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Save the Date September 29th 2019

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Interview with Deena Kastor ahead of the 26th Vattenfall BERLIN HALFMARATHON

 

What has brought you to

<st1:state>

<st1:place>Berlin</st1:place></st1:state> and this race?

<o:p></o:p>

 

<o:p></o:p>Deena Kastor: “This race has a

great reputation for fast times and it’s perfect timing for the Flora London

marathon (ed note: she competes there on April 23). My goal here is to run

fast, then go to

<st1:city>

<st1:place>London</st1:place></st1:city> after

<st1:state>

<st1:place>Berlin</st1:place></st1:state> so there won’t be

a big time adjustment before the marathon.”

<o:p></o:p>

 

<o:p> </o:p>

What kind of shape are you

in?

<o:p></o:p>

 

<o:p></o:p>Deena Kastor: “Good shape.

We’ve changed a few things in training this year and have been in the

<st1:place>

<st1:placename>San Francisco</st1:placename>

<st1:placetype>Bay</st1:placetype></st1:place> area, away from

our home in

<st1:place>

<st1:placename>Mammoth</st1:placename>

<st1:placetype>Lakes</st1:placetype></st1:place> in

<st1:state>

<st1:place>California</st1:place></st1:state>. 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.”

<o:p></o:p>

 

<o:p> </o:p>

Are you aiming for a particular

time on Sunday?

<o:p></o:p>

 

<o:p></o:p>Deena Kastor: “I’m hoping to

run

<st1:time hour="1" minute="7">1:07</st1:time> (ed note : the

<st1:state>

<st1:place>Berlin</st1:place></st1:state> course record is

<st1:time hour="1" minute="8">1:08:22</st1:time>, set by

<st1:country-region>

<st1:place>Kenya</st1:place></st1:country-region>’s Joyce

Chepchumba in  2000). But I’m making a

conscious effort not to focus on time. Last year in

<st1:city>

<st1:place>Chicago</st1:place></st1:city> I disintegrated

at 8 km when Andrew (husband and physical therapist) shouted to me : “You’re on

world record pace!” So the focus is not to be obsessed about times.”

<o:p></o:p>

 

<o:p> </o:p>

Do you find that too much

talk about times is inhibiting?

<o:p></o:p>

 

<o:p></o:p>Deena Kastor: “It creates

barriers sometimes. Our idea, by “our”, I mean the team of husband, coach,

training partner and myself, is not to get too caught up in it. My brain is not

good at math, I don’t want to know (about times), I just want to run.”

<o:p></o:p>

 

<o:p> </o:p>

Thinking of marathons, the

real,-

<st1:state>

<st1:place>Berlin</st1:place></st1:state>

<st1:place>Marathon</st1:place> is one of the five World

<st1:place>Marathon</st1:place>

Majors (ed note:

<st1:state>

<st1:place>Berlin</st1:place></st1:state>,

<st1:city>

<st1:place>Boston</st1:place></st1:city>,

<st1:city>

<st1:place>Chicago</st1:place></st1:city>,

<st1:city>

<st1:place>London</st1:place></st1:city> and

<st1:state>

<st1:place>New York</st1:place></st1:state>). What do you think of this development?

<o:p></o:p>

 

<o:p></o:p>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.”

<o:p></o:p>

 

<o:p> </o:p>

Is part of the reason for

coming to

<st1:state>

<st1:place>Berlin</st1:place></st1:state> that you can take a look at the marathon course?

<o:p></o:p>

 

<o:p></o:p>Deena Kastor: “Absolutely. This

is an opportunity of seeing what some of the course is like though I won’t tour

the entire marathon course after Sunday’s race. We’re going to

<st1:city>

<st1:place>London</st1:place></st1:city> the next day and

staying there.”

<o:p></o:p>

 

<o:p> </o:p>

Do you have particular

targets for the Flora London

<st1:place>Marathon</st1:place>?

<o:p></o:p>

 

<o:p></o:p>Deena Kastor: Again, I don’t

want to be obsessed about pace and splits. I want to battle the other athletes

out there. I’ve already accepted that this weekend and

<st1:city>

<st1:place>London</st1:place></st1:city> are feats that

are going to hurt, that I’ll be pushing the envelope.”

<o:p></o:p>

 

<o:p> </o:p>

Does that mean you really are

in the best shape of your life?

<o:p></o:p>

 

<o:p></o:p>Deena Kastor: “Close to it. But

it’s so hard to say definitely after Chicago last year when I was in the best

shape of my life and never hurt so bad in winning my first major marathon.”

<o:p></o:p>

 

<o:p> </o:p>

Do you take notice of

opponents in

<st1:state>

<st1:place>Berlin</st1:place></st1:state> this Sunday?

<o:p></o:p>

 

<o:p></o:p>Deena Kastor: “I know the

fields are always competitive. There are women you know and others that

surprise you. Our strategy is trying to go out and ran an aggressive race.”

<o:p></o:p>

 

<o:p> </o:p>

 

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