Deena Kastor To Headline Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon

Denna Kastor is still going strong at 40 years old. Photo: www.photorun.net

The Olympian was forced to withdraw from the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon with the flu.

One of the biggest stars in all of running, Olympic Marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor, will start her 2014 season on Sunday, March 23 at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon. The U.S. women’s record holder for the marathon and half marathon is returning to Texas for the first time since her collegiate career at the University of Arkansas, where she was a four-time SEC Champion and an eight-time All-American.

“I am excited to race Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas as it will be my first race back since I ran the World Championships Marathon last summer,” said Kastor. “This is a big race in a state that prides itself on grandness. I love the thrill of competition, so I look forward to racing the men and women in Dallas and challenging my fitness level.”

Kastor will attempt to break multiple masters records at the 5th annual event, including the women’s masters half marathon record (1:11:50), 15K (49:51), 10-mile (55:36) and 20K (1:08:47) records. She currently owns the two fastest half marathon performances by an American, a 1:07:34 at Berlin in 2006 and a 1:07:53 at Philadelphia in 2005. No other American woman has broken 1:08 on a record standard course. She also has the two fastest marathons by an American — a 2:19:36 at London in 2006 and a 2:21:16 at London in 2003.

A 25-time U.S. champion, Kastor also holds American records for 8K, 12K, 10 miles and 20K, along with numerous other distinctions. She was the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist in the marathon. Kastor was also the U.S. 10K and 15K champion four times each. She won the 2005 Chicago Marathon and the Carlsbad 5000 in 2002, setting a then world’s best of 14:54, which still stands as the American record. She is a two-time world cross country silver medalist, and she was the 2001 U.S. marathon champion with the then fastest American debut (2:26:58).

RELATED: Kastor-Backed Nonprofit Launches

“There has never been a faster smile in the sport than Deena,” said Tracy Sundlun, SVP and co-founder of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. “One of the highlights of my career as an event organizer is that Deena Kastor has competed in and won more of our races than any of runner in history, setting three U.S. records and one world record at our events. She is one of the greatest runners in history, she’s not going to be around forever, and she may very well set an American Masters record this weekend. I hope the Dallas community doesn’t miss this opportunity to watch one of the best there ever was.”

Kastor was scheduled to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon on Feb. 2 until she fell ill with the flu and dropped out. Kastor’s training has been strong and she is currently on track to finish between 1:11 and 1:12. Her current speed positions her to possibly break the current U.S. masters record for the half-marathon (1:11:50), which was set in 2006 by Colleen De Reuck on the historically fast Philadelphia course.

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