Deena Kastor wins the 2005 Jefferson Hospital Philadelphia Distance Run in a USA half marathon record (Victah Sailer) © Copyright
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Kastor lowers Benoit's 21-year-old American Half Marathon record

Philadelphia, USAOlympic Marathon bronze medallist Deena Kastor shattered the national and Area half marathon record at the 28th annual Jefferson Hospital Philadelphia Distance Run today. Kastor, 32, covered the 13.1-mile distance in a time of 67:53, to lower Joan Benoit's 21-year-old mark of 68:34 set at this same race in 1984. She also eclipsed the event mark of 68:30 set by Catherine Ndereba in 2001.

Kastor, who is preparing for next month’s Chicago Marathon, in addition to her new half marathon mark, she now owns American road records in the 5K (14:54), 8K (24:36), 15K (47:15) and the Marathon (2:21:16).

"I'm ecstatic," said Kastor. "I couldn’t ask for a better race. It was a gorgeous morning. It was a little harder than I expected and I knew it was going to hurt a little. I'm glad it's over. I wasn't sure I would run that fast and I was starting to tire at the end. I wasn't really sure I had it until I saw the clock at the finish.

"No one will ever match what Joan (Benoit Samuelson) has done," Kastor said of breaking the record held by one of her idols. "The times may be different but nobody will ever match what she has done for the sport. She is an icon."

Margaret Atodonyang, 26, of Kenya was the second woman across in 69:55, followed by Japan's Rie Ueno, 29, in 70:02. The Olympic gold medalist from 2000, Naoko Takahashi, 33, of Japan was fourth in 71:28.

Running away from the women's pack at the start, Kastor cruised thru the first two miles at 10:19 to establish what was to be a healthy margin all the way to the finish line.  Kastor, who had no other women around her from the start, finished 21st overall.

MEN – Ethiopian win

Ethiopia's Gudisa Shentema, 25, captured the men's crown in a time of 1:02:23, followed by Kenyans Simon Kirprop (1:02:34) and Linus Maiyo (1:02:40).

"I did not come here expecting to win, but I came here to run my best," said Shentema after his victory.

Susan Reid (Elite Racing) for the IAAF

2005 Jefferson Hospital Philadelphia Distance Run
Philadelphia, PA
Sept. 18, 2005

1, Gudisa Shentema, Ethiopia, 62:23
2, Simon Kiprop, Kenya, 62:34
3, Linus Maiyo, Kenya, 62:40
4, Christopher Cheboiboch, Kenya, 62:45
5, Mohammad Amyn, Morocco, 62:48
6, Samuel Ndereba, Kenya, 62:53
7, Francis Bowen, Kenya, 62:58
8, Ernest Kimeli, Kenya, 63:03
9, Mbarak Hussein, Kenya, 63:23 USATF masters’ record
10, Michael Aish, New Zealand, 63:24

1, Deena Kastor, USA, 67:53
2, Margaret Atodonyang, Kenya, 69:55
3, Rie Ueno, Japan, 70:02
4, Naoko Takahashi, Japan, 71:28
5, Kathy Butler, Great Britain, 71:53
6, Natalya Berkut, Ukraine, 72:22
7, Laura O'Neill, USA, 73:52
8, Tatyana Chulakh, Russia, 74:18
9, Teresa Wanjiku, Kenya, 74:30
10, Shitaye Gemechu, Ethiopia, 74:37