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Posted: June 16, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: U.S. Olympian and American Record Holder Deena Kastor Selects 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon for Comeback

Runner Cites Course Design and City Spirit Among Reasons for Decision

CHICAGO, IL (June 17, 2009) -- U.S. Olympian Deena Kastor today announced that she will compete in the 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, her first appearance in the distance since injury forced her to withdraw in the third mile of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Marathon. A bronze medalist in the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon, Kastor has her eyes set on redemption with a strong performance in the Oct. 11 race and a medal in the 2012 London Olympic Marathon.

“The terrible timing of my injury in last year’s Olympic Games left me with a hunger to perform well on the world stage,” said Kastor from Chicago. “I am thrilled to have chosen the Bank of America Chicago Marathon for my return to the distance I love so much. Chicago holds a special place in my heart and my greatest hope is to run a personal best there.”

Kastor, 36, of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., currently owns the American women’s marathon record (2:19:36), a title she first earned at the 2003 London Marathon (2:21:16) and narrowly missed lowering in her 2005 Chicago Marathon victory (2:21:25). A runner since the age of 11, Kastor has enjoyed a decorated professional career, but still has a few specific goals she hopes to achieve including a sub-2:18 marathon. Hitting that mark would once again lower the American record – something she is aiming to do in Chicago.

“Chicago sets itself above other marathons in the U.S. in that it is the fastest, which is a big reason I am returning this fall,” Kastor continued. “The familiarity and comfort level I have with the course, the staff and their attention to detail certainly will allow me to concentrate on my goals while the enthusiastic Chicago crowds provide the constant support every athlete needs to perform their best.”

Kastor’s return to Chicago continues the race’s tradition of welcoming world class athletes to its stage. Home to four world records, the 32-year-old race is one of the most competitive in the world. In its storied history it has hosted some of the great names in the sport including Steve Jones, Joan Benoit-Samuelson, Khalid Khannouchi, Catherine Ndereba and Paula Radcliffe.

Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski has been assembling the race’s elite field for the last 20 years. “Welcoming Deena back to Chicago is an absolute thrill especially during a time when the Olympic spirit is so strong in the city,” he said. “She is a truly talented athlete in her own right, but on this course and among these sports fans her abilities are multiplied. It is an honor to bring talents like hers to the city of Chicago.”

In its 32nd year and a member of the World Marathon Majors, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon annually attracts 45,000 runners including a world class elite field and 1.5 million spectators. As a result of its national and international draw, the iconic race assists in raising $10 million for a variety of charitable causes while generating an estimated $140 million economic impact to its host city.

The 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will start and finish in Chicago’s Grant Park beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11. In advance of the race, a two-day Health & Fitness Expo will be held at McCormick Place on Friday, October 9 and Saturday, October 10. More information on the race, remaining registration options and how to get involved is available at the event Web site, ChicagoMarathon.com.


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