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American marathon record holder Deena Kastor, of Mammoth Lakes, California has announced that she will compete in the 2013 LA Marathon that takes place on Sunday, March 17.

Recent performances of note by the 39-year-old include the Olympic Marathon Trials that took place in Houston in January of 2012, where she finished in sixth place. She clocked a time of two hours and 34 minutes. Three months later on April 29th, she competed in the 10,000-metre event at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, CA, where she placed seventh, finishing in 31:49.23.

Kastor currently holds seven American distance records including a marathon time of 2:19:36 and the half-marathon record of 67:34. She is also the bronze medallist from the 2004 Athens Olympic Games Marathon. Kastor has also won the Chicago and London Marathons.

Twice she won the silver medal at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and she is an eight-time national cross-country champion. Kastor was featured in the 2007 documentary Spirit of the Marathon, which chronicled her training and eventual victory at the 2005 Chicago Marathon.

Personal bests

1500m – 4:07.8
3000m – 8:42.8
5,000m – 14:51.6
10,000m – 30:50.3
Half-marathon – 67:34
Marathon – 2:19:36

Christopher Kelsall: Having not raced the marathon in over a year are you feeling more excited than usual leading up to the LA Marathon?

Deena Kastor: This is certainly an exciting time. It is clear to me that choosing to race the LA Marathon was a good decision since training for it has been so exhilarating.

CK: Since the birth of your daughter, two years ago, have you had a chance to build your mileage to the levels you have worked with in the past, without interruption?

DK: With a two-year-old, there are always interruptions (laugh)! I am grateful to return to the sport after giving birth to Piper, and it is my greatest hope that I can remain a good role model for her. Running and racing seem extra special in that I am sharing one of my biggest passions with my daughter.

CK: You indicate in your blog that you are in not so many words, “practicing being more well-rounded”. Does being more well-rounded give you the mental and emotional grounding to allow yourself to train seriously while you have a young family at home?

DK: I think there is a great thrill in accomplishing things on a daily basis. Training toward a goal gives me that. Running offers so many great lessons that we can apply to succeed in everyday life. There are also life experiences that help inspire training. I find great synergy in having a life that builds off a variety of passions.

CK: How is your Spanish and cooking coming along? Have you combined the two to prepare stunning culinary dishes from Spain or Latin America?

DK: I do love paella! Cooking and Spanish are going well. I am excited to host a cooking class at a local business this week. I had planned on making some Greek dishes, but you have inspired me to think Latin!

CK: Your range is significant, having once owned the world 5k record and being the current American marathon record holder. You have also been competitive in middle-distance events as well as cross-country. Would you suggest your range is due to your early start in running?

DK: I would say my range in racing success is due to staying involved in so many aspects of distance running. We distance runners are a fortunate group in that we can really race year-round. We have cross-country, track, road racing and marathons. I enjoy all aspects of running these different sports and see value in all of them. I love cross-country for being able to use the terrain in my race strategy. I love the track for its honesty and ability to compare with other results whether mine or against others. I thoroughly enjoy road racing and marathons because I get a chance to connect with so many others in the sport this way. There is no other sport in the world that draws such a diverse group together for a competition.

CK: There have been some remarkable marathon performances from athletes at near the age of 40. Are you out to take a final run at the low-2:20 range in LA?

DK: My main focus at the LA Marathon is to win. It will have to be fast since there is always a strong field assembled there, but I am just getting as fit a possible so I can win on the streets of LA.

CK: Does racing in warm temperatures play to your strengths?

DK: It’s been really cold in Mammoth this winter. In the past, I have realized that the more physically fit I am the less extreme conditions affect me. I’ve won races in 33 degrees, rain and wind and have also competed well in 100-degree weather. As long as I’ve put in the training, I will be prepared for the variety of conditions that may greet us on race day.

CK: Would you be interested in competing at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships?

DK: I am excited to train on our new track to help my Mammoth Track Club teammates in practice, but haven’t really anticipated racing on the track this season.

CK: Last year when you were watching the LA Marathon were you really missing being out there, mixing it up with the lead women?

DK: Last year during the LA Marathon I was working with the KTLA Television providing coverage. I was interviewing mid-pack runners all of who had really inspiring stories. At the same time, I could hear the commentary of the leaders. The combination of the energy I was surrounded by while running on Hollywood Boulevard and the play-by-play I was hearing about the lead men and women was so thrilling. That moment definitely sparked the desire to run this year.

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