Deena Kastor achieves her Magnificent Obsession! 2:27:47 for new U.S. Masters record!
On a week that Colleen de Reuck and her husband, Darren, were competing in the Ironman Triathlon, Deena Kastor paid Ms. De Reuck the greatest compliment: Kastor broke DeReuck's 2:28:40 U.S. Masters' record. En route, Deena also set a second master's record, of 1:45:04 at 30k!
By Larry Eder
Chicago, IL -- The U.S. Masters record for the marathon was 2:28:40 by Colleen de Reuck. No one has come near that record. It was only appropriate, that as Deena Kastor continued to enjoy her journey into Master's running, that the current American record holder in the marathon, used those years of muscle memory and the benefits of a life with many dimensions to shoot for the moon.
" I am a mom now, there is only so much time for training. If I am going to head out for a second run, and leave PIper, I better make it worthwhile." noted a beaming Deena after the race.
Two weeks ago, at the RNR San Jose 5k, I arrived at the finish just in time to see Deena Kaster finish third overall and tie the U.S. Master's record for the 5k with her 15:48. In the subsequent interview, a fully recovered (after ten minutes) Kastor noted that " I had a little bug, but I love this race and like to run in San Jose." In the back of my cerebellum, I noted that Deena was ready to race. The whole 5k-marathon thing is something that many old school marathoners use to tell their fitness. Frank Shorter used to find a two mile or three mile race during the week before his marathon performances. Others would find a 5k a week or two out and see how the speed was coming along. Deena Kastor, in the week preceeding the marathon, noted that this was her focus: trying to ge the U.S. Master's record of 2:28:40. She was not even thinking of the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, to be held in February in Los Angeles. " After the marathon, I want to help my team mates make the Trials." noted Deena. In the race, Deena Kastor was all business. " I found my pace." noted Deena. And she stuck with it and the plan divised by coach/husband, Andrew Kastor, a coach who I respect more and more each and every day. Andrew is pleasant, focused and positive. A great combination for a coach, husband and father. Under Andrew and Deena's tutelage, the ASICS supported Mammoth TC continues to thrive and focus on the year ahead.
Deena Kastor got out and stayed on task, hitting the 5k in 17:22 and 10k in 34:46. The 15k in 52:33 and 20k in 1:10:10 showed Deena that she was on her game. Her 1:14:03 gave her a bit of room in case the wind or lagging energy caught up. But, Deena stayed focused. Hitting the 30k in 1:45:04, Deena set her first American Master's record of the day. The women's elite was riveting, as seven women were in contention for the win at 30k, after the fine pacing of Kayoko Fukishi for most of the race throug 18 miles. Deena Kastor is an athlete who can focus. Running some of the finest races of her life, and enjoying her growing daughter and the success of the Mammoth Track Club with her husband, Deena seems more relaxed. The 30k to finish is the key to any marathon, and Deena Kastor rarely runs poorly in this last 12k. Kastor hit 35k in 2:02:31 and the last seven kilometers, while " a grind" showed that Kastor is in fine form. Watching Deena Kastor churn up the final seven kilometers, the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist was unstoppable as she ran the final miles to the finish. In nearly perfect conditions, Deena Kastor ran 2:27:47, taking nearly a minute off Colleen de Reuck's U.S. Masters marathon record of 2:28:40.
Just how good is Deena Kastor?
Well, her 2:27:47 is the fourth best time for U.S. women in the Olympic Trials qualifing window. When Chicago's Phil Hersh queried her on her interests in the Olympic Trials, Kastor smiled, and responded as one who has had some experience with the press.
" I am taking a vacation. Then, I want to help my team mates make the Trials. That is my focus. If, after some vacation, I find the fire to focus on the Trials, then, I will think about the race."
Deena' strength is that she is not putting pressure on herself except in focused settings. Take a break, have some fun, run with her team mates. The system is working. And today, with two American records for master's women, Deena Kastor has found her secret to success. We will just have to wait on the Trials possibilities...