Kastor wins women's London marathon with personal be
LONDON, Apr 23 (Reuters) Olympic bronze medallist Deena Kastor cruised to an untroubled win in the London marathon today after an early break split the elite women's field.
The 33-year-old American, winner of last year's Chicago race, clocked a personal best of two hours 19 minutes 36 seconds in a perfectly judged race on a cool wet morning.
Kastor joined Kenyans Susan Chepkemei and Saina Kosgei in a break within the first three km behind two male pacemakers.
The trio went through 15 km in 49 minutes 41 seconds before Kosgei dropped off the pace.
Chepkemei tracked Kastor until 25 km when the American pulled away.
She passed the 30 km mark in 1:39:08 and held on to win ahead of Russian Lydmila Petrova who made a late run to relegate Chepkemei to third place.
Kastor, a former track runner, ran her first marathon in New York five years ago. She clocked her previous best of 2:21:16 when she finished third in the 2003 London race and in the following year she became the first American to win an Olympic medal since Joan Benoit who finished first at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
This month she warmed up for the London race by breaking her Amercian half marathon mark of 67 minutes 34 seconds while finishing second in Berlin.
REUTERS DH PM1703