2004 ING New York City Marathon
The 2004 ING New York City Marathon features an exceptionally strong field of runners - many of whom could win this prestigious event. MarathonGuide.com caught up with a few of these athletes at the press conferences and one-on-one. Here is some of what we learned about their thoughts on this weekend's marathon and on running and life in general:
Meb Keflezighi, 2004 Olympic Marathon Silver Medalist, American record-holder at the 10,000 meters and 20K.
How have you felt about the celebrity of winning the silver medal at Athens?
What I've appreciated the most about the celebrity is hearing people tell me about watching the race and how inspired and happy it made them feel to see me win the silver medal.
What has your training been like since Athens?
Prior to Athens, I was running 130 miles a week, but in the last ten weeks since Athens I have been running 100-110 miles per week, long runs, tempo runs, but no double workouts. I've been training in Mammoth Lakes at altitudes between 7,800 and 9,000 feet and focusing on my Wednesday and Sunday long runs.
The 2002 NYC Marathon was your debut marathon. What did you learn from that race?
In the 2002 NYC Marathon, I made a few rookie mistakes. I chose the wrong shoes for the race, a pair of lightweight 10,000 meter shoes. In that race I also threw away my hat too early in the race and later got cold which affected my running.
Who do you see as your toughest competition on Sunday? What are your goals for this race?
Anyone with a low bib number. This field is so deep that it is impossible to say who will win. My goal is to win the race and I would like to set a PR here.
Dan Browne, US Olympian in the 10,000m and Marathon at Athens, 12-time USA champion.
Why did you choose the ING NYC Marathon?
New York is a huge stage. When people ask me about being a runner, they ask if I've been to the Olympics. When I tell people I'm a marathoner, they ask me if I've run New York. I've wanted to do this race for a long time and that's why I'm here.
Are you recovered from the Olympics? Can you do well with only 10 weeks since the Olympic Marathon and 10,000?
Yes, I'm recovered and ready to run. People put up walls and prevent themselves from achieving what they can. As I runner, I know that I can break through any of those walls and that anything is possible.
Abdi Abdirahman, US Olympian at the 10,000m in 2000 and 2004, debut at the Marathon
When did you decide to run the NYC Marathon?
I was supposed to do it last year, but wasn't ready so I promised to do it this year. I knew that I was going to do it in January, but waited until the Olympic 10,000m to announce it.
What has your training been like since the Olympics?
Before the Olympics I was dedicated to training for the 10,000m. Since the olympics I have been training in Mammoth Lakes and putting in 140-150 miles per week. I've been tapering for the last two weeks.
Who are your idols? Who is your inspiration?
I've been friends with Meb Keflizighi since 1997 and motivated by Meb. Meb is my hero and when I saw him in the Olympics, I said: "if Meb did it, I can do it."
What's your goal?
I'm stronger than I've ever been and so confident now. I'm in the best shape of my life and my goal is to win.
Paula Radcliffe, world record holder in the Marathon. Announced she would run the ING NYC Marathon just two weeks before the race.
Why did you choose the ING NYC Marathon?
I saw how my training was going and I was out running one day and felt good and that I should do a marathon. I looked at the schedule and saw that New York would fit and I've really wanted to do New York for a long time. I'm really looking forward to running New York, I ran the 5th Avenue Mile in 1995, '96 and '97 and won the New York Mini in 2001 and really enjoyed those races and the support and I'm looking forward to even more in the Marathon.
Are you planning to win? Are you running this to try to get redemption after Athens?
I'm definitely coming to win the race, that's why I'm here. There's no point in trying to run for second or third. As for Athens, what happened is in the past and I'll have to live with it, but it's in the past.