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Deena Kastor Picks Chicago for Marathon Comeback

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)
̨ å¼ 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, www.chicagomarathon.com.

 

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