Elite Athletes Discuss 2014 NYC Marathon Goals


Meb Keflezighi and Deena Kastor have both had quite the year. Between a Boston Marathon title and a master half marathon world record, the two have certainly made headlines in the running world. Last month, Chicago Athlete sat down with both runners to discuss their 2014 accomplishments and this weekend’s TCS New York City Marathon.

For Keflezighi, the 2013 New York City Marathon did not go well. After resorting to a run/walk method with about seven miles remaining in the race, Keflezighi finished in 2:23:47 for 23rd place. While it’s not uncommon for elite athletes to pull out of a race if they experience major physical struggles, Keflezighi continued on despite his troubles.

“When I start something, I have to finish, whether it’s good or bad,” Keflezighi said. “It gets me in trouble sometimes, but at the same time I didn’t do further damage.”

Though New York didn’t live up to Keflezighi’s expectations last year, the training he put in for that marathon paid off in the long term.

“The base buildup you do•don’t count that out, because it’s going to help you in the next step,” Keflezighi said. “That’s what it did for me in Boston. I didn’t get the time I wanted or title I wanted in New York, but eventually in the bigger picture it got me what I wanted for Boston.”

Kastor has had a year for the books, initially breaking American masters records in the 10 mile and 20K during the Rock •n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon, setting a course and American masters half marathon record at the More Magazine/Fitness Magazine Women’s Half Marathon in New York and then going on to break both that record, three records at different distances on the course and the master’s world record at the Rock •n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon.

“I was able to get in good training [over the summer] and I knew from the numbers I was producing in practice [that] a world record was obtainable if I got in the proper race,” Kastor said. “I went to Rock •n’ Roll Philadelphia, which is where I broke the American record nine years prior, so I knew it was a fast course and decided that would be where I would pursue the world record.”

Kastor’s 1:09:36 finish bested Irina Permitina’s record by 20 seconds. If all goes according to plan, Kastor could set another masters world record this weekend in New York: her 2:24 to 2:26 targeted finish would best the current ratified women’s 40 age group world record of 2:26:51, set by Priscilla Welch at the London Marathon in 1987. Lyudmila Petrova of Russia ran a 2:25:43 for the women’s 40 age group at New York in 2008, but that record still awaits ratification.

To keep up with all the race action this weekend, visit www.tcsnycmarathon.org.