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March 16, 2014

Meb Keflezighi


THE MODERATOR:  Meb, can you just start off talking about your race today and the conditions.
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:  It's always a great honor to be here in New York and compete against the best in the world.  It definitely sets the stage for us and get the best out of yourself every time.
Today, as some of you know already, I had a little hamstring issue last week.  I missed about five days.  The big key is Boston, as the New York Road Runners understand that and respect it for that race.  So I'm glad to finish and to be healthy in one piece because it's always tough with an injury, living a fine line.  There's always that doubt. 
But I felt thankful to God I finished healthy and look forward to Boston.  The race was great.  I mean, I kind of missed a few strides.  There was a lot of attention going on with me and Mike Cassidy with what has been happening.  I even forgot my gloves.  I need the gloves, but it was in my pocket.  So there was a lot of hectic stuff going on for me.
It's fine.  I took the lead.  When we weren't going super fast, I kind of used that as my stride to have a continuous marathon pace, and I felt the same way the whole way through.
For me, it was a tempo long run.  I just couldn't go after that turnover that Mutai put in about 3 1/2, 4 miles.  It was a hill, then the downhill, made that gap, and after that, it was just with the rest of the other guys.  They broke away, and there's no way you can go for the win.

Q.  Talk about your game plan at the start of the race, and did anything change during the course of it?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:  My game plan coming here was to be competitive and get the best out of myself.  I've been praying that Boston is a big day.  I want to be healthy getting to that start line.  That's what I'm still looking forward to.
Now that I competed in the Half, I feel like that's been accomplished.  Now I can focus.  I've done 25, 26‑mile runs.  My endurance is great.  I need to sharpen up a little bit and get ready for the journey of 26.2 miles in Boston on April 21st.
The mentality of getting to this race was just have fun, enjoy it.  The New York Road Runners understand where I am, what my situation has been, and I'm grateful to them to allow me to come here and have a presence.  I've been well received.  They say, Go USA and Go Meb throughout the course.  I love competing in New York.

Q.  Thanks, Meb, for taking the time.  I want to ask you about Boston.  Can you kind of anticipate what the atmosphere is going to be like this year?  As a runner, how do you let that affect you?  Do you embrace it?  Do you try to go by your game plan?  How is it going to be?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:  Going to Boston is going to be very emotional at all levels.  For me, when the National Anthem is sang, I always get emotional, and I can just imagine what's going to happen in Boston.  It's going to be just‑‑ it's going to vibrate us.
With all due respect to what happened last year because we can't get their lives back, but for those that are there, to motivate.  I think about it every day in training, what that question is going to be, how it's going to be, but it's going to be big.  It's going to be different than usual.  I'm thankful and blessed to be part of that event and looking forward to giving my best.
Hopefully, I'll be on the podium or close to my personal best or go for the win.  You never know what's going to happen in five weeks.  I'm just praying consistently to stay healthy and give me the energy from God to do what I feel my talent is.
All those runners around the world are going to have an eye on it and the spectators.  I'm just thankful to be part of it.  Hopefully, give a positive energy to what has happened last year.  As an American, it's going to be huge.  Hopefully, my fellow Americans that are running in the lead will push, push, push, and give it all we have.

Q.  Meb, were you anywhere close when Mo Farah went down?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:  Yes, slightly.  I just finished, and there was the other three guys that won and had the flags, and all of a sudden, I just kind of saw somebody fall and turned back.  I knew it was Mo.  And there was already medical with a Red Cross on it, saying, hey, get medical, get medical.  And I saw him wave, but I have no idea what happened.

Q.  During the race at mile five or six.
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:  Oh, I have no idea.  I did not see that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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