Interviews with Top Americans at NYC Half

March 18, 2012



An Interview With:







RICHARD FINN:  We have our four leading Americans
here.  We have Kara Goucher in the
middle, third place today; Desi Davila, ninth place on the ladies side.  On the men’s size, Dathan Ritzenhein,
14th; and Meb was 12th.  Comment
from each of the four up here and then we’ll just open it up for some quick

RITZENHEIN:  Well, it was the first
race back since the marathon trials, and the time wasn’t that bad, but I would
have never thought I’d be 14th place. 
So that kind of doesn’t sound great to me.  But amazing field because after about 30 seconds, 35
seconds, there was about 10 guys, so I tried to stay with the pack for as long
as possible and at probably about 11 and a half miles I finally got
gapped.  It was kind of a struggle
the last two miles.  My legs felt
kind of ‰ÛԉÛÔ didn’t feel great, but aerobically I felt good, so coming off a
marathon it’s not a terrible first race.

FINN:  Next up for you, Dathan, I
think it’s back up to the track, I think. 
Any thoughts how this leads into the track and when we’ll see you on the
track again?

RITZENHEIN:  Yeah, so I’ll just
keep working my way down in distance now, and I’ve got all the aerobic
background, so I just need to keep bringing the distance a little shorter, get
back on the track, do some fast stuff, and I think I’ll be ready.

think it’s about two months after the marathon trials, so two months after
that, it’s not bad.  It’s a pretty
standard probably first race for me back.

FINN:  Kara, third place.  I heard that, again, you were holding
your baby at the finish line.  It
looked like smiles all around. 
Your thoughts about the race today?

GOUCHER:  Yeah, this is my second
year back and I had a lot more fun this year, I want to admit.  I just wanted to come and run a hard,
aggressive race.  The race went out
really quick, the women’s race.  I
think my coach told me at about four miles I was the same distance behind Kim
that I was at the finish.  Going
for the win was a little bit out of my league today, but I decided to kind of
run my own race and take over the second pack at about five miles, and that was
aggressive for me because I usually wait a lot longer.  But I had a lot of fun, and great
course, great atmosphere, and good return after the trials.

FINN:  And I think you’ve said that
starting April 1st you really will sort of hunker down and start the marathon

GOUCHER:  Yeah, I travel to
Mammoth, to Meb’s hometown, April 1st, and that’s a four‰ÛÔmonth dedication I’ve
committed to with my coach, four months out from the Olympics, so this was
really just a lot of fun for me and a chance to dip down to 100 miles a week
and have some fun.

FINN:  Desi, your thoughts, and
also looking ahead how this either sets you up for your Olympic training and
again for the marathon?

DAVILA:  I pretty much got
everything out of this that I had hoped to.  I look at ninth and I go, oh, that’s not great.  But I’ll start looking at the numbers
and go, okay, next time if I’m in better shape I can be here, I can run this
time.  This was really a starting
point.  I did about a month of
decent work coming in here, and back home you have those cold mornings where
you’re running hard but you’re not really sure what it means.  I just didn’t really know where I was
at, and I knew that once I finished I would be excited about things, either
looking at a result going, man, I’ve got a lot of work to do, or going, okay,
pleasantly surprised.  So it’s a
little bit of both, I guess.  Time‰ÛÔwise
it’s not far off from my PR, but ninth is never great.  So I am going to walk away with both of
those on my mind.

FINN:  And when do you ‰ÛԉÛÔ do
you also start your marathon training for the Olympics on April 1st, or is
there some sort of three months, two months?

DAVILA:  We’ll be a little bit
closer to the ‰ÛԉÛÔ I guess maybe a 10‰ÛÔ, 11‰ÛÔweek buildup, but I’ll do some
shorter stuff, work on some speed, take another tiny break and get going from

FINN:  Meb, your thoughts on today
and also again looking ahead to London. 
How does this sort of set you up or give you an indication where you
might stand for London?

KEFLEZIGHI:  It’s always great to
be in New York and be competing. 
The crowd was phenomenal. 
Yesterday was a jog in Central Park, and somebody yelled, “go USA,
go Meb.”  It was a lot of fun,
and today was the same thing.

Dathan says, we were at the trials two months ago, and this was a good
benchmark to see where we are and how we recovered from it.  I’m very satisfied with the time
today.  With 1K to go it was all
those guys, from Sam Chelanga and behind, were running together, and then all
of a sudden I just didn’t have the turnover, and that’s what the marathon does
to you after two months ago.

felt healthy and just excited to get to London and put on the training.  I think I’m going to do a couple races,
short races, and then come May, June and July it’s going to be everything,
hopefully run a PR and give it a shot, be competitive and hopefully be on the
podium.  But one thing at a
time.  Got to have fun, and the rest
will take care of itself.


            Q.  Kara and Desi, were you guys by
yourselves most of the way?  Did
you have guys to run with?  I know
Kim and Firehiwot were ahead.  Kind
of walk us through where you were in the race.

GOUCHER:  I was kind of in a group,
a smaller group with a couple men and quite a few women.  I think between four and five miles I
decided to take over that group, and once I left the park, I never looked back,
but I felt like I was completely by myself.  And I kept hoping there would be someone, some sort of
carnage from the men’s race to sort of bridge the gap between myself and Kim,
but there was nothing.


            Q.  Basically a solo?

GOUCHER:  It was, which I never do,
so I’m actually really excited about it.

DAVILA:  I was fortunate enough to
have the carnage from Kara’s pack. 
They were kind of stringing out in front of me, so I was like, thank you
for whoever is doing the work up there that’s giving me something to look
forward to, and I caught a couple of people along the way, so thank you.


            Q.  For all four of you guys, what was your
initial reaction when you saw the pace taken out so fast?

RITZENHEIN:  Well, right from the
get‰ÛÔgo, the first three guys, they went off, and I thought that was just ‰ÛԉÛÔ
that was not for me today.  So I
was content being with a group, because that was just ‰ÛԉÛÔ if I would have
done that, I don’t know if I would have made it probably 10K today.  But we went pretty aggressively.  We probably ran the opposite way of
what we should have if we wanted to really run fast on this course.  The park was definitely hard, and so I
think for all of us having run the marathon, that’s a little bit of a challenge
because even if you keep the effort the same, changing the pace, going up and
down the hills, our miles were like 4:30, 4:50.  They were all over the place, and that’s kind of hard to do,
and I think that kind of took a little bit of stinging to my legs.

GOUCHER:  Honestly with Kim in the
race I kind of expected it to go quick. 
I didn’t expect it to go that quick.  I think I was 16 minutes through 5K and she was about 15:30.  I just ‰ÛԉÛÔ my body doesn’t work
that way, at least not right now, so they were gone.

DAVILA:  Yeah, same thing.  I didn’t even know that’s what they
went through the 5K in because I was well behind that.  Knowing how the park rolls and where I’m
at right now, I was just kind of focused on my own race, especially early on,
and then was able to build on that throughout.

KEFLEZIGHI:  I mean, everybody was
talking about under an hour for the half here, and it was possible,
obviously.  I know I was not going
to go at that pace, so we were running 4:32, 4:28 at a couple of miles.  What were they running, you kind of
wondered.  Once it got away, we
were comfortable in that second group and tried to hang on to that and tried to
make a move when possible.  But the
first three guys were by themselves early right away, and in a half marathon
you can get away with it.

FINN:  I do want to make sure that
I note that Kara was our first American ladies finisher; Janet Cherobon‰ÛÔBawcom
in fifth place was our second U.S. ladies finisher; and Desi was our third
American finisher today.  But all
three in the top ten.  Any other
comments, questions?


            Q.  Kara, what are your racing plans from
now until trials?

GOUCHER:  I’m not going to do a lot
of racing.  I’ve decided to try
this marathon thing all out this time, so I’m looking at running either the 10K
at the trials or the Grandma’s Half Marathon the week before, but that’s really
it.  I’m just training.

FINN:  Thank you very much.  It’s always a pleasure to see all of
you here.


            FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Check Also

Emily Sisson Wins US 20K Title Handily, Young Edges Mantz for Men’s Crown

SISSON, YOUNG TAKE USATF 20-K TITLES IN NEW HAVENBy David Monti, @d9monti(c) 2023 Race Results …

Leave a Reply

NE Runner