Deena Kastor: „I wanted to get a feeling for Berlin“
The US-American Deena Kastor set four US records at the Vattenfall BERLIN HALF MARATHON which she finished second: She clocked 67:34 minutes in the half marathon which was also a new continental record. The Olympic bronze medallist from Athens 2004 passed 12 km in 38:24 minutes, 10 miles in 51:31 and 20 km in 64:07. The 33 year-old will compete as a favourite at the Flora London Marathon on April 23rd.
Why did you choose the Vattenfall BERLIN HALF MARATHON as a dress rehearsal for the Flora London Marathon?
Deena Kastor: “Berlin has a great reputation and is organised extremely good. I wanted to show a good performance here. This is what I have done. But of course I came here to win. Unfortunately I couldn’t reach that, but I did set a personal best and a US record. The course was a bit windy. Furthermore I had blisters under my feet on the last 10 k. I don’t know if the socks or the shoes were the problem.”
How was the race itself?
Deena Kastor: “In the first part of the race I was a bit tight, but after a while it was ok. I was a bit tired because I arrived just two days prior to the race in Berlin. During the whole race there was a fight between me and Edith Masai. The spectators along the course were fantastic. The media has done a good job because everyone knew our names out on the course. I came along good with the course and it was all perfect. I take home a lot of confidence and I think I’ll have to come back to Berlin and try to win the next time.”
What have you done for preparation?
Deena Kastor: „We’ve changed a few things in training this year and have been in the San Francisco Bay area, away from our home in Mammoth Lakes in California. That’s at 8,000 ft (2,500m) altitude and there’s a lot of snow there. My coach Terrence Mahon wanted to refresh our training schedules this year. I’ve been focusing more on quality whereas previously I would be doing 120-mile weeks, but now focusing on tempo runs that are close to race situations and I’m ready for this. This is my favourite distance. I’m excited to be resting up for this.“
What is your target for the Flora London Marathon?
Deena Kastor: „I want to battle the other athletes out there. I’ve already accepted that this weekend and London are feats that are going to hurt, that I’ll be pushing the envelope.“
What are you doing after the Flora London Marathon?
Deena Kastor: „After London I will relax first of all. Then I will focus on my speed work to be ready for the track season in summer. There I have to adjust some more things to be prepared properly. I will sit down with my coach and think about what I have to do to be fast.”
What can we expect from you in the half marathon? Do you have new goals?
Deena Kastor: „In sport you always have goals. When you reach one goal, you are looking for the next one. I will see what opportunities I will get this year.”
How did you start track and field?
Deena Kastor: „I joined a track club at the age of eleven. That is very uncommon in the US since we do not have such a club system. I have to say that I really like that kind of system and would support it any time. The clubs’ name was ,Los Virgines’ in Agoura Hills. Right from the first day I loved track and field. My younger sister joined the track club too but her appearance was short lived.”
How did you start with long distance running?
Deena Kastor: „That was funny. Marion Jones, one of the best sprinters ever, was in a rival club at the same time. She was even at this young age a very successful and talented sprinter. That was the reason for me to go for the middle and long distance. I couldn’t beat her.”
London will be the second race of the new World Marathon Majors Series. What do you think of this initiative of the five races, where the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON is among them?
Deena Kastor: „It’s a wonderful meshing of events. Marathons intrigue people, even the laziest couch potato, they attract so many nationalities and body types. To see the five greatest marathons come together is really exciting for the sport.”
Might there be a possibility to run a WMM fall marathon?
Deena Kastor: „Definitively I want to run a WMM fall marathon. I also ran here in Berlin to get to know the course and to adjust to it. Later the year I will decide if I will run the marathon here oder somewhere else.“
Interview: Marisa Reich / Andy Edwards
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