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American All-Comers Record for Deena Kastor in Jefferson Hospital Philly Distance Run
By David Monti
(c) 2005 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

PHILADELPHIA (18-Sep) -- Deena Kastor of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., ran the fastest-ever half-marathon on U.S. soil here today, romping to victory in the 28th Jefferson Hospital Philadelphia Distance Run in 1:07:53.

Kastor, 32, who raced today off of three consecutive 140 mile weeks of training for next month's LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, sizzled through the first two miles in 10:19, and romped to victory by more than two minutes over second place Margaret Atodonyang of Kenya.

"That was the plan," said Kastor of her fast start.  

Since the weather conditions were very only moderately warm, she decided to run hard from the gun.  She passed five miles in 25:47 and ten miles in 51:36, faster than Cathy O'Brien's ratified U.S. ten mile record.  Her finish time beat both Catherine Ndereba's U.S. all-comer record (and Philadelphia Distance Run event record) of 1:08:30, set here in 2001, and Joan Benoit Samuelson's U.S. record of 1:08:34 set here in 1984.  Kastor has now surpassed both Samuelson's U.S. marathon and half-marathon records, considered by many to be her best marks.

"No one can ever match what she has done in her years in the sport," said Kastor of Samuelson who continues to inspire her.

In the men's race, Gudisa Shentema of Ethiopia was the surprise winner.  Off of a very slow initial pace, he won in 1:02:23 over Simon Kiprop of Kenya (1:02:34).  Mbarak Hussein, 40, of Albuquerque, N.M., surpassed Craig Young's U.S. masters record, finishing 9th in 1:03:23.

Some 11,000 runners took part.

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