Kastor, De Reuck teleconference excerpts

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    INDIANAPOLIS – U.S. women’s marathon record holder Deena Kastor and 2002 World Cross Country Championships long course bronze medalist Colleen De Reuck appeared Monday on a USATF media teleconference. Both will compete Saturday, April 3 at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Women’s Marathon Trials in St. Louis.

    Below are excerpts from the teleconference. A full, digital audio replay also will be posted online at http://www.usatf.org.

    Deena Kastor:

    Q: How much are you looking forward to competing on Saturday?

    A: I’m really looking forward to it. The men have already had their Trials and now it’s time for the women to get their spots taken on the Olympic team. It’s going to be exciting and I think all of us are chomping at the bit because we’ve finished our preparations and are now just relaxing and waiting for the race to come.

    Q: Is waiting for race day to get here the hardest part?

    A: Absolutely and without a doubt. The hardest part is the last four or five days before the race because the work is behind us, and all that’s left to do is to sit around and get anxious.

    Q: Why have you not competed much leading up to the Olympic Trials?

    A: I had planned on running the USA Cross Country until I got there and decided not to run because of not wanting to take a risk on that course. I guess I just get a tremendous amount of confidence in being at home and having a narrow focus on a single race. I’m more of a homebody and I like being in the comforts of my house and training with one goal in mind. I took that route this Olympic year. I’m not racing very much this year at all and having a more narrow focus and enjoying home life this year.

    Q: How do you feel about being considered a heavy favorite to win the race?

    A: I actually don’t feel that way at all. I know that there a dozen of us that already have the Olympic qualifier, so there are at least 12 women that I consider a threat on the starting line this weekend, as well as the fact that everybody comes prepared. Everyone has had the best preparation possible for this race, and although I have a tremendous amount of confidence in what I’ve been doing, I don’t know how well preparation has gone for the other ladies, and I don’t want to think that my preparation is the only right way to do things. So I definitely have respect for the other ladies on the line, as well as knowing that the marathon distance is challenging in itself. I’ve seen a lot of upsets in this race and I would never fax in the results ahead of time.

    Q: If you qualify for the team in the marathon, will you also compete this summer at the Olympic Trials in Sacramento?

    A: My main races this year are the marathon trials and the Olympic marathon if it works out that way. If my training is going well in my preparation for Athens, I’m still planning on getting on the track and running the five (5,000 meters) and the ten (10,000 meters). In making any of these teams, the race that I want to run ideally is the marathon.

    Colleen De Reuck:

    Q: After competing in three Olympics for South Africa, what would it mean to you to compete at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens as a member of the U.S. Olympic Team?

    A: It would be my ultimate dream. It would be more than I ever would’ve dreamed of achieving.

    Q: Did you want to have a lot of races this season prior to the Trials?

    A: I did it a little different this year than I usually do. I usually go to Europe for some cross country races and I didn’t do that this year. I enjoy racing, so I can’t just have months of training only.

    Q: Do you see Deena as a prohibitive favorite going into the race on Saturday?

    A: Yeah, I do. She’s got a 2:21 and the rest of us are around 2:30s, or around there. Yeah, she should definitely be favored.

    Q: If you make the team you’ll compete in the Olympic Games at the age of 40. Would that surprise you?

    A: The years just keep going by and you set your goals, and all of a sudden you’re 40. You don’t really think about it but people keep reminding you about it. If you enjoy what you’re doing and you have goals and you have luck, and you’re able to keep it interesting, than time just flies by.

    Bios on Kastor and De Reuck, along with additional information on the 2004 U.S. Olympic Women’s Marathon Trials, may be found at http://www.usatf.org.

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