Kastor Breaks World Masters Half-marathon Record #running #marathon #kastor

running-advice-bugDeena Kastor remains one the greatest American distance runners and she showed that off to the world this weekend by crushing the World Record for Master’s women runners in the half-marathon. In running 1:09:21 she busted some other world master’s marks along the way, including for the 15K, 10 miles and 20K.

Kastor after Rock N Roll Philly 2014; Photo: Andrew McClanahan@PhotoRun

Kastor after Rock N Roll Philly 2014; Photo: Andrew McClanahan PhotoRun

Kastor is no stranger to running fast. In addition to taking the bronze medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and holding the American record for the marathon, she also holds American records for the half-marathon, 15K, 8k and 5K. She’s also won the London and Chicago Marathons. Her 5K personal best of 14:51.62 is pretty smokin’ fast.

I met Kastor over ten years ago and I remember feeling that I dwarfed the diminutive runner, whose arm at the bicep was about as big around as my wrist. At 5′ 4″ and about 104 pounds she’s small but mighty fast. She is a source of inspiration for many runners, not only due to her speed but due to her longevity and the calm and class that she exudes when she talks about running.

Famed running commentator John Bingham called the race this weekend. He said on Facebook afterward, “. . .to be able to talk to her and listen to her speak with grace and humility and gratitude was as inspirational as her performance.”

After the race, Kastor remarked “I went through a rollercoaster of emotions. Today’s race was a benchmark. “It was really humid out there and I didn’t feel great, but I ran fast so I’m thrilled.”

Kastor reportedly plans to run the New York City Marathon this year and may take another shot at the US Olympic Marathon team in 2016.

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Racing — Past Champions Merga, Kosegi Among Boston Contenders

running-advice-bugBOSTON — The organizers of the Boston Marathon have announced the international elite field for the 2010 Marathon. 2009 Boston Marathon champions Deriba Merga of Ethiopia and Salina Kosgei of Kenya will return to defend their titles for the 114th running of the race on April 19.

Among other returning champions Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot and Catherine Ndereba of Kenya, Dire Tune of Ethiopia, and Lidiya Grigoryeva of Russia will also be contending for the title. Organizers announced separately back in December that Americans Ryan Hall and Meb Keflezighi will lead the American contingent at the event.

In the 2009 men’s race, Deriba Merga of Ethiopia clipped Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot’s three-in-a-row streak and ran away from the lead pack in the Newton hills, unchallenged to the finish. Merga is just one of three Ethiopians to interrupt Kenyan dominance of the event over the past two decades.
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Races — Kastor wins Rock N Roll Arizona Half Marathon, Hall second in men’s race

running-advice-bugPHOENIX — American record holder and Olympic Bronze medalist Deena Kastor returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in ten months today at the seventh annual P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon. Kastor set a new Arizona state record with a time of 1:09:43, ending the longest dry spell of her now-legendary career.

Kastor wins Rock N Roll Arizona Half Marathon 2010

“This race solidifies that my training has been going well,” said Kastor, after her victory that smashed the 15-year-old state record of 1:13:39 set by Marie Boyd in Tucson. “Running sub 1:10 off this training makes me excited about my next phase going into the London Marathon in April. Today was the first time in a couple of years I felt like my old self running again.”

Kastor, who broke her foot during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Marathon and spent most of 2009 recovering, ran an aggressive first mile in 4:54 and was on American record pace through four miles before a stubborn headwind and lack of competition slowed her in the second half. Reigning American marathon champion Ilsa Paulson of New York City finished a disappointing second in 1:17:04, well off her 1:13:20 personal best.

“I knew it could go only two ways, really good or really bad,” said Paulson. “I’ve been doing a lot of miles for many months, but the speed is just not there yet, it’s the last thing to come. I felt like I could run a 5:45 pace forever, but when I had to try to run a 5:20 pace to stick with Deena for the first two miles it just fried my legs.”
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Races — Hall, Kastor set to race Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon

running-advice-bugPHOENIX — Two of the biggest names in U.S. distance running will take to the roads in the “Valley of the Sun” for the seventh P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon and Half Marathon. Olympians Deena Kastor and Ryan Hall will make their 2010 racing debuts in the half-marathon where they each hold the U.S. record for the 13.1-mile distance.

This dynamic duo will lead a top international field, featuring seven past champions from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series and more than 32,000 runners participating in the largest same day marathon and half-marathon in the United States.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to compete in the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona half-marathon for my first time,” said Hall, who set the U.S. record in 2007 when he won the USA Half-Marathon Championship at Houston in 59 minutes, 43 seconds, becoming the first and only American to ever break the one-hour barrier on a record standard course, while bettering the previous U.S. record that had stood for 21 years.

“I have always wanted to run the event ever since Haile broke the world record for the half-marathon there,” he added, referring to the 2006 stellar performance of distance running legend Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, who set a then-world 1/2-marathon record (58:55) on the back half of the marathon course.
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Scoop — Kastor to chase 20K and 10 Mile records at PF Chang’s

running-advice-bugPHOENIX — There are unconfirmed reports that organizers of next weekend’s PF Chang’s Rock N Roll Arizona Half-Marathon are putting the pieces in place for Deena Kastor to make a world record attempt at the 10 mile and 20K distances during the half-marathon.

In order for world records to be officially sanctioned they must be precisely measured and timed by a group of officials. Event organizers were apparently working the details today to make sure all is ready for world record certification.

Kastor is set the American record in the half-marathon in Berlin in 2006 in a time of 1:07:34. She is considered one of America’s top distance runners, although she was recently side-lined by an injury in the Beijing Olympic Marathon.

Ryan Hall, one of the top American male distance runners, is also scheduled to run in the half-marathon next weekend. Hall set the American record with a 59:43 time in Houston in 2007.

As the story unfolds, we’ll provide additional details.

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Races — Kastor to run Chicago Marathon; hopes for sub-2:18:00 performance

Deena Kastor at the 2008 US Olympic Trials

Deena Kastor at the 2008 US Olympic Trials

CHICAGO – U.S. Olympian Deena Kastor today announced that she will compete in the 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, her first appearance in the distance since injury forced her to withdraw in the third mile of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Marathon.

A bronze medalist in the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon, Kastor has her eyes set on a return to the distance with a strong performance in the Oct. 11 race and is aiming to lower the American Record in the marathon by running sub-2:18:00 in the race.

“The terrible timing of my injury in last year’s Olympic Games left me with a hunger to perform well on the world stage,” said Kastor from Chicago. “I am thrilled to have chosen the Bank of America Chicago Marathon for my return to the distance I love so much. Chicago holds a special place in my heart and my greatest hope is to run a personal best there.”
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Racing — Kastor wins 10KM; Derrick sets new jounior AR in 5K

running-advice-logoIn recent racing developments, Deena Kastor is looking strong as she gets back in action, winning the Bupa Great Edinburgh 10,000M in Scottland and Chris Derrick has set a new junior American Record in the 5,000M on the track.

Kastor wins in Scotland
Demonstrating that the broken foot she suffered at last summer’s Olympic Games is fully healed, 2004 Olympic women’s marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor was victorious Sunday at the 2009 Bupa Great Edinburgh 10 km Run in Scotland.

Kastor took charge of the race after two kilometers and was unchallenged throughout, winning in 32 minutes, 38 seconds. Kastor thrived on the hilly course, which is similar to her training runs in California. Latvian Jelena Prokopcuka was the runner-up, finishing 36 seconds behind Kastor.

After a long rehabilitation, Kastor told PA Sport that her broken foot was healed and ready to go. “My foot felt great in practices because I was so conservative before making my comeback, so I wasn’t expecting any problems,” she said. “The only thing I was questioning before coming here was being mentally tough because I’d been away so many months.”
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Racing — Kastor returns to competition with win at Shamrock 8K

Deena Kastor at the 2008 US Olympic Trials

Deena Kastor at the 2008 US Olympic Trials

CHICAGO — 2004 Olympic Bronze Medalist Deena Kastor returned to competition today with a win at the 30th anniversary edition of the Shamrock Shuffle 8K in Chicago. Kastor broke her foot in the Beijing Olympic Marathon and has been in recovery for the last seven months.

Kastor was among almost 14,000 runners who braved Mother Nature’s best display of Illinois Spring weather, in the form of snow and temperatures in the thirties. Almost 30,000 runners were registered for the race, but weather kept more than half at bay.

Emmanuel Korir won the overall title in a time of 24:18 with Kastor taking the women’s title in 27:15. Kastor holds the American Record at the 8K distance, which she set on the Shamrock Course in 2005, running 24:36. The slower times this year were likely caused by the cold weather and snow.

The Chicago Sun Times featured and excellent interview with Kastor today, in which she talks about her recovery from her injury in Chicago. She calls the last seven months, “the biggest downer I have ever had to face in my career as an athlete; well, the biggest downer I’ve had to face, period.” She went on to say that waiting for her foot to heal was one of the most difficult periods of her life.
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Racing: Huddle wins 2008 USA Women’s 10KM title

BOSTON – Molly Huddle (Providence, R.I.) unleashed a powerful kick to win the open race and the USA Women’s 10KM Championship Monday at the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women in Boston. Huddle edged out Aziza Aliyu of Ethiopia by less than one second, running 32:52 to win her first U.S. road crown and the title as well.

More than 7,000 women took to the streets of Boston for the 32nd edition of the traditional Columbus Day event, which hosted the championship for the 14th time.

Passing the first mile in 5:15, Huddle was positioned in the front of a pack that included her Providence-based training partner Amy Rudolph, 2008 USA 5 km runner-up Renee Metivier-Baille (Flagstaff, Ariz.), Rebecca Donaghue (State College, Pa.), and 2008 Olympic steeplechaser Lindsey Anderson (Ogden, Utah).

Running along Memorial Drive in Cambridge, near the 2-mile mark, Rudolph began to edge to the front of the pack, and just before a turn-around approaching 4 miles, she had opened a 10 meter gap on Huddle, Aliyu and Tebya Naser (ETH).

As Rudolph continued to press the pace, the chase pack began to cut into her lead and at four miles had reeled her back in. After four miles, crossing the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge back into Boston, Huddle had moved to the lead but was followed closely by Aliyu, Naser and Rudolph.
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Olympics: Tomescu-Dita wins women’s Olympic Marathon; Radcliffe & Kastor falter

BEIJING — In a race that was set to feature nearly all of the top women marathon runners, strategy was sure to come to play. In yesterday’s Beijing Olympic Marathon, Constantina Tomescu Dita made a stragetic gamble and the field seemed to think she was bluffing. She wasn’t. Tomescu Dita of Romania, 38, stayed away from the field, winning the Gold Medal in 2:26:44.

Tomescu Dita said after the race that her coach — husband Valeriu Tomescu — told her: “. . . if the pace is slow for the first half, you can push. That’s all”. And that’s what she did. She pulled away from the lead pack near the half-way mark and continued to pull away for much of the rest of the race. At 30km, she was almost a minute ahead of the pack, and by the time China’s Zhou Chunxia broke up the pack to take up the chase it was too late. Five kilometres later, Dita had a 70 second lead, and although she was showing signs of stress, the race was as good as won.

While Zhou and China’s Zhu Xialin, along with Kenyan pair Catherine N’dereba and relative newcomer Martha Komu made inroads in the final kilometres, it was far too late and Dita was able to enjoy her final lap of a packed stadium in splendid isolation to win gold.

Zhou responded to the roar of the home-crowd, yet world champion N’dereba sprinted past her to win silver in 2.27.06. Zhou took the bronze in 2.27.07.

World record holder Paula Radcliffe was at the front of the race for 15km and still in the pack chasing Dita at 30km, but came up short late in the race. Her lack of training following a stress fracture was her undoing here today.
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