After a seven month layoff forced by a broken bone in her foot suffered at the Beijing Olympic Marathon last August, USA marathon record holder Deena Kastor will finally return to action on Sunday in Chicago. Kastor, 36, will run the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8-K, a race in which she set the American record for that distance in 2005 (24:36).
"After more than six months of recovery and training, I am so excited to race again," Kastor said through a press release. "Chicago has a special place in my heart as a city where ‘luck' has been on my side both at the 8-K in 2005 and again later that year at the marathon distance."
Kastor was the Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion in 2005.
This year marks the 30th edition of the Shuffle, Chicago's most important rite of spring for runners. The race, which sold out with 32,500 runners (plus another 2,500 in a fitness walk), begins and ends in Grant Park near Chicago's lakefront and offers runners a small taste of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon course.
"I look forward to starting my 2009 racing season at the Shamrock Shuffle 8-K," Kastor concluded. "It is just my style to be in a race where there is so much enthusiasm and excitement on the starting line."
PHOTO: Deena Kastor on her way to victory at the 2007 Tufts Health Plan 10-K for Women (photo by Jim Gerweck)