The fastest female American marathoner of all time prepares to run her hometown marathon.
(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.
Tuesday was a very big day for three-time Olympian Deena Kastor, as the 39-year-old from Mammoth Lakes, Calif., was announced to be running both the U.S. Cross Country Championships on February 2, as well as the L.A. Marathon on March 17.
Kastor has had great success over her career in cross country, having won a pair of IAAF World Cross Country Championships silver medals in 2002 and 2003. The mother of one daughter has also taken home top honors at the U.S. Cross Country Championships seven times, her most recent title coming in 2007, when she defeated Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher for the win.
This year’s national championships will be run in St. Louis’s Forest Park, home of the 1904 Olympic Games and World’s Fair. Kastor has had good luck in St. Louis — in 2004, prior to earning a bronze medal at the Olympic Marathon, Kastor placed second at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials there.
Nearly a month and a half after the U.S. Cross Country Championships, Kastor will again toe the line, this time in her home state of California for the L.A. Marathon. The American record holder for the marathon, Kastor’s personal is 2:19:36, which she ran at the 2006 London Marathon.
“I was on the L.A. Marathon course last year as part of the broadcast team, and I was so impressed with the course and the energy of the event that I knew I needed to compete in 2013,” said Kastor in a statement from race organizers. “I am really looking forward to running the Stadium to the Sea route alongside thousands of other runners, including some of the world’s greatest marathoners.”
Kastor’s last marathon came in January of 2012, when she finished sixth (2:30:40) at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston. This will be her first L.A. Marathon. An American woman hasn’t won the event in 19 years.
“Deena is the most accomplished female American distance runner in history, and to have her on the start line of the 2013 L.A. Marathon is tremendous,” said race director Nick Curl. “We believe that having an outstanding field of runners is part of creating a world-class race and delivering a top-tier experience for all participants.”
Kastor did one more notable thing on Tuesday: she joined Twitter. Kastor’s Twitter handle is @DeenaKastor, and she already has over 600 followers. Her first tweet was, “Great XC style workout at Millpond today while a bald eagle observed from a nearby tree!”