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Athletics - 12. October 2007.

Deena Kastor tours U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Women's Marathon course

BOSTON - 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.

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