Highlights From 2014 .US National 12K Pre-Race Press Conference With Molly Huddle, Sara Hall, Aaron Braun And Christo Landry

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USATF Press Release
November 15, 2014

Opening Comments:

Molly Huddle, three-time national champion and 2013 .US 12K Champion, 5K champion
Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here at 12K again. It’s been a full year since my run here. It’s bee a good year, and I’m happy to cap it off in the same way and happy to be ending my season – it’s been a long one. I look forward to a great race tomorrow.”

Aaron Braun, Defending .US 12K Champion and Half Marathon runner-up
“It’s good to be back in Alexandria, This race was a lot of fun last year, so I decided to come back to the great fall weather on the East Coast. It’s better than Colorado right now. I’m excited to try out the new course and see what improvements have been made since last year.

Sara Hall, Three-time USARC runner-up and current USARC leader
“I’m also excited to be here. I love D.C. The last time I was here, I ran the Cherry Blossom 10-miler here and I love this city. Getting to be back is fun and racing the on the circuit.

Christo Landry, Three-time U.S. Champion, current USARC leader
“Like Sara, the last time I was here was for the 10-Mile Championships, and it’s just great to come home. I grew up right nearby. Any time I come back to this area, it feels like I’m coming home again regardless of where I live at the moment. It’s just great to be back where I grew up and where there is a great fan base, and USATF’s first road race.”

Sara Hall
On not specializing and I that keeps the sport fresh for her
“Definitely. It’s been a really fun year just experimenting and definitely pushing some of the longer distances for me. That made my training more strength oriented, which I think I actually respond well to strength training, even down in the shorter distances, so I think that’s kind of why I ran such a wide range because that training really agrees with me. It’s been a fun.”

On being surprised at how strong she is this year
“I think I’ve just been surprised how naturally – especially post my appendix bursting in August, which took a little bit to come back from – I was surprised at hoe quickly I came back and how naturally the longer training is going. When I first decided to do a marathon, originally it was going to be this fall, I always saw this time of year as the time I wanted to try it. The more I do this type of training, the more it feels more natural to me.”

Christo Landry
On the USA Running Circuit supports athletes and as career is evolving
“Absolutely and not just this year. Coming in the past few years, I think it’s a great bood to American runners because it give them a chance to compete for American Championships maybe at an earlier points in their careers than they might otherwise. The fact that it’s a U.S. championship and it pays out to American athletes not only give people coming out of college their first chance to earn prize money to earn a living while doing the sport they love earlier than they might otherwise if there weren’t U.S. championships that they could run. I think it’s a great series, and obviously I’ve been having a good year, and it’s very enjoyable. But I think it’s a great series for many people, even me in the previous years when I wasn’t winning national championships. I still thought the races were a blast and that it was a very special opportunity to have outside of some of the other chances there are out there on the roads. “

Sara Hall
On competing on the USA Running Circuit
Prior to this year, I was mainly running track. When I was running track, it can be difficult to have some opportunities near the end of the year, where you can actually make some money so that you can offset things enough to go and chase these fast times, and a lot of times you are kind of trying pay your own way.”

Molly Huddle
On being a defending champion and winning three USARC races so far. Chasing a fast time?
“I’m not sure what the times will be like. I feel like it’s faster, so I’m just focused on the win and that’s what’s important to me tomorrow. How fast we have to go, hopefully I am ready to do that”

Aaron Braun
On putting pressure on himself for a first U.S. Championships win last year and trying to repeat.
“It gives me a lot of confidence. For me, it’s getting over the mountain kind of a thing, where once I know that I have done something once than I know that I can do it again. But at the same time, it’s exciting knowing that I know what to expect. Those positive emotions will hopefully keep me going later in the race when things start getting hard, knowing that I was able to do it last year. I feel like I am in as good of shape if not better shape than last year, so I should be able to pull it out again this year.”

Molly Huddle
On learning about the distance
“I do think in the end, it felt a lot like a 10K. I had been doing some strength work before that. I think a 2K wasn’t that much to add, but this year I hit the 7-Mile distance a lot, so I kind of have a good pace memory so that I feel pretty prepared for that distance this time around.

Christo Landry
On how is legs are holding up after running a marathon
“Last year, there was no top-send speed in my leg. I hadn’t run much faster than 4:40 for a mile for the preceding four or five months. Going into this year’s marathon, I had actually done some quicker things, and I had a lot more time to prepare for it. I think I am more prepared for the 12K distance this year than I was last year. That being said, it’s five weeks after a marathon, so how prepared can you be? There is always the chance my legs will give out halfway through. Hopefully that doesn’t happen. I’ve been taking it pretty easy on the mileage and giving them the best chance they can to recover, and I’m feeling pretty fresh, so hopefully be feeling the same way during the race.

Sara Hall
On recovering from injury and still coming back so strong
“Fortunately my body is very durable, and I don’t have many overuse injuries but I have a lot of freak injuries like tripping or an appendix bursting. It’s been just a process of taking it a day at a time, but I just focused on what I could to get back that day. Once I could run, I did push the envelope a little more than doctors told me to, but I got away with it. For some reason ever sense that, things have been coming back pretty fast. I think there was some carry over, so I didnt lose all of it and start back at zero. I’m excited to be where I am. This is the beginning of my season and I have the whole rest of the year to go, and I’m excited where I go from here.

On when she will peak
“I took two full weeks of no running, so I am basically at the beginning of the year. I am planning to do a marathon. I haven’t chosen which one yet, so I’m trying to figure out the whole picture of everything for the whole year and see which one makes the most sense and which one fits more. After this race, I will probably be turing the corner towards more marathon-specific training.

Christo Landry
No athlete has won four road racing championships in one year. Do you think you will do it tomorrow?
“I think it would be pretty special, let alone that you won a national champ individually four different times in one year. It’s not something you think you about going into the season. It’s not something that you expect by any mean, but I think that just makes it more special. That being said, I think my two best chances to do that are at the 7 Mile and 20K, and it’s more likely to be Molly’s chance to do it than I am tomorrow.

Molly Huddle
I think it would be pretty special. The competition at these races is always pretty good. No matter where I am in my peak of the year whether I am focusing on track or roads in the fall, I try to fit in as many of the U.S. road races that I can. This year, fortunately, I was able to do a lot. It’s fun for me to do these races. I just like the roads in general. This yea I was able to fit in an unusual number than before. That would be a pretty crazy streak. The women on the list who have won three are pretty great themselves, so that would be an honor.

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