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Deena Kastor

[Photo of Deena Kastor]

14 February 1973



London: 2003- 3rd 2:21:16,
London: 2006- 1st 2:19:36
Boston: 2007- 5th 2:35:09, 2008- 1st 2:29:35
Chicago: 2002- 6th 2:26:53, 2005- 1st 2:21:25,
2009- 6th 2:28:50
New York: 2001- 7th 2:26:58, 2006- 6th 2:27:54
Olympics: 2004- 3rd 2:27:20, 2008- dnf


Kastor ran a superbly judged race to earn a bronze
medal in the Athens Olympic marathon in 2004, the
first US medal at the event since Joan Benoit’s 1984
win in the inaugural women’s marathon.

She ran her first marathon in 2001 in New York and,
after two 2:26 races, made a major breakthrough
when she broke the American record with 2:21:16
for third in London in 2003.

The previous month she had won her fourth consecutive
US 15km road race title in 47:15, lowering
her own American record, and claimed silver at the
World Cross Country Championships for the second
year in a row after finishing 10th, 12th and 12th in
1999-2001. She had also finished 11th, 11th and 12th
over 10,000m at the World Championships 1999-

Road running was clearly her forte, however, and in
2005 she broke the US 8km and half marathon records
and won the Chicago marathon; in early April
2006 she broke her own US record with 67:34 to
finish second in the Berlin half marathon; and later
that month she won the London Marathon in great
style. Helped by male pacemakers, she ran from the
front, clocking two identical halves, to smash the
North American record with 2:19:36.

The previous Chicago she had slowed in the final
stages and missed the record but this time she kept
going and became the fourth fastest woman ever,
dragging the next five runners to personal bests.

She has struggled to reach the same form since,
however, and hasn’t broken 2:25 in five marathons.
She was sixth in New York in autumn 2006, and fifth
in Boston the following spring. And, while she won
the US women’s Olympic trials in Boston in 2008,
she suffered in the Beijing heat that summer and did
not finish.

Last year she returned to Chicago and placed sixth
in 2:28:50 although she’d enjoyed success earlier in
the year when she won the Great Edinburgh Run over

She started 2010 with an encouraging win at the
Tempe half marathon in Arizona, in 69:43, and
clocked the same time for second in New York on 21

She currently holds US records for 8km, 12km,
15km, 10 miles, 20km, half marathon and marathon.
Earlier in her career she won the World University
Games 10,000m in 1997 and set a US 10,000m record
of 30:50.32 in 2002. She suffered an Achilles injury
just weeks before the 2000 Olympics and went out in
her heat.


From high school in California, she went to the
University of Arkansas where she got a degree in
English/creative writing and journalism.

She was inducted into the University of Arkansas
Sports Hall of Fame in 2001, named USATF’s
Humanitarian Athlete of the Year in 2002, and won
the 2003 Jesse Owens Award as USATF’s most
outstanding woman athlete of the year.

She was coached by Joe Vigil until he retired after
the Athens Olympics. She is now coached by Terence
Mahon. She married Andrew Kastor, her physiotherapist
(and a 3:55 1500m runner), on 14 September
2003. They live in Mammoth, California. Her favourite
pastimes include hiking in the mountains, reading,
writing poetry and short fiction, and cooking.

She trains up to 140 miles a week, sometimes with
her dog, Aspen, a chocolate labrador.


Virgin London Marathon