Posted by: Joe English | April 20, 2008

Racing: Deena Kastor wins US Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials

BOSTON — Deena Kastor displayed all the poise of her Olympic medalist status today, storming from behind to win the US Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials. Kastor allowed Magdalena Lewy Boulet to run at the front of the race for nearly 24 miles before she blew past her coming into the closing miles of the course.

The US Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials were held on a special multi-loop course running from dowtown Boston into Cambridge and along the Charles River. The four circuit course gave runners to size up their competition, a factor Kastor appeared to take into consideration during today’s race.

From the start, Boulet jumped out to an early lead. Kastor had been expected to dominate the race, so the sight of another runner far out in front caused many of the specators in the crowd at the four mile mark to wonder if Bouler might have been a pace-setter.

When the field came around the course for the second time, Bouler was still far in front at about mile 9 1/2. This time spectators seemed to uniformly be wondering, “who’s number 43?”

Kastor, on the other hand, was tucked in the middle of the lead pack, carefully watching the competition around her and ahead of her. When the field came through mile 16, Kastor was alone chasing down Boulet. At the 18 mile mark, the difference between the two stood at almost 1:30 — a large gap to close.

Kastor erased the 1:30 difference, making the pass just before mile 24. After passing Boulet on her right, Kastor seemed to have her foot down on the gas. She blew away from Boulet as she crossed under the Mass Ave bridge and headed back toward Boston in control of the race. She finished the race in 2:29:35 to take the win.

“In the middle miles I thought I might have misjudged Magdalena’s strength,” said Kastor after the race. “I tried to pick up the pace and I kept hearing a minute forty (that she was 1:40 behind Lewy Boulet). I tried not to dip anything under 5:20 to 5:25 pace (per mile) because I wanted to make sure I was staying in the right energy zones. The gap started shortening a bit. That fueled my fire and I started to gain confidence again going into the last loop.”

Kastor will now lead the US Women’s Marathon delegation to the Beijing Olympics. She won a bronze medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004, after finishing second to Colleen de Rueck in the 2004 Olympic Trials.

Magdalena Lewy Boulet (2:30:19) and Blake Russell (2:32:40) take the second and third spots to round out the three woman team.

Joan Benoit Samuelson, winner of the first Women’s Olympic Trials and first Olympic Marathon Gold Medal in 1984 took part in the race. She drew cheers of “Joanie” throughout the course. Joanie finished in 90th position in 2:49:08.

Professional Ironman Triathlete Desiree Ficker of Austin finished 79th in 2:48:11. Ficker was the top American finisher at the Ironman World Championships in 2006.

124 women finished the Trials race today with the last finisher coming in at just 3:07:40. For spectators on the ground it was hard to tell that this talented field of women were even running a marathon. The pace was fast enough that even the slowest runners looked like they were running a 10K road-race rather than a marathon. The entire field was tremendously impressive.

A selection of photos from the race is posted as the next post after this one.

US Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials Top-10 Finishers
1. Deena Kastor 2:29:35
2. Magdalena Lewy Boulet 2:30:19
3. Blake Russell 2:32:40
4. Zoila Gomez 2:33:53
5. Tera Moody 2:33:54
6. Turena Johnson Lane 2:34:17
7. Ann Alyanak 2:34:46
8. Dot McMahan 2:35:02
9. Robyn Friedman 2:35:02
10. Erin Moeller 2:36:51

Coach Joe English, Portland Oregon, USA
Running Advice and News



  1. […] Advice & News from Joe English Racing: Deena Kastor wins US Women’s Olympic Marathon TrialsArmstrong targets 3:00:00 in Boston MarathonPreview: US Women’s Olympic Marathon TrialsCoach Joe […]

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