Deena Kastor had one thing in mind at the start of the year: Operation Olympic Medal.
After months of training in the mountains of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., Kastor can now go home with bronze around her neck and immense pride in becoming the second American woman to medal in the marathon.
Joan Benoit has the lone gold for the United States. It came in 1984, the first year of the Olympic women's marathon.
Kastor was inspired to run when she saw Benoit at those Olympics, and she hopes she did the same with her stirring finish here, writes San Francisco Chronicle.
"It's incredible," said Kastor, an ultra-thin, exceedingly gracious 31-year-old. "I was in tears the whole last lap."
"A little more real estate, and she'd have had the gold," said her husband, Andrew Kastor, who admitted that he also choked up when he saw her tears on the final lap, informs Indianapolis.