Date: 12 Dec 2013


Kara Goucher Leaving Oregon, Returning to Colorado

Kara Goucher, one of America’s most popular distance runners, will return to Boulder, Colorado “to finish out my elite career under the program in which I started,” Goucher has announced on her blog.

She’ll work again with coaches Mark Wetmore and Heather Burroughs, who helped develop her into a three-time NCAA champion while at the University of Colorado. The move back to Boulder, according to a press release, will take place by January 1.

“I have four major goals: PR in 10K, PR in marathon, podium in major marathon, and make 2016 Olympic team,” Goucher told Runner’s World Newswire. “No spring marathon this year; focus is completely on the track and getting real speed back.”

Goucher, 35, has been based in Oregon for nine years, first being coached by Alberto Salazar and more recently by Jerry Schumacher. In Schumacher’s group, she became close friends with training partner Shalane Flanagan, a fellow 2012 U.S. Olympic marathoner. (See the bottom of this page for video proof of the closeness of their friendship.)

“I could not feel better or more confident about this decision,” Goucher writes in her blog, explaining that “the short story is that I felt like I needed something different. I reached out to Mark and Heather and they were kind enough to welcome me back. Their other post-collegiate athletes were kind enough to welcome me as well.” Those athletes include Jenny Simpson, a two-time world championships medalist at 1500 meters, and 2012 steeplechase Olympian Emma Coburn.

“Obviously Jenny and Emma are a lot speedier than me, so although our workouts will overlap at times, not all sessions will be done together,” Goucher told Newswire. “Long runs will be done with Jenny and Emma until I get into marathon training. Then I will be using the men in town.”

“There is no dramatic story here, I just need something different,” Goucher writes about her move, noting that as she did when she first left Colorado for Oregon, “I have found the courage to trust my instincts and to follow my heart.” She told Newswire, “Sad to leave such a great community here in Portland but so excited about getting back to Mark and Heather!”

Goucher, the wife of 2000 Olympian, fellow CU alumnus and four-time NCAA champion Adam Goucher and mother of young son Colt, had an indifferent post-collegiate running career until her breakthrough bronze medal performance in the 2007 world championships 10,000. The following year, she had top-ten finishes in the 5000 and 10,000 at the Beijing Olympics. She debuted in the marathon with a third place in New York City in 2008, and followed that with a third in 2009 in Boston, where she was contending for the lead until the race’s very late stages. Her personal best track times are 14:55 for 5000 meters and 30:55 for 10,000.

Maternity in 2010 and injuries have at times disrupted Goucher’s career since then, but she clocked her fastest marathon in 2011, a 2:24:52 for fifth in Boston. She was an Olympian again in 2012 and finished 11th in the marathon. Goucher was sixth in Boston this spring and then attempted to qualify for the world championships in Moscow in the 10,000, but after running in second behind Flanagan for much of the USATF Championships race in Des Moines, she faded to fifth. Goucher was to have been the top American entrant in November’s New York City Marathon, but in mid-September she announced her withdrawal due to a stress fracture.

Coincident with her move, Goucher is developing an interactive website to, according to a press release, “personally connect with a community of fans and share experiences and inspirations amongst all her readers.” Along with running discussion, expect to see cooking tips and videos of Goucher in the kitchen.

In this video, shot during their build-up for the 2013 Boston Marathon, Goucher and then-training partner Flanagan see how well they know each other.

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