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November 7, 2010

Gebre Gebremariam

Moses Kigen Kipkosgei

Emmanuel Mutai


RICHARD FINN: Fabulous race by all three gentlemen here. Another great race here in New York. Historic, Gebremariam making his debut in the marathon distance, wins his very first in his very first time. Last athlete here to do that was Tegla Loroupe in 1994. A fabulous win.
Emanuel, congratulations, another strong perform, and Moses ran very well, 1, 2, and 3. We'll start with Gebremariam. If you have just a couple of comments to make about today.
GEBRE GEBREMARIAM: Thank you. Just I'm so happy here for my first time. And I'm so happy to win too. It's my first marathon, and I'm number one here.
When I get to Central Park, I'm so happy, so I can't wait too. So that's it, thank you.
RICHARD FINN: As you might have known, Geb's wife was supposed to run here, unfortunately had to pull out earlier this week with a lower leg injury. Have you talked to your wife or is she here in New York?
GEBRE GEBREMARIAM: Yeah, I talked to her. She's very happy. So, you know, she didn't worry even she come. She told me now she's very worried. She prepared very well, but it's, you know, it's life. Sometimes that happens. So maybe next year she'll come and she'll win too (smiling).
RICHARD FINN: Emanuel, your thoughts? You raced Gebremariam as close and as down to the wire. Talk about the race today and your performance?
EMMANUEL MUTAI: For me, the race was good, but according to the course it was a bit difficult because it is my first time here in New York. But I was happy with the position I got in as far as I got problems toward the finishing. But I tried my best.
RICHARD FINN: Emanuel was second in London earlier this year as well. So two second-place and runner-up finishers in two of the World Marathon Majors races this year. So it's been a great year.
Moses, you raced them, you ran with them. Your thoughts about your race today as well, Moses?
MOSES KIGEN KIPKOSGEI: First of all, I have to thank the sponsors of this race and the race organizers. Also, I do not want to forget thank the sponsors. This race for me is a fantastic race. It's a great race for me. Lastly, Haile this year, I came here for half marathon and I was second, so this time I came for marathon, and I am that, so I am much happy. The course is good.
Maybe next year I'll have to come and do something else. Thank you.
RICHARD FINN: Questions.

Q. Gebremariam, the announcers were trying to figure out what your training mileage was and they weren't sure if it was in miles or kilometers. Can you tell us about your training mileage leading up to your first marathon?
GEBRE GEBREMARIAM: No, I train and I prepared very well with my friends, so I know marathon is hard. When I decided to go to marathon, yes, I training for two three months. In my training, yes, I covered 26, 27 miles.
I think I saw already in my country, but when I come to New York, I'm disappointed. New York is business, and New York is hard course, too. So at some point I disappointed before, but now just I win. So I'm happy.

Q. Can each of you address at the moment when Haile dropped out, it seemed like your pace picked up very dramatically. Now you were coming to First Avenue which is a fast part of the course. But did you deliberately pick up the pace when you knew that Haile was no longer there? Did you pick up the pace when you knew that Haile had dropped out of the race?
RICHARD FINN: Moses? Emanuel?
EMMANUEL MUTAI: Yeah, for when Haile dropped out, the Moroccan guy from behind, so at that time when the Moroccan guy goes, I look back, I said, maybe what's happening to Haile, so I just tried to follow the Moroccan guy.
GEBRE GEBREMARIAM: Yeah, I was behind Haile at that time when he dropped out. I'm very disappointed, you know. Just Haile, I tell him something, but he can't move. I hear before because he had some problem in his leg.
But what happens it happens. In 25 kilometers is when he dropped. So I'm very, very sad. I said Haile, come on. I can't, Gebre, you have to move, you have to reach them.
So he told somebody move and push the pace, so I have to reach them. You know, just a little bit far from the leading.
RICHARD FINN: Gebremariam, being an Ethiopian, Haile came here just about a half hour ago and said that he was retiring. That this was his last race. That's what he said. Your thoughts of Haile's comment that this might have been his last race or he says it's his last race? Being an Ethiopian, what has he meant to and you sport?
GEBRE GEBREMARIAM: You know, Haile is special. Haile is very king. So even Haile's retiring, we have to learn so many things from Haile.
Haile's a good guy. Even in business and in athletics. So I think we have to push to run more. I'm so disappointed when I hear this one. Maybe in my country just I have to do something about this.

Q. Gebre, you said you were very disappointed when Haile dropped out. How much of that disappointment motivated you to fight for your country? Does your winning here today kind of help alleviate the problems that Haile had today? You see him disappointed and dropping out of the race, did that motivate you? Did that make you change your mind frame of the race? Did that motivate you to keep running harder and win it for him?
GEBRE GEBREMARIAM: No. I know it's my first marathon. I can't motivate here. I can't help him in the last maybe. You know, I don't know the pace. I don't know how many. I mean, it's just run for miles or for kilometers, so I followed them. So he ran in the front, and I run just in back of them.
Just Haile runs just mathematical calculation, you know. He thinks about the race, he thinks about the time, he thinks about the course, too. I cannot advise him.

Q. Did Haile talk to you at any point during the race? Did he say anything to you? And if he didn't say anything during the race, did he say anything before that might have made it seem as if he was passing the torch on to you?
GEBRE GEBREMARIAM: Yeah, we talked. We talked together before the race on the bus about the length, you know. But you know I have -- even Haile has some injuries in his leg, he can, in my eyes, he can finish the race. But at that time he didn't worry about the time in this course.
But I hope he can win, but he told me, Gebre, if I finish this race, I'm special, in the bus. So he can't do it.

Q. What did you say to that?
GEBRE GEBREMARIAM: I can't believe him, you know. Haile is Haile, so I trust him. He's a good guy, so even he had some problem in his leg, just I trust him to finish.

Q. Gebremariam, at what point in the race do you think, "I think I can win this race even though it's my first marathon, I can win this"?
GEBRE GEBREMARIAM: No. Even I told to my wife, I can finish this race, but I can't win. When I saw in 19 or 17 miles, you know, I can win. We are forward and I saw the pace and listen to my body too, so I can win.
I decided in the half of the way, yeah.

Q. Emanuel, it looked as though you were hurting with your leg in Central Park when you dropped back. What was the problem? Was there an injury when Geb went ahead?
EMMANUEL MUTAI: So when I entered the park when we climbed the hill, I tried to push, but I got a muscle cramp. So it was my -- so I feel it is more tense to move at faster speeds, so I had to reduce to finish the hill.
At that time Gebre moved, so I was trying to close the gap but I was not able.

Q. Gebre, the first few miles of the race were relatively slow. Do you think if they had been faster, do you think you could have even run much faster for the marathon, and how fast do you think you could get?
GEBRE GEBREMARIAM: No, I didn't think about the time. The first 21K was very slow to 5:00. But even I finished, 2:11 is good for me. It's my first marathon, but I didn't think about the time.
When I came to the park, when I come to the park I saw the time. When I reached the 14 kilometers, I had to go two kilometers by 7, by 5, but I didn't think about the time before.

Q. Moses, you were not on the radar screen for anyone, really. I think bib No. 21. Were you surprised that you finished third place?
MOSES KIGEN KIPKOSGEI: You know, at the beginning the pace was too slow. I don't know if we are, all of us, were afraid for Haile. But after Haile dropped out these guys set the pace fine.
So I decide for myself let me test, adjust to my home pace because the pace of these guys was so high. But about 20 miles I was in position four, so I didn't know I was going to be at that position. At the 26th mile I see Kwambai was not moving anymore, so I decided let me just get it.

Q. First, I just wanted to clarify, you said that Werknesh is here or in Ethiopia?

Q. Why did she decide to go back instead of watching you race?
GEBRE GEBREMARIAM: She decide already. She didn't run, she'd have to take care of the issues in the home.

Q. Did she give you any advice before she left on the race?
GEBRE GEBREMARIAM: Yeah, I give some advice for her.
RICHARD FINN: Did she give you any advice?
RICHARD FINN: Did she tell you to run fast?
GEBRE GEBREMARIAM: You know, she told me only to finish. I tell you, Werknesh, this is her first marathon here, and for me my first marathon here. So we decide in our home to finish the race very well.

Q. In Ethiopia today, what do you think will be more celebrated? The fact that Haile announced his retirement or that you won today? And how special is it to be linked with that?
GEBRE GEBREMARIAM: Here in Ethiopia everybody waits for Haile for winning, but he can't. But I could, so nobody's going to be excited about that. They'll be excited about the winning. But I think everybody's worried about his stopping. I mean he stopped his plans. So I think in Ethiopia he has to change his plans. He has to continue to race.

Q. On First Avenue, especially after 30K, all three of you guys pulled away. Could you tell us about the move on First Avenue at 30K to pull away from the pack? Then also the final hill at maybe 38, 39K. Gebre, especially, did you feel that you had big power there that would take you to victory?
GEBRE GEBREMARIAM: Yeah, like I told you before. I didn't -- just I have to follow them. I cannot push in that part of the race. But when we reached the park and the hill and just I tried to finish. I get too -- the hill is not a problem for me. I train in my country in up-and-down, so hills are good for me. Even in Central Park, no problem for me.

Q. Can you talk a little bit more about coming into Central Park and how you felt and how you felt as you crossed the finish line? What that meant to you?
GEBRE GEBREMARIAM: Not only in Central Park, in all part of the race, everybody support us. Everybody. When we hear about just, hey, just something about the race. We're shocked and revived. We are so happy.
When I reached some miles or just in the park, people support us so we are happy.

Q. Did you speak to Haile prior to the race about his injury? Did he speak to you about it? Did he debate whether or not he should run the marathon? Did you have any conversation about that at all?
GEBRE GEBREMARIAM: Yeah, just we talked about the injury. You know, he saw -- even he saw Haile out yesterday night. So he told me today. Anything, here, the race is today, so he has to start and he has to support us, and he has to finish the race.

Q. But did he debate whether or not he should run?
GEBRE GEBREMARIAM: That's a decision he has to make with his manager, but he knew that the pain was probably hard. But he knew that he had to run and he was determined on running.
RICHARD FINN: Thank you very much our one, two, and three-place winners.

End of FastScripts

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