November 4, 2001
MODERATOR: Top 3 American women. Third, Colleen De Reuck, 2:35:31. Milena Glusac and U.S.A. marathon champion 2:26:58 in her debut in the Marathon, Deena Drossin.
Q. First marathon for each of you. Could you tell us what it was like? Was it what you expected and how it was different?
DEENA DROSSIN: It was everything we expected and a lot more, I think. Go ahead.
MILENA GLUSAC: Well, I never realized how much cramping hurts (laughs) until after the Marathon, but it was an amazing experience. Much the people of New York were so compassionate and so wonderful and I think -- I know for a fact, I could not have picked a better race to make my debut. I am so happy I did and support U.S.A. track and field and thank you to all the sponsors of the New York City Marathon, the people of New York City, and to New York Road Runners Club, David Monti and his staff and Allan Steinfeld, Mary Wittenberg have been amazing. They have gone way beyond the call of duty and making the athletes feel at home. So it was wonderful. Deena.
DEENA DROSSIN: I know that when I committed 6 or seven months ago, whenever it was, I kept hearing that First Avenue was the time that you heard all the cheering that people were lining the streets, but it was truly every step of the way out there.
Q. Where were you most of the race, what place were you in?
MILENA GLUSAC: I don't know what place I was in. Through halfway I was 1:13:30 through halfway, and didn't mean for that to happen, but I don't know what place I was, I made some strong moves from 15 through 20, felt great at 20 then 22, start seeing some stars, so I don't know what place I was though at all.
MODERATOR: Joining me, of course, a lady that really doesn't need any introduction, 1984 Olympic gold medalist our Joan, Joan Benoit Samuelson.
Q. Joan, in all the times that you have run this race never have quite the feel (inaudible) with everything that's gone on, what the people were like, what the feeling was among the runners, was this just different?
JOAN BENOIT SAMUELSON: It was most definitely different and I found that, you know, every time I went by a fire house or like, around two and a half, three miles, there was an apple picker with three firemen in the bucket above the road and I couldn't help but tip my hat and that happened a lot. We're here because of them and it was just, I mean, they continue to do their good work through it all and they were here today and I think the crowds were thicker than I can recall them being on along First Avenue and the park and there were people everywhere. But I think they were particularly thick and deep in those areas. I am hoping that this will help too, with the healing process in the city and I think it may very well be a big turning point for the city.
Q. How do you think the popularity of women's sports as a whole (inaudible)?
MODERATOR: We lost the last second because they were drowned out by noise behind us.
Q. How do you think the popularity of women's sports now (inaudible)in your particular sport?
DEENA DROSSIN: Gosh, I think that it's elevated to an entirely new level. It was shown today with the competitive field that the New York Road Runners Club brought together, it was amazing depth in the field that we were towing the line with today. I think that that causes each of us to rise to the challenge of being able to compete with the best in the world and they were definitely out there today.
Q. Deena, talk about your race today and how it went, what strategy did you use and where did you come back and move ahead --
DEENA DROSSIN: Majority of the race, I was trying to stay comfortable and relaxed and I know that probably the 22 mile -- 22 mile point was the slap in the face where the pain started to set in and my quads started shaking and my stomach and throat were rejecting the fluids that I was trying to drink and oh, gosh, it was probably about that point that I tried to look around me and gather all the energy from the crowd that was cheer go through Central Park. They were just totally amazing out there. They really brought me home to the finish line today.
Q. You realize that it's the fastest American time anywhere in nine years and it is the fastest American time ever here.
DEENA DROSSIN: I have been told that and I can hardly believe it really. I guess the training process to get here was absolutely spectacular. I loved every step of it. My training group with running U.S.A. in California was just better that I could have ever dreamed of. I think if it was just the race today that the pain would have scared me away and I would never do it again but I really, really enjoyed preparing for this and being a part of it this year.
MODERATOR: You will do another Marathon?
DEENA DROSSIN: (Laughs) don't make me commit to that while I am still aching. (Laughs)
Q. Were you in the Masters ranking?
JOAN BENOIT SAMUELSON: I was second. Gordon went.
Q. Tell us about your halfway splits, anything?
JOAN BENOIT SAMUELSON: I didn't do -- I wanted to run 6 minutes, 6 minutes, 6 minutes. I held onto that up until about 20, 21 and then I really fell off the pace. I had some cramping in my left achilles and I just wanted to finish. I really wanted to get the A. Qualifying standard, but I -- I just finished as best I could.
Q. You think you were a little short on training? I know you said you really didn't get gearing up for a more than until the kids went back to school?
JOAN BENOIT SAMUELSON: I was really feeling flat this summer and I started basically September 5th with the 20 milers. I had 8 good 20 mile runs but some of them doubled up and that's not the way to train. It is like cramming for an exam. I crammed everything in in a couple of months but I felt very strong on the Queensboro Bridge I thought I was -- I started to pick up the pace there and when I came down I really started to cramp up and I just survived the last segment of the course.
Q. You were in that lead pack early on and Deena I know you said you wanted to stay comfortable. How did you feel in those late miles when the pack was still together and how it felt when Margaret made the big move and things were rolling?
COLLEEN DE REUCK: Well, I was there 'til halfway then they I increased the pace and I was off at 8 miles. I was feeling bad already, so I was just trying to hang on as long as I could.
DEENA DROSSIN: I think when Margaret made the move it was -- in a Marathon you prepare for everything to be gradual and Margaret's move was anything but that. It was extremely disdecisive and it kind of knocked me off my feet a little bit, trying to just stay consistent with the pace and hoping to read them back in eventually which never happens.
Q. Now first-timers, either of you two have a question for the veterans next to you?
DEENA DROSSIN: I have a question for the press that if anyone was in the press checking got a picture of running next to Joan I'd pay anything for it.
JOAN BENOIT SAMUELSON: As would I.
MODERATOR: I think this wonderful thing is the camraderie between the athletes themselves. They came here as one. To put the race down and then they regroup and they are all great friends. It is wonderful to be behind the scenes with them. I promise you.
Q. For the first-timers, the men were talking about getting down to 2:11 by 2004. What are your goals in that time span?
DEENA DROSSIN: I am going to see how much TV I can watch in the next month. I am just parking myself in on the couch; haven't even thought of future goals yet.
MILENA GLUSAC: We'll see how long it takes before the cramping goes away.
MODERATOR: Joan, can you shed a little bit of experience at this.
MILENA GLUSAC: Does it ever go away?
Q. What do you think it will take to do well --
MILENA GLUSAC: I just think personally for me more consistent training, long runs, and definitely opportunities like this to run against the best in the world and I think as Americans we have proven that we have the ability, we have the desire, we have the coaching, we have the resources to do it. Now it is just going to be a matter of time and I think you are going to see Americans in the top 1, 2 and 3 and I think it's very exciting and so I think it's just going to get better from here for the Americans men and women as a whole.
DEENA DROSSIN: When you look at the -- at what has worked in the world so far it's the African nations that really pull through consistently year in year out and I think that the United States is catching on to that, that the Kenyans, the Ethiopians, Moroccans, they all have training camps and the United States has started to follow that with the running U.S.A. programs that are throughout the nation. I think that's elevating distance running in the U.S. right now and it is going to continue in the next few years. I think the training groups themselves are -- I am in one right now with 4 Olympians and a bunch of international competitors that to elevate you to another level you have to work with people at that level. So those groups, I think are what is going to work for the United States in the next few years and bring them to international competitions ready to compete against the best.
Q. Same question I asked the men, there's talk of holding the Olympic trails in a venues like this in the same situation. What would your feelings on that be versus the traditional separate trials race?
JOAN BENOIT SAMUELSON: I think it would be great for the men and women to run together in the same venue and if New York wants to host it or Boston or Chicago or Twin Cities, any of the major Marathons, that's great. It brings us all together. It brings you to the event and I think that's what best for American distance running.
Q. First year since 77 that there was a course change made to eliminate (inaudible) any idea as to how much time that may have made a difference and would it have made a difference in the record?
JOAN BENOIT SAMUELSON: What hill? (Laughs). I don't think so, I think you know, that was like probably Deena liked it because it was like being on a track. I personally like the undulating terrain. I think it just depends on the racer.
Q. But in terms of a time do you think that it made much difference overall?
JOAN BENOIT SAMUELSON: No. I really don't.
DEENA DROSSIN: You are still having to get up to that same point so whether it is long and gradual or short and steep you are still having to get there.
Q. Deena there were so much pressure on you, expectations. You clearly had high expectations yourself on the training. Can you give us an assessment of your performance and are you 100% pleased with it?
DEENA DROSSIN: Yeah I am. I am ecstatic with today. I didn't feel the pressure. I converted it more into people being really supportive of me and I couldn't ask for anything greater than what was given to me with the people of New York and the America and the media and all have really embraced me and I thank everyone for it.
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