The fastest American marathoner of all time prepares to run her hometown marathon
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — One of the biggest names in running will be at the start line of the 2013 LA Marathon. Three-time Olympian Deena Kastor, who holds the American record in the marathon, will compete in her first LA Marathon on March 17th.
Kastor is a 25-time USA champion in track, road and cross country races. She is most noted for winning the 2005 Chicago Marathon and the 2006 Flora London Marathon, where she became the fastest female marathoner ever with a time of 2:19:36. Kastor also won the bronze medal in the 2004 Olympic women’s marathon, becoming only the second American to win a medal in the event in Olympic history.
“I was on the LA 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, an ASICS athlete. “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.”
Apart from the 2012 Olympic Trials, this will be her first marathon since before the birth of her daughter two years ago. The 2013 LA Marathon will also be a homecoming for the athlete, whose love of running first took root as an 11-year-old on the trails in the Santa Monica Mountains near where she grew up in Agoura Hills, California.
Kastor’s interest in the LA Marathon was inspired by the performance of another great American runner nearly 30 years ago. “Watching Joan Benoit Samuelson win the 1984 Olympic Marathon in LA still remains one of the most memorable days of my life,” says Kastor. “I became a runner the following year and have recently been training with the memory of her heroic efforts to earn the first ever Olympic Marathon gold medal.”
To LA Marathon Race Director Nick Curl, Kastor’s participation is a significant milestone for the race. “Deena is the most accomplished female American distance runner in history, and to have her on the start line of the 2013 LA Marathon is tremendous,” Curl said. “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.”
Beyond her experience in marathons, Kastor is also a former world-record holder in the 5K and a two-time silver medalist at the World Cross Country Championships. She is also a multiple American record holder on the roads and track, has won 18 national titles, and is an eight-time NCAA All-American. She currently lives in Mammoth with her husband Andrew, along with their two-year old daughter, Piper.
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We inspire athletes and connect communities. With thousands of volunteers, tens of thousands of participants, and hundreds of thousands of spectators, the LA Marathon is one of the largest organized road races in the country. The Stadium to the Sea course, which starts at Dodger Stadium and finishes by the Santa Monica Pier, is considered one of the most scenic in the world. The race has been named Best Big City Race by Runner’s World and Best Marathon in the West by Competitor Magazine.
Deena Kastor at the 2009 Chicago Marathon - Photo Courtesy of ASICS America