Foot racing is one of the few sports which make us wish (at times) we were older as a new age-group leads to new challenges and better chances to succeed. Other times it just makes us feel old. So while NBA legend Michael Jordan copes with turning 50 today, Deena Kastor, the 2004 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist and 25-time U.S. champion across all running disciplines, competed for the first time in the Master’s Division (40+). Having turned 40 last Thursday, Deena chose Pasadena, California for her debut, taking on the Kaiser Permanente Rock ‘n’ Roll Pasadena Half Marathon benefiting CureMito (how’s that for a convenient name?)
So even as Jordan continues searching for an outlet to quench his infamous competitive spirit, Kastor was racing in Pasadena as a final tune-up for the Asics Los Angeles Marathon, a home town race she will be running for the first time March 17th. She was also going after Colleen De Reuck’s 2006 American master’s best for the half-marathon (1:11:50).
After a strong third-place finish at the February 2nd USATF National Cross Country Championships in St. Louis, Deena stayed right on-pace through the first half in Pasadena — 33:58 at 10K, 71:46 pace. It was in the second half that Kastor slowed to finish in 1:12:57 (5:34 per mile for the distance).
“It was definitely a strength person’s course out there,” she said afterwards. “There were a lot of hills to tackle, both up and down. I wanted to push hard the whole way, but it’s difficult to focus on times on a course like this where the hills pile on throughout.” Continue reading