FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Americans Look To Podium At ING New York City Marathon
Ryan Hall, Meb Keflezighi, Abdi Abdirahman, Brian Sell, Jorge Torres and
Jason Lehmkuhle spoke Thursday at a press conference in advance of the ING
New York City Marathon. The race on Sunday also will serve as the 2009 USA
Men's Marathon Championship. Below are excerpts from the press conference.
Abdi Abdirahman: This is my second home, New York. I've run this race many
times. I've been feeling good, everything's been going well. Everybody says
"you look happy, you look good, you look fit." I'm not going to predict
anything, but there's something in the air this year. We're going to have a
group of guys in the front. It won't be just me and Meb or me and Ryan.
It's going to be a great day for U.S. distance running on Sunday. There's
only one race and there only can be one winner. I am going in with one
mentality, and that is to be the first guy across the finish line. We are
all there to be the first across the finish line.
Meb Keflezighi: I'd like to ask everybody to put their head down for a
second for Ryan Shay. This is my first time coming back to New York since
2007. I've been here many, many times. I'm excited. This has been a good
year for me, and I'm looking forward to Sunday. It's a race of 26.2 miles,
and it's going to be the best in the world. We're all going to run our
hearts out. In Boston in 2006 we (the Americans) were third, fourth and
fifth. If we can replicate that on Sunday, it will be a great day for us.
Ryan Hall: I'm excited to actually be running here. I've been here since
2006 watching this race. I'm glad to actually be running. I have a whole
lot to run for here, with our Hall Steps Foundation. I'm so for all these
guys who are up here (the Americans), if any of us gets on that podium or
in the top spot, that's a victory for America. I don't feel competitive
toward them, I feel we're encouraging of each other. It's about how we can
finish as high as possible.
On his familiarity with the course: I feel like I've run this race. I've
been on the course many times, in the lead vehicle. I've previewed the last
20 miles, tempo'd the last six miles, done loops and loops around the park
.I've gotten dizzy doing that. I think it's actually very similar to the
Central Park Olympic Trials course. I think coming into the park, for those
of us who ran the Trials, it's going to be a breath of fresh air. It will
be like, we made it. We know what Central Park is like.
Brian Sell: It's very exciting to be here on the 40th running, and what
better race to do it at. It would be great if we're 1-6 up here. We all
have our goals in mind and hopefully we're all racing and attacking that
On familiarity with the course: I came out about a month ago and ran the
first 20 miles, then came out the next day and ran the last 16. Sunday's
course has a few more long grinders, and Central Park has more rolling
hills. I think it will be interesting.
On retiring: I caught lightning in a bottle in 2007. If I can repeat that
this year, I'd be really happy. I'm feeling it more than I was in 2007, in
my hips. I'm getting older and looking forward to running in the mornings
so I can have a big breakfast, and no other reason. If I have a top five
finish, that would make me think twice (about retiring).
Jorge Torres: I want to that the NY RR for putting on such a great event
and giving me an opportunity to debut here. To be on the world stage in the
media capital of the world is a great opportunity, and I hope not to
disappoint myself and the American public. We're here for one mission and
one mission only: to show America that we've made it to the top.
On getting advice from his coach, Steve Jones, former NYC Marathon winner:
I keep on asking Steve about the race but he keeps putting it off. He tells
me just relax, don't worry about it, we'll talk about it closer to the
race. We're cutting it pretty close. There marathon is a whole new event
for me, but I've had some pretty solid workouts. I'm probably in one of the
best forms I've ever been in my life, I just hope it translates over into
On running the course: I haven't had a chance to actually run it myself,
but I've seen it on TV many times and I've seen how the race breaks down
Jason Lehmkuhle: I'm so excited to be here, back in New York. It's an
incredibly competitive field. Certainly the deepest American field since
the '07 Trials here and the most competitive marathon I've ever been in. I
can't wait for Sunday. I don't think anybody would tell you they are racing
only for an American championship. We're running to place as high as we can
in the field.
About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and
field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF
encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched
events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school
participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United
For more information on USATF, visit www.usatf.org