USATF Long Distance Running Notes


Jim Estes
LDR Programs Manager
USA Track & Field

Kastor to run Flora London Marathon

Flora London Marathon officials announced Monday that Deena Kastor, the 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon champion, will join one of the strongest women's fields in marathon history when she lines up in London on April 23.

In addition to Paula Radcliffe, the defending Flora London Marathon champion, world record holder and 2005 World Champion, Kastor will be lining up with the likes of Constantina Domescu-Dita, the runner-up at both the 2005 London and Chicago races, Margaret Okayo (KEN), 2004 London and 2003 New York champion; Lyudmila Petrova (RUS), 2nd in London 2004; and Susan Chepkemei (KEN), 3rd in London 2005, 2nd New York 2005.

Kastor set the American record at the 2003 Flora London Marathon with her time of 2:21:16, placing third overall. She is coming off a victory at the 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, where she just missed breaking her own American Record by nine seconds, running 2:21:25 and becoming the first American to win a major international marathon since Khalid Khannouchi in 2002.

Ritzenhein third at Belfast International Cross Country

Dathan Ritzenhein made his 2006 racing debut at the Belfast International Cross Country meet, where he finished third, running the 9810 meter course in 28 minutes, 20 seconds to finish behind the duo of Barnabas Kosgei of Kenya and Moses Kipsiro of Uganda. Kosgei, who was third last year managed to edge Kipsiro by one second to win in 28:05.

Hoping to duplicate the success that he saw in winning last year's event, Ritzenhein moved to the front early, attempting to control the pace with Irish favorite and former Arkansas Razorback Alistair Cragg. Ritzenhein continued to control the pace until the fourth lap when Kosgei and Kipsiro began to pull away, with Kosgei pulling away from Kipsiro on the final straight.

"I thought my best chance of winning was to take the pace out and I think I ran a good race, but I was up against some good athletes," Ritzenhein reported to IAAF correspondent Bob Frank. "I gave it everything I'd got and was helped by some great support from the spectators, but I wasn't sharp enough to stay with them."

Peter Julian of Boulder, Colo., finished just three seconds behind Cragg, running 29:12.

Ritzenhein and Julian will both run the VisitScotland Great Edinburgh International Cross Country meet on January 14, as a final tune-up for the USA Cross Country Championships, hosted by the New York Road Runners February 18-19, at Van Cortlandt Park in New York City.

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