BOSTON - Following her first tour of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Women's Marathon course, Deena Kastor spoke with reporters via teleconference from the Boston Athletic Association's office. Kastor, along with her coach Terrence Mahon, was guided on a running tour of the Olympic Trials course on Tuesday morning. The U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Women's Marathon is scheduled for April 20, 2008, the day before the 112th Boston Marathon.
Kastor, who was the runner-up in the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Women's Marathon, captured the bronze medal in the marathon at the Athens Olympic Games and is the American record holder in the marathon (2:19:26).
"It looks like a wonderful course for the women toeing the line next April," Kastor told reporters following her run. "I think the criterium [multi-loop] course allows the crowds to see things changing and evolving over the course of the race, which is exciting. It makes the crowd more involved." She also saw a benefit for the runners: "To be able to see your competition at all times [on the course's long straightaways] is great for all of the athletes."
Kastor was in Boston for the USA Women's 10km Championship on Monday, which was run on a course similar to that planned for the 2008 Olympic Trials. Kastor won the race with a time of 32:01, capturing the 23rd national championship of her career in cross country, track and road racing, and her fifth of the 2007 season (cross country, 10,000m on the track, 10km, 15km and marathon).
"I'm really glad we came up here this week," said Mahon, a coach for Team Running USA in Mammoth Lake, California. "Two of the reasons we wanted to come up here were to see the course mapped out while running easy as well as to have Deena race on a course similar to the [Olympic] Trials."
"I think it's phenomenal that USA Track and Field and the Boston Athletic Association came together to promote us athletes in this way," Kastor said of the decision to run the Women's Olympic Trials on the same weekend as the Boston Marathon.
The course, created specifically for this event, starts and finishes on Boylston Street. The first 2.2 miles circle the Boston Common, while the following 24 miles will consist of four laps of a loop that includes Commonwealth Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue, and two out-and-back stretches along Memorial Drive in Cambridge. A detailed description of the course, along with a map and video course tour can be found at www.bostontrials2008.com.
USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.
USATF is a volunteer-driven, not-for-profit organization with a staff of professional program administrators at the National Office in Indianapolis. The mission of USATF is to foster sustained competitive excellence, interest, and participation in the sports of track & field, long distance running, and race walking. For more information, visit www.usatf.org.
Boston Athletic Association
Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of managing athletic events and promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.'s Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events, including the B.A.A. Half Marathon presented by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock Financial Services. The B.A.A. is the local organizing committee for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Women's Marathon.
B.A.A.: Jack Fleming (617-236-1652, x2627; mobile: 617-459-1587; email@example.com) or Marc Chalufour (617-236-1652, x2632; mobile: 617-459-1586; firstname.lastname@example.org).
USATF: Jim Estes (317-713-4661; Jim.Estes@usatf.org)