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March 16, 2014

Geoffrey Mutai

Stephen Sambu


THE MODERATOR:  Congratulations.  Geoffrey, your third straight win in New York, lucky you, your first appearance here.  Can you talk a little bit about today, what the win means to you.
And, Stephen, as soon as he's finished, you can also talk about your finish today.
GEOFFREY MUTAI:  First of all, let me start by thank God for this opportunity.  I did not expect even to win in today's weather.  It was cold for me in the beginning, so that in the beginning we get a slow time.
After 5 kilometers, I was trying to get warm, my body to get warm, but I saw that the time is going to be again slow, and then I try to react to start to push it a little bit.
I think at 10 kilometers, that is where I start to get warm, and my body responded.
All the way, I tried to push it, to get away from my colleague, but he did not let me.  I tried to push it alone until finishing.
THE MODERATOR:  Stephen, can you talk about your race.
STEPHEN SAMBU:  First of all, I want to thank everybody for welcoming me to the New York Half.  I thank God for that.  I'm so happy to run with Geoffrey and run with Wesley.  Wesley is our MB in Kenya, and Geoffrey is like a good athlete, like an Olympian, so I feel good running with them.  This is my first time running with Geoffrey and those guys.  So I feel good.
At the beginning of the race, it was slow, but after two miles, three miles, the pace was starting to increase, and then I tried to go with him.  I go with him until around ten mile, and then he start like increasing the pace, and I was not able to keep up, and I just go alone.

Q.  Did you see what happened to Mo Farah?  Were you caught in that trip?  What happened?

Q.  Central Park.
GEOFFREY MUTAI:  Together, my colleague, we were leading in the front.  We didn't‑‑ we only knew someone fell down, but we did not know who was that.  So we continue with our pace.
We did not know.  We come to realize later in the finishing that it was Mo.  Unfortunately, we were disappointed because we were expecting a challenge from him.

Q.  Geoffrey, you significantly pushed the pace around your fifth or sixth mile.  Your fifth mile went from you were running 4:40s, all of a sudden you pushed it 4:30, 4:20s.  Next three miles were really fast.  Was that just your plan, or it took you that long to warm up?
GEOFFREY MUTAI:  For me, as I was continuing alone, I tried to push it, and I know I was testing my body because this was my first race.  I know I had good training.  So for me, I do not mind where I was in the race.  For me, I was testing my body.  When I am in a race, I'm focusing for that race.
I'm not only looking for my colleagues as I know, when someone is strong, we'll push it together.  But for me, I'm running my own race all the time.

Q.  So it just felt the same, there wasn't a push at that point?
GEOFFREY MUTAI:  Yeah, yeah, I tried to push it because I was trying even to run 59, but I saw that I was not able to make it, I did not make it.

Q.  Stephen, when Mo came up and sort of caught you for a race for second place, tell us about that moment, and were you surprised?
STEPHEN SAMBU:  I was surprised because Mo was like a little bit far from me.  When I was at 800 meters to go, I had somebody following me, and then when I looked back, I saw it was Mo, and I was so surprised because I didn't know he was following me very close like that.

Q.  Could you talk a little bit about how cold it was at the start and also the hills at the beginning.
STEPHEN SAMBU:  It was so cold, especially at the beginning.  It was too cold.  But after like six miles, it was getting warm.
GEOFFREY MUTAI:  In the beginning, it was cold, and it was some hills and some corners.  So it was a challenge in the beginning.  There was some places where it was windy.  So when you try to get warm, there is wind, and it was cold.  But always it was a just race.

Q.  This is for both of you, but mostly Geoffrey.  There was a lot of talk before the race about a matchup between you and Mo.  You spent a lot of the time out front by yourself.  I was just curious, did you at all know that Mo had fallen off?  After he had fallen in Central Park.
GEOFFREY MUTAI:  I did not know.  Of course, I knew I was leading, but I hear only someone fell down.  When I tried to look back, I did not know who was that.
But for me, I continue with my colleague to push it as we were pushing together.

Q.  Geoffrey, could you talk a little bit about your goal for London.
GEOFFREY MUTAI:  For now, I already finished my race today.  Now I'm focused for London for a few weeks to come, and now London is my focus because it's a big challenge there.  Everyone is there, all the marathon athletes.
And I cannot express anything about the next race, but I was testing myself.  So for now, I don't comment anything about it.

Q.  Two questions for Stephen.  First, can you describe what it was like to go against Mo Farah when he was in his full kick at the end?  And what's your next race?
STEPHEN SAMBU:  It was really tough with him because Mo Farah is tough.  So I was trying to kick with him, but he's like stronger than me in the kick.  So it was tough.  I felt good being number three.  And then also, I'm so happy to run with those guys because I see where I am.
My next race is April 6 in Washington, D.C.  Cherry Blossom, Washington, D.C.

Q.  No marathon?
STEPHEN SAMBU:  Next year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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