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.