Deena Kastor Set For Masters Debut

Can Deena Kastor break Colleen de Reuck's U.S. Masters half-marathon record on Sunday? Photo:

The Olympic bronze medalist will headline the Kaiser Permanente Rock ‘n’ Roll Pasadena Half Marathon on Sunday. 

Deena Kastor will compete in her first race as a Masters runner on Sunday morning at the Kaiser Permanente Rock ‘n’ Roll Pasadena Half Marathon benefiting CureMito! The 2004 Olympic marathon bronze medalist and U.S. marathon and half-marathon record holder will turn 40 on Thursday and then race Pasadena three days later in preparation for the ASICS L.A. Marathon in March.

“I am really thrilled to be a part of this year’s Kaiser Permanente Rock ‘n’ Roll Pasadena,” said Kastor, who recently finished third in the women’s open race at the 2013 U.S. Cross Country Championships in St. Louis. “The city offers all my greatest passions from running, great dining, shopping and of course, Rock ‘n’ Roll. Just one month prior to the ASICS L.A. Marathon, this is a perfect race to test my fitness. I look forward to a fast race and plenty of people to celebrate with at the finish line.”

A 25‐time U.S. champion, Kastor made U.S. half marathon history in 2005 in Philadelphia when she shattered Joan Benoit Samuelson’s long-standing American record by 41 seconds with a time of 1 hour, 7 minutes and 53 seconds. In 2006, she bettered her time in Berlin (1:07:34), a record that has stood ever since.

The current U.S. masters record for the half-marathon is 1:11:50, set in 2006 by Colleen De Reuck on the historically fast Philadelphia course. The Pasadena course isn’t nearly as flat as Philadelphia and Kastor is in the midst of heavy marathon training, but whether records fall or not, her first race as a Master is sure to be memorable.

“It’s hard to believe that Deena will be running as a master on Sunday,” said Tracy Sundlun, SVP of race organization for Competitor Group. “She still runs with the same enthusiasm, joy and speed which has defined her Olympic Medal and American and world record setting career. Deena has been the face of U.S. distance running for almost two decades, and I encourage anybody and everybody to come out and enjoy her on Sunday. She is as iconic as the Rose Bowl itself and you won’t want to miss the show.”

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