The 40-year-old once again showcased her mastery.
Deena Kastor has never lived in Boulder, Colo., but she’s certainly raced the BolderBOULDER 10K as if it was right out her back door.
In her lead-up to running the marathon at the IAAF World Championships this summer in Moscow, the 40-year-old mom and American record-holder ran a gritty race to place fourth in the women’s elite race at the BolderBOULDER. The top U.S. runner in the international field, she crossed the finish line in 34:43.62.
Even before her heyday as America’s top marathoner — she earned the bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens and set her still-standing American record of 2:19:36 while winning the 2006 London Marathon — Kastor reigned on the streets of Boulder. She won the 10K three straight times from 2001-2003 and then returned in 2007 to win the U.S. cross country championships in dominating fashion. She also finished third in the 2012 BolderBOULDER.
Running at altitude is something Kastor has done well for years. After a solid collegiate career at Arkansas in the mid-1990s, she began training under coach Joe Vigil in Alamosa, Colo. (elevation: 7,500 feet), where Vigil had been the longtime coach at Adams State University. For the past dozen years, she’s lived and trained in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. (elevation: 7,880 feet) with the Mammoth Track Club. Those are just some of the reasons Kastor has performed well in Boulder (elevation: 5,400 feet).
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Kastor never challenged for the win this year, but she did pick move up throughout the race. Ethiopia’s Merima Mohammed ran away from countrywoman Amane Gobena to win in 33:58.79 with a 10-second cushion. Mattie Suver, running for Team Colorado, was the next U.S. runner after Kastor, turning in a strong sixth-place effort (34:56.25) just ahead of Team Colorado teammate Bri Nelson (35:01.19).
Kenya’s Allan Kiprono outran a strong international field to win the men’s elite race in 29:28.79 over Ethiopia’s Belete Assefa (29:36.49). The top Americans in the field were Aaron Braun (9th, 30:29.10) and Brent Vaughn (10th, 30:37.18).
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In the citizen’s races (which drew 48,741 runners), former Colorado State runner Jeremy Freed won the men’s race for the second time in three years. His 30:58:28 was good enough to outrun Colorado Springs’ Brandon Birdsong (31:15:27) and four-time Australian Olympian Lee Troop (31:26:22). Five-time Romanian Olympic marathoner Lidia Simon won the women’s citizen’s race in 34:06.
For more: The Denver Post