Endurance: 2012 ING NYC Marathon

Big city excitement builds for Amy Hastings

November, 1, 2012
(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

NEW YORK -- American Olympian Amy Hastings is still riding the Olympic wave, some three months after the cauldron was extinguished in London. The 28-year-old is focused on Sunday's ING New York City Marathon, a race she considers to be just as exciting and grand as the Olympic Games, where she finished 11th in the 10,000 meters.

"It's that same excitement you get," Hastings told Race Results Weekly on Wednesday. "The energy is very similar. The city has an energy all of its own. With the marathon especially, it's just a feeling that I can't really describe."

Hastings will be making her ING New York City Marathon debut and first start in a World Marathon Majors event Sunday as she toes the starting line on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, something she's looked forward to since her collegiate days at Arizona State.

"I realized pretty early on that the longer the run, the better I was at it. It just came easier to me," Hastings said. "When I was in college running the 10,000m, I said I'd be a marathoner. It's something that I've just always wanted to do."

Coming off her Olympic experience on the track, Hastings compared how the marathon distance is unique and special to her, how the adrenaline and anticipation builds in a different form than that one gets when racing on the oval.

"For the track, it really is every four years when it's important," she said. "But for the marathon it's different. Yes, you have the Olympics every four years. But you also have these majors that are huge every year. It's really cool to be a marathoner because you get this excitement with every race."

If there's one thing Hastings learned from her Olympic experience, it was to channel that excitement and use it as fuel to take risks mid-race. Part-way through the Olympic 10,000, Hastings had a tough choice to make: go with the leaders as they picked up the pace, or settle in. She risked it all, kept pushing and wound up with a personal best of 31:10.69. The mental fortitude helps Hastings keep striving for more.

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Big Apple Bound: 5 Qs With Molly Pritz

October, 21, 2012
Last November, Molly Pritz turned a few heads in her 26.2-mile debut at the ING New York City Marathon, finishing as the top American woman in 12th place with a 2:31:52 clocking. The 24-year-old, who lives and trains in Boulder, Colo., dominated last year's U.S. 25K championship as well, winning by three minutes. The Bucknell grad has had to deal with equal parts elation and devastation in her young career, however, fracturing her kneecap while training for January's Olympic Marathon Trials, a race she started but was unable to finish.

So far this year, Pritz -- who said she’s been “hitting better workouts than she’s ever hit” -- has been on a tear, running a 1:10:45 personal best to win the San Francisco 2nd Half Marathon in July, and following that up with a close runner-up finish to Renee Metivier Baillie at the U.S. 20K Championships in September, where she ran 1:07:21.
We caught up with Pritz a few days before she headed to sea level to make her final preparations for this year’s New York City Marathon on Nov. 4.

Two-part question: How does it feel to be returning to New York as the top American finisher from last year’s race? And do you feel any additional pressure this time around, especially considering the stellar U.S. field that’s been assembled this year?

I certainly feel differently than I did last year. I put no pressure on myself last year just because I was coming off an injury, it was my first marathon -- there were just so many variables, but I even had a hard time betting on myself. So, finishing as top American at New York was just a monumental feat for me and I was nothing but excited about it. Originally, heading into New York [this year], I felt like there was some pressure just because you do want to retain that title and show that it's not a fluke and that you can go back and repeat. And then they released the field and you see all these huge names that are some of the best runners in our sport and some of the best female marathoners ever to grace the U.S., and it puts a little less pressure on me because there’s such big names coming into the race. I still put a lot of pressure on myself. I have big goals and I hope to accomplish them, and whether that puts me as first American or eighth American, I don’t care. I just want to be able to hit my time goal and hopefully that will put me in the hunt.

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