Kara Goucher, Deena Kastor To Rock Philadelphia

Kara Goucher, left, and Deena Kastor add star power to an already loaded lineup in Philadelphia. Photos: Scott Draper, Competitor and PhotoRun.net

Two of America’s most popular marathoners join an already stellar field of athletes. 

With an already extensive elite lineup at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Festival Philadelphia over September 19-21, the addition of two U.S. Olympians to the women’s field—Deena Kastor and Kara Goucher—only exemplifies the prestige of this historic race. The duo have run the five fastest half-marathon times in U.S. history.

On Sunday, September 21, Kastor and Goucher will toe the start line of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon, the site of five World records, five American records, and both of the current U.S. all-comers records.

RELATED: Lagat Headlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly 5K

“Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia is already a flat and fast course, but when you put phenomenal runners on the field like Deena and Kara, you get to witness some spectacular performances of speed,” said Tracy Sundlun, SVP and co-founder of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. “We’re thrilled to welcome them to the race.”

The U.S. women’s record holder for the marathon (2:19:36) and half marathon (1:07:34), Kastor returns to Philadelphia for the first time since winning the 2005 race in 1:07:53, which broke Joan Benoit’s 21-year-old mark of 1:08:34—also set in Philadelphia.

Kastor is primed for a fast race as she recently broke the U.S. Masters half-marathon record (1:11:38) in New York earlier this year. She also set two U.S. Masters records for the 10 mile (55:13) and 20K (1:08:18) at Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas in March.

RELATED: Biwott, Mutai Will Battle At Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly Half Marathon

Goucher, who owns three of the top five fastest half-marathon times in U.S. history, has been recovering from a sacral stress fracture suffered earlier this year and has her eyes focused on Philadelphia. She’s been training in Boulder, Colo., under the watchful eye of coaches Mark Wetmore and Heather Burroughs.

“After a year and a half of frustration and heartache, I am pleased to announce my return to competitive racing at Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly,” Goucher said. “I have wanted to run this race since I watched Adam get an Olympic Trials qualifier there in 2011. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Series has always been great to me and I can’t think of a better place to start my comeback.”

RELATED: Goucher Forces Changes With Eye Toward 2016

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