Arrived in NYC for the press conference and Achilles International meetings. Rather than dwell on the cancellation, this blog deals with the more positive aspects with the Community of Runners.
There will be two posts.. my Running Groupie at its best and then the next post will be the inspiration of Achilles and the run in Central Park.
First up, after flying in from Toronto and getting my press credentials, I go to the press tent, noticed Edna Kipligat, standing by herself after a run. Also noticed Deena Kastor being interviewed ( I later found out she is in NYC promoting her Mammoth Track Club). After I went up to get an “ iRun because….” Quote. As she was already speaking with a reporter I was talking to her husband , Andrew, and he gave me a couple of Mammoth Track t-shirts (and socks) really cool.
Deena’a quote was:
iRun because.. it gets me closer to my goal, one step at a time.
Andrew then said to her “not bad for an impromptu answer”.
Deena is a very famous Olympic Marathoner. She won the 2005 Chicago Marathon. In 2006, she won the London Marathon, Among many records, she holds U.S. records in the following events: Women’s marathon (set when winning the 2006 Flora London Marathon with a time of 2:19:36) Women’s half marathon (set at the 2006 Berlin Half Marathon with a time of 1:07:34)
The Press Conference also announced that Tokyo will become the 6th World Major Marathons for their February 2013 race .. rats I just completed 5 of them with Berlin and now I guess I have to travel to Tokyo to finish… buddy can you spare a dime? I need to get some funding for this one.
As always, when the elites arrive in the media tent and are assigned to their tables, I get really excited, being in their presence, so I take pictures of them before I approach and ask for a picture with them.
Sometimes I miss an opportunity to have get a shot with them, but still get a chance to get up close and ask questions. One in particular I am sorry I missed a photo was Tiki Gelana- winner of the 2012 London Olympics who set an Olympic Course record of 2:23:07. Through her interpreter her quote was:
iRun… to win
The wheel chair athletes were present as well and there was Josh Cassidy (our Canadian winner of Boston 2012 wearing a New York Rangers hockey shirt (but I guess he is in NYC so had to wear that).
Next up was a photo op with Edna Kiplagat , sporting a really cool hair do. She is the 2011 IAAF World Champion in the marathon. she established herself as an elite marathon runner with wins at the Los Angeles and New York City Marathons in 2010. Her personal best for the distance is 2:19:50 hours, set at the London Marathon in 2012 where she placed second. I was there to witness that event. Mary Keitany was first. The cancellation of the NYC marathon must have been frustrating for her because if she won she was to be the WMM (world marathon majors) champion and would have won $500,000 . But the WMM awarded the prize to Mary Keitany . Stuff happens. Her quote:
iRun ….for recovery.
Also got to meet the very attractive Buzunesh Deba, the Ethiopian speedster who lives and trains in the Bronx NY . Her PB is 2:23:19 and she was second in the 2011 NYC marathon. She won the 2011 San Diego Marathon and the LA Marathon.
iRun because …I love running.
One of the Olympic Trials winner Abdi Abdirahman who placed 3rd (2:09:47) and qualified to run in the 2012 London Olympics
iRun because… it is good for health and I love running
Interesting to note the elites think just like you and I in that we love running too.
At the press conferences, some of the elites are just sitting by themselves, so it gives me an opportunity to talk to them one on one. One of the American athletes, Andrew Carlson, was 6th in the Olympic Trials in a time of 2:11:24. I asked how he tapered and said he takes it easy. I mentioned Reid Coolaset reduced his distance to about 100k a week and Andrew said he drops to about 50 (then we discussed KM to Miles and he said OH so 80km is his tapering) His normal training is 135 Miles per week (about 216 km)
Andrew’s quote is:
iRun because… I love to push myself and compete.
Achilles International has runners and wheelchair athletes from around the world travelling every year to NYC to run the marathon. One local athlete Harold Vick who is deaf and blind, yet has run 20 NYC marathons. Harold was the recipient of the Annual Achievement Award. Through his interpreter he told me:
iRun because… I want to be an inspiration to others to show them you don’t have to sit inside and do nothing. To show them what can be done.
He was out running Central Park, along with thousands of others, on Sunday morning. And so was I.
Next post on Achilles International and those truly inspirational runners.