Ethiopian countrywomen Firehiwot Dado (left) and Buzunesh Deba worked together to reel in front runner Mary Keitany and ended up finishing 1-2 (Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

New York - Ask anyone who runs regularly in Central Park: Ethiopian native Buzunesh Deba is a New Yorker. The Bronx resident, who is coached by her husband and fellow runner Worku Beyi, can be seen training in New York City’s most runner-friendly park two days per week. On Sunday, Deba enjoyed the best race of her life on her home turf, posting a 2:23:19 marathon on a tough course. That 14-second marathon personal record earned her a second-place finish, just four seconds behind the winner, her countrywoman, Firehiwot Dado. And Deba, 24, already has a plan for next year.

espnW: Do you know that you are the fastest New York woman in ING New York City Marathon race history?

Buzunesh Deba: I’m so happy. It was a tough race. Thank you to the New York people — all of them — who supported me today. We have a lot of friends in the Bronx. And they were supporting me, cheering me.

You were dropped [by Dado and third-place finisher Mary Keitany] in the last 10K; what were you feeling then?

BD: I had cramps in the beginning and in the last mile. The cramps were on both sides, underneath my ribs, and I lost my confidence in the beginning. But I know the course. I did good.

How do you feel about your fellow Ethiopian Firehiwot Dado, who edged you by four seconds today?

BD: I am so happy. She is my friend. We are from the same town in Ethiopia, and we ran on the same team there; it’s called the Prison team. We talked together during the race. When we saw her [Keitany], we said ‘oh my gosh, she is already here.’ We were talking together the whole time.

Did Worku [Deba’s husband and coach] give you special advice for this race?

BD: Yes, he gave me the pace.

[Asked to Worku Beyi] Your wife said she didn’t see you on the course, but you gave her the pace to run in advance; is that true?

Worku Beyi: Yes, I told her to go 5:20 to 5:25 [Deba’s average pace was 5:28 per mile] for the course record. Next time she is going to fix it. She did a little mistake, but she will fix it.

BD: My dream is to win next year.

Source: ESPN Women

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