American record holder Deena Kastor will likely be among the first runners to dart across the Los Angeles Marathon finish line at the Santa Monica Pier this spring.
Inspired by last year's event, the new mom will run the popular Stadium to the Sea course for the first time in her storied marathon career.
"I was on the L.A. Marathon course last year as part of the broadcast
team and I was so impressed with the course and the energy of the event that I knew I needed to compete in 2013," she said in a statement.
Apart from the 2012 Olympic Trials, race officials said the event is her first marathon since the birth of her daughter two years ago.
Kastor, who will turn 40 on Feb. 14, set the women's American record for the marathon—two hours, 19 minutes, 36 seconds—in winning the 2006 London Marathon. She won a bronze medal in the marathon in the 2004 Olympics and is a 25-time national champion in track, road and cross country races.
Her love of running took root as an 11-year-old on the trails in the Santa Monica Mountains near where she grew up in Agoura Hills. In 1991, Kastor graduated from Agoura High School, where she was a five-time state champion and was one of an elite few to make National Championships for four consecutive years.
The 5K race in the annual Dole Great Race of Agoura Hills is named for the famed athlete, and last year, she was inducted into Agoura High School's first annual Athletic Hall of Fame.
“Getting all the glory is sometimes embarrassing,” she said at the award ceremony as she accepted her plaque. “Because behind every accomplishment is a group of people.”
Kastor currently lives in Mammoth with her husband Andrew, along with their two-year old daughter, Piper.
Registration is still open for the scenic LA Marathon. The 26-mile, 385-yard course starts at Dodger Stadium and bypasses some of the area's most prominent landmarks before ending just north of the Santa Monica Pier. Along the way, runners pass the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Pantages Theater, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive and Palisades Park.
See also: Must-See 2012 LA Marathon Photos
— Agoura Hills Patch editor Susan Pascal and City News Service contributed to this report.