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By David Monti
(c) 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Marathoners Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor were re-signed by their primary
sponsor, the Asics America Corporation, through 2012, the company
announced yesterday.

In the case of Hall, 26, it's a particularly critical signing for
Asics because the 2:06:17 marathoner will be running the Boston
Marathon on April 20, a huge media exposure opportunity for the shoe
and apparel company based in Irvine, Calif.  Industry insiders had
reported to Race Results Weekly that Adidas, the shoe company sponsor
of the Boston Athletic Association and the Boston Marathon, had shown
serious interest in signing Hall and had put forth an offer.

"I couldn't be more happy to stay with Asics, a brand which has been
faithful to me from my first pursuit of breaking the four-minute mile
barrier, to qualifying for my first Olympic team, to now, as I pursue
winning a major marathon in the U.S.," said Hall through a media

Kastor, 35, the American marathon record holder with a 2:19:36
personal best, is rebuilding her fitness after splintering a bone in
her foot near the 5 km mark of last August's Beijing Olympic Marathon.
 She is expected to return to competition at the Yokohama Ekiden in
Japan on February 22.

"Long before running with the Asics logo, I have admired the quality
of Asics shoes," Kastor commented.  "Since signing with Asics in 2001,
I have learned to respect the standards in which they operate.  It's a
huge honor for me to continue representing a brand I believe in 100%."

Both Hall and Kastor are part of Team Running USA California in
Mammoth Lakes, and are coached by Terrence Mahon.  Both athletes are
represented by Ray Flynn of Flynn Sports, who negotiated their deals.
Terms of their signings were not disclosed, but both athletes would be
certain to receive a six-figure salary plus lucrative performance
bonuses for finishing well in high-profile races or achieving fast

"These athletes are the best in their events and are great ambassadors
for the Asics brand," said Ben Cesar, the Asics athlete manager.
"Each has the qualities that are in line with the company slogan,
'Sound Mind, Sound Body.'  Ryan is the future of men's distance
running in the U.S., and Deena is one of the greatest women's distance
runners of all time."

In their annual rankings issue, Track & Field News ranked Hall the #1
marathoner in the United States.  Kastor had the #2 USA ranking behind
Kara Goucher.

PHOTOS: Deena Kastor after winning the 2007 U.S. Cross Country
Championships in Boulder, Colo. (photo by David Monti); Ryan Hall
competing at the 2006 Chiba International Cross Country (courtesy

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