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Hilda Kibet Win the 2008 NY Mini over Deena Kastor
As expected, Hilda Kibet won the NY Mini 10k in Central Park on Saturday, but she had to work pretty hard to do it.
Kibet was the big favorite coming into the race off of her 30:58 10,000m last weekend in the Utrecht, but American marathon star Deena Kastor and Mexican marathon star Madaí Pérez gave her a challenge Saturday morning on the Central Park streets in New York.
Kastor Pushed the Early Pace
Kastor, "I ran a little bit outside of my fitness level but wanted to run an aggressive race... I didn't think I'd have that aggressiveness at the beginning. I ran like I'm in shape and I'm not."
Kibet was content to stay behind and let Deena do the pushing. She said the early pace was tough for her as she felt like her "legs were not moving." This was the first time she had run another 10k one week after a fast track 10,000m and that likely affected her. Plus she indicated she came down with a sore throat two days ago.
Whatever the reason, Hilda said the pace was "too tough for me so that is why I stayed behind." Ultimately in the fifth mile, Deena's lack of fitness caught up to her and it was Pérez who was doing the pushing as Deena fell off the leaders.
Kibet hung close to Perez and waited until the final half mile to pull away. She ultimately was too strong. She convincingly pulled away to get the $10,000 win in 32:43. Perez was second in 32:49, Kastor third in 33:14. Olympic Marathon Trials runner-up Mabdalena Lewy Boulet moved up to get fourth. Bernard Lagat's sister Everlyne Lagat, who had gone with the early leaders, hung on to finish just ahead of the third US Olympian Blake Russell.
Kibet was pleased to get the win in the hot conditions in NY city (the first heat wave of the year is rolling in and the race temperature was in the low 80s at the finish with high humidity (80%), but the high on Saturday will be mid 90s). She said, "It was a tough race for me, I'm glad I won."
The focus for all three women now turns to Beijing where it will be much hotter for the Olympics. Kibet will run the 10k in Beijing, and Perez and Deena the marathon. As Deena noted, "It was a tough day out there with the heat but nothing close to what we'll be welcomed with when we touch down in Beijing."
More notes on Deena
Deena was well aware the conditions will be much worse in Beijing (lets take a moment to point out how the Olympics and World Champs are pretty much the only world class marathons run in extreme heat), but after her success in Athens (much less humid than Beijing) she does not seem too concerned about the heat. She said, "When you're as fit as you can be, the heat and humidity don't bother you, but it bothered me today, so I have some work to do, but I'm excited to get home and do some marathon specific training."
She was glad to take part in the NYRR 50th anniversary Running Week celebration: "I normally wouldn't be racing this time in my (training cycle)...but I wanted to give back to the NY Road Runners in their fiftieth year celebration. It's definitely a good push for me to come here."
Saturday's run put her on the right track to Beijing, "I really ran outside of my fitness level today. I was pushing in the beginning, just riding just over the line of what felt comfortable the entire way. Definitely felt happy with the effort and performance today...It's definitely a good push for me to come here."
Deena indicated on Thursday that she's after one thing in Beijing, Olympic gold. But that doesn't mean she hasn't stayed grounded despite being the queen of American distance running. When reporters commented to Deena on the amazing support for her on the course and everyone yelling 'Deena', she said, "I guess I owe that to the bib numbers that have our name on them."
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