picture of Mary Keitany

Mary Keitany focused on tactics in seeking 3rd straight NYC Marathon win

Nov 4, 2016

​Transcript by ASAP Sports

Q. We're here with defending champion Mary Keitany. Mary, can you tell us a little bit about your training, how you're feeling coming into the race?
MARY KEITANY: I'm feeling good. My training has been going well. I think I'll do my best on Sunday.

Q. Can you compare your fitness this year in comparison to where you were at this same time last year? Are you just as fit?
MARY KEITANY: Yeah, for me, I can say that I'm fit enough, and I'm ready to compete well on Sunday. I'm ready to try to defend my title on Sunday. I will go out there and do my best.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about not making the Kenyan Olympic team? Was that a disappointment? If so, has that been a motivating factor for you?
MARY KEITANY: What I can say about that, in Kenya, we are many athletes, and for me, I thought I earned a ticket to Rio, but in the end, I was disappointed. So let me just focus on the marathon for New York and come to defend my title.

Q. Mary, how special is New York for you?
MARY KEITANY: What I can say about New York is that I won in 2014 and 2015. What I can say is that I love New York very much, and I love the people of New York. For me, I don't mind the course because it's the same in Kenya.

Q. Mary, have you thought about what the significance of winning a third in a row would mean to you because it hasn't been done in 30 years?
MARY KEITANY: What I can say about winning on a course like this, it's not easy. For me, I mean to try my best. My training has been going well, so I think I'm going to try my best, and if it's to win for the third time, I think it would be good to me.

Q. You said that New York is your favorite course. You've had a lot of success here. Is that why? Or is it something particular about the course itself that you just love?
MARY KEITANY: I like the city. And I love the people of New York.

Q. You mentioned before when a young runner asked you about what it would take to win, and you mentioned tactics. How do you foresee tactics playing a role in this race?
MARY KEITANY: You have to be ready physically and mentally and compete with the runners out in front.

Q. Mary, do you have a time, a goal in mind for Sunday, a time that you think you'll need to run to win the race?
MARY KEITANY: I think in my mind, for me, I don't have a time because I know it's so different. So what is very important to me is winning.

Q. As long as you're employing the right tactics and competing with whoever is in front and coming out first, that's all that matters?
MARY KEITANY: Yeah, that's all that matters to me.

Q. How old is your daughter?

Q. She's here?

Q. And she'll watch you?

Q. Who watches her when you're training?
MARY KEITANY: My daughter?

Q. Your daughter, yeah, who watches her when you're training?
MARY KEITANY: I have somebody to take care of her and family members. But now she's in school all day.

Q. She's in school already at 3?
MARY KEITANY: Yeah, but it's not the school, but play group.

Q. For a couple hours?

Q. Have you talked to Gabriele lately?

Q. Is he excited for you?
MARY KEITANY: Focused on the weather.

Q. There's not supposed to be wind. So he's happy about that, right? Should be a good forecast for Sunday.

Q. Are your kids going to be at the finish line?
MARY KEITANY: Yes, they will be at the finish line.

Q. How many miles or kilometers a week are you running?
MARY KEITANY: Per week? I've never counted because I'm doing twice. Once maybe 40 minutes in the evening, and right now in the morning, I do a one hour workout. So I never counted.

Q. One hour in the morning and how much in the evening?
MARY KEITANY: 40 minutes in the evening. So sometimes there is a day of track and a day of workout. So you can't tell how many per week because sometimes we run maybe Saturday like maybe 25, and then another day we go to the track to do like maybe speed work, like maybe 1,000 maybe times five or times ten.

Q. And how long is your long run?

Q. Two hours?
MARY KEITANY: Yeah, maybe 2 hours or 2 hours, 20.

Q. Slow or fast?

Q. Where's the hardest part of this course in New York? Most difficult?
MARY KEITANY: I think the first half is much easier. So the last half.

Q. So Sunday, you could win for a third straight time. Is that something that keeps your mind busy, or you don't think about it?
MARY KEITANY: I'm just thinking about running.

Q. So how are you now physically?
MARY KEITANY: I'm good. I'm ready.

Q. How did you prepare for this race?
MARY KEITANY: I trained well. So I think I prepared myself well. I'm feeling ready.

Q. Mary, you as a mother, how do you continue to be so competitive and juggle the other tasks? Is that hard?
MARY KEITANY: What I can say is that running to me is my job. In order for my kids to be stable, I have to run. So I'm running for my kids to be stable, my family to be stable. Running for me is a job, and I love it.

Q. You just have one daughter?
MARY KEITANY: Yeah, one daughter and one son.

Q. One son. How old is he?
MARY KEITANY: 8 and 3.

Q. And how do you feel this time? Do you feel good?

Q. Better than last year or about the same?
MARY KEITANY: Maybe the same. But I'm okay.

Q. Were you disappointed not to run in the Olympics?
MARY KEITANY: Yeah, very disappointed because when I lost in London, I wanted to go to Olympics again. So I said, okay, I'll just go to New York and defend my title.

Q. Athletics Kenya has been having a hard time lately.
MARY KEITANY: Don't want to talk about that.