Deena Kastor Wins the 2006 Flora London Marathon
For the Record: Deena Kastor Wins the Flora London Marathon and Sets a New American Record
The 2006 Flora London Marathon on April 23
From USATF with contributions by Drew Woodrich
June 10, 2006
Washington Running Report
Photo above by Victah/www.photorun.net: Deena Kastor tops her 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon win with a faster time and a comfortable overseas triumph on the streets of London.
Kastor Sets a New American Women's Record of 2:19:36
Deena Kastor likes to run fast, very fast. The Flora London Marathon course is built like a speedway when compared to the hilly terrain of Boston and New York City. The cool, moist weather conditions during an English spring provide runners an opportunity to reach top speeds. Paula Radcliffe set the current Women's World Record on this course in 2003 (2:15:25).
Olympic bronze medalist Deena Kastor killed two birds with one stone on April 23 when she won the Flora London Marathon in 2:19:36 and broke her own American Record in the women's marathon by 1:40. Kastor returned to London, where three years earlier she had broken Joan Samuelson's 17-year-old mark with a 2:21:16 performance in only her third marathon. Kastor became the fourth fastest woman of all-time with her 2006 Flora London Marathon victory.
The 33-year-old Californian and Team Running USA member also became the first American woman to win the London Marathon; only Lisa Weidenbach (1990), Francie Larrieu-Smith (1990 & 1991) and Kastor (2003 & 2006) have finished in the top three in London since the first marathon was held in 1981.
"It was great to win and great to break 2:20, those were my goals coming here this weekend. The last three months of preparation have been with this moment in mind," said Kastor. "I'm really happy with the race."
The race was video broadcast live in the United States on the BBC Web site; as the 5K splits were announced, Kastor looked strong and in control. It was delightful to watch history online as it happened. Interviewed a few minutes after the marathon, Deena Kastor told the BBC that she wanted to thank the enthusiastic spectators on the course, who supported athletes during their long trek. She also remarked that she missed the injured Paula Radcliffe terribly. (Radcliffe has shown mental toughness in lowering the barriers for women in the sport of marathoning, and Kastor has been inspired by the brilliant Brit.)
The early miles of the race had a lead group of Deena Kastor, Susan Chipkemei, and Salina Kosgei, both of Kenya; Kastor and Chipkemei reached the half in 1:09:48, with a sub-2:20 finish well within reach. The women ran with two male pacers, Kastor's training partner Mike McKeeman and Kenyan Henry Tarus. (McKeeman was rewarded for his effort with an Olympic Marathon Trials "B" standard of 2:20:27.)
Only Deena Kastor stayed on schedule to the finish line with an incredibly well-paced run, but there were five women who broke 2:22 and recorded personal best times. Second place finisher Ludmilla Petrova of Russia set a national record of 2:21:29, and Susan Chipkemei took third in 2:21:46.
Deena Kastor first raced the marathon distance in 2001 at the USA National Championships in New York City, a title she won with a time of 2:26:58. The following autumn, she placed sixth in the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon with a time of 2:26:53; it was a tough race for her as she went out in 1:11:11 but later "the wheels fell off." Her next marathon was the 2003 Flora London Marathon, where she fulfilled her expectations with an American Record time of 2:21:16 for third place. USATF wrote: Drossin's time bettered the longstanding American mark of 2:21:21, set by 1984 Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson in winning the 1985 Chicago Marathon.
The passionate cross country runner (the rugged conditions toughen her up) is diplomatic and a disciplined worker. She admits that pain is an unavoidable element of marathoning, has expressed disappointment when her finish time is slower than hoped for, and then she returns for another shot at the distance. Before each marathon, she races a shorter distance and often establishes another American Record (the 2005 Jefferson Hospital Philadelphia Half in 1:07:53, the 2006 Berlin Half in 1:07:34). Highlights of her running career are available on her well-maintained Web site www.deenakastor.com.
Deena Kastor has lowered her times incrementally during the past five years and drawn nearer to the standard of Paula Radcliffe. A head to head match up is eagerly anticipated by many fans and the race directors of the 5 Majors (Berlin, Chicago, New York, London, and Boston). She pushes the envelope without exceeding her body's limits, and has enjoyed a mostly injury-free decade since graduation as an English major from the University of Arkansas in 1996. Kastor will have great stories to write when she reaches retirement age.
June 20, 2006: Recently, the ING New York City Marathon announced that Deena Kastor has committed to run the 2006 race scheduled for November 5. Kastor hopes to add another World Marathon Major (she has Chicago and London) victory to her resume by entering the New York event. The last American woman to win in Manhattan was Miki Gorman in 1977.
Top Female & Male Finishers in the 2006 Flora London Marathon
Place Name Age Time
1 DEENA KASTOR (USA) W30 2:19:36
2 LYUDMILA PETROVA (RUS) W35 2:21:29
3 SUSAN CHEPKEMEI (KEN) W30 2:21:46
4 BERHANE ADERE (ETH) W30 2:21:52
5 GALINA BOGOMOLOVA (RUS) W25 2:21:58
6 MARA YAMAUCHI (GBR) W30 2:25:13
7 CONSTANTINA DITA (ROM) W35 2:27:51
8 SALINA KOSGEI (KEN) W25 2:28:40
9 MARGARET OKAYO (KEN) W25 2:29:16
10 ERI HAYAKAWA (JPN) W20 2:31:41
Place Name Age Time
1 FELIX LIMO (KEN) M25 2:06:39
2 MARTIN LEL (KEN) M25 2:06:41
3 HENDRICK RAMAALA (RSA) M30 2:06:55
4 KHALID KHANNOUCHI (USA) M30 2:07:04
5 STEFANO BALDINI (ITA) M30 2:07:22
6 ROGERS ROP (KEN) M30 2:07:34
7 HICHAM CHATT (MAR) M35 2:07:59
8 JAOUAD GHARIB (MAR) M30 2:08:45
9 HAILE GEBRSELASSIE (ETH)M30 2:09:05
10 EVANS RUTTO (KEN) M25 2:09:35
Photo by www.photorun.net: Deena Kastor and Felix Limo relish their 2006 Flora London Marathon titles.