwork to move to that direction, but I really don't know yet.
Q.Â Sally, back to your foot injury, what happened?Â Which foot?
SALLY KIPYEGO:Â My left heel.Â After the Olympics, I cracked my left heel in Brussels during the race.Â So that was a while ago.
Q.Â What distance was the race?
SALLY KIPYEGO:Â It was 5000.
Q.Â When did it happen in the race?
SALLY KIPYEGO:Â About 70 meters from the finish line, I had my spikes clipped on the rail and just lost balance and just kind of tumbled around, just in the process of trying to‑‑ also, I didn't want to fall, so I landed really awkward on my heel bone, and it just cracked.Â I heard the sound and the pop, and I knew that something was broken for sure.
I had it confirmed.Â I flew in the following morning to Oregon, and I had it confirmed the next day that I had a break.
Q.Â Did you finish the race anyway or no?
SALLY KIPYEGO:Â I did.Â I walked towards the end of it, but I did.Â I still finished it.
Q.Â For the summer, what will you mostly be focused on?
SALLY KIPYEGO:Â This year for me, it's not so much‑‑ I hope to run a 10K in May and run‑‑ try to run as close to my PR as I can possibly get close to it.
But probably this year for me is just to be able to run and compete race after race consistently and stay healthy and try to have a block, a good year of just solely racing with consistency.Â And maybe not anything spectacular, but just consistent running day in and day out leading up to the next cycle, the next Olympic cycle.Â So that's my biggest goal.
Q.Â Will you be focusing on the track or the roads?
SALLY KIPYEGO:Â Track, this summer, yeah.
Q.Â When you talk about a 10K in May, or will that be in this country or over in Europe?
SALLY KIPYEGO:Â Payton Jordan.Â April, I believe.
Q.Â Would you have any interest?Â Would you want to get to the Continental Cup, as they're calling it?
SALLY KIPYEGO:Â At this time of the year, I really don't know how the year is going to shape up.Â It just depends on how this weekend goes‑‑ or how probably that 10K goes.Â And we just decide a few things and what my summer leagues do.
So we haven't really gotten to this point of deciding what we're going to do or which direction to take in the summer.
Q.Â Buzunesh, were you able to‑‑ what was Van Cortlandt Park like this winter as a place to train?
BUZUNESH DEBA:Â Oh, this time?
Q.Â This whole winter.
BUZUNESH DEBA:Â Oh, we are not here.Â We're training in New Mexico.
Q.Â Oh, you were down in Mexico?
BUZUNESH DEBA:Â Albuquerque.
Q.Â Oh, New Mexico, okay.
BUZUNESH DEBA:Â Yes.
Q.Â Well that makes plenty of sense.
Q.Â But you went for training in Van Cortlandt this morning, yes?
BUZUNESH DEBA:Â Yes.
Q.Â Desiree, last year you seemed to take this more or less as a step on the way to the marathon.Â Are you concentrating any more on actually competing here hard and then tapering for it, or is this just another marker for Boston?
DESIREE LINDEN:Â I wish I could taper for it.Â That would be really nice right now.Â But I didn't do two workouts this week.Â I cut one out.Â So I guess that's the taper.Â It's still pretty, pretty high volume, little less intense week.
But I think I can‑‑ the fitness shows I can run a solid effort.Â I don't know if it will be PR shape, but see where I'm at.Â See what I can do on tired legs.
Q.Â Do you think you can outkick Caroline Kilel?
DESIREE LINDEN:Â That would be nice.
Q.Â How was your training in Kenya different, obviously, besides the geographical and climate difference?Â In terms of the actual training, how different was it than what you would have done in a normal cycle here?
DESIREE LINDEN:Â It's actually‑‑ I just did mileage up there, which was kind of nice.Â It was the early‑‑ this will be a longer segment than I've ever done for a marathon, but I took that chunk up front to just build up my mileage really slowly, took time to adapt to the altitude and everything.
Q.Â What was the time frame you were there?
DESIREE LINDEN:Â About six weeks from, I guess, beginning of January is when I got over there.Â And then‑‑ so I got up to 120 miles from the time I left and was doing pretty respectable long runs, 20‑mile runs before I left.
Once I got back, I started doing marathon specific stuff.
Q.Â Do you set up something in advance with a group of Kenyan runners there that you can then join and train with them?
DESIREE LINDEN:Â I actually did most of my training with Lani Marchand, who just set the Canadian record in the half marathon, and she's a world record holder.Â So we thought we would pair up well.Â She's run‑‑ she's gone out there the past three winters and kind of knew all the ropes.
It actually worked out well.Â She would coordinate with someone, get a couple guys to run with us and show us the routes.Â They usually ran four steps ahead of us and said, Hurry up.Â Hurry up.Â They were always just pushing us.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports