American record holder to compete in first race in masters division just days after her 40th birthday
Pasadena, CA -- February 13, 2013 -- One of American distance running's biggest stars, Deena Kastor will compete in her first race as a masters runner Sunday morning, February 17 at the Kaiser Permanente Rock 'n' Roll Pasadena Half Marathon benefiting CureMito!. The Olympic Bronze Medalist 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 and U.S. record holder for the marathon, 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. She bettered her time in Berlin in 2006 (1:07:34), and the American record has stood ever since.
The current U.S. masters record for the half-marathon is 1:11:50, which was 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 taking place only miles from where she grew up in Southern California.
"It's hard to believe that Deena will be running as a master on Sunday," said Tracy Sundlun, SVP of race organizer Competitor Group, Inc. "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."
The Kaiser Permanente Rock 'n' Roll Pasadena Half Marathon begins at 7:30am on Sunday. The race starts and finishes at the iconic Rose Bowl Stadium, featuring a scenic course that crosses the Colorado Bridge, runs through Old Town Pasadena and around the Brookside Golf Course. Runners enjoy numerous landmarks along the route including the Tournament House, the Norton Simon Museum and more. After crossing the finish line, runners will join family and friends to celebrate their accomplishment at the finish line festival and headliner concert. All runners receive free entry to the concert headlined by the Far East Movement, who will take the finish line stage at approximately 10:00 am.
Event weekend in Pasadena will begin Friday, February 15, with a two-day Health & Fitness Expo at the Pasadena Convention Center. The Expo, which is free and open to the public, will showcase the latest in running products and services with interactive clinics by fitness experts.
The half-marathon benefits CureMito!, a charity dedicated to support innovative research, treatment and education of mitochondrial disease and functional disorders. With the help of Grey's Anatomy star and CureMito! ambassador, Chandra Wilson, the relatively new non-profit will raise awareness and funds for the research and treatment of mitochondrial disease.
For more information or to register for the Kaiser Permanente Rock 'n' Roll Pasadena Half Marathon benefiting CureMito!, please visit: RunRocknRoll.com or follow @RunRocknRoll on Twitter.