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Deena Kastor breaks world masters record

Deena Kastor at the 2007 Boston Marathon. Photo: Wikimedia/Ambibro
Deena Kastor at the 2007 Boston Marathon. Photo: Wikimedia/Ambibro

American marathon record-holder Deena Kastor smashed the world 40-44 half-marathon record over the weekend at the Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon, also breaking three other masters records during the race.

Kastor, at the age of 41, ran 1:09:36 to better Irina Permitina’s 2008 masters record by 20 seconds. She also broke the 10-mile, 15K and 20K records along the way. The race showcases a continuing dominance by the Olympic bronze medallist, who became a mother in 2011, well beyond an age when most begin to see a decline in performance. Though her time is nowhere near the results she was producing earlier in her career, Kastor’s sub 1:10 half-marathon is still world class.

“I had this annoying stitch in my side and wasn’t feeling great, but Michael McKeeman [2012 Philadelphia Marathon champion], who was running with me, told me something that helped,” said Kastor after the race. “He said ‘You only have two more minutes to go, Deena. It’s just two minutes. You can do this.’ When I heard that, I thought about all the time I had put into training and realized that I can do anything in two minutes.”

Kastor is planning to return to the New York City Marathon later this fall.