You are a constant inspiration and motivator to all who watch you. Not just as an athlete but as a mom, a woman and a friend. Thank you for doing what you do and having so much gratitude in a lost dream.
I really don’t know how to begin to explain all that my race at the Olympic Trials Marathon meant to me. How do you express an experience that saved your soul?
I arrived in Los Angeles nervous but full of hope. I felt so much gratitude to be there, to be given the chance I had been dreaming of. I had gotten really sick the week before and I was excited to find my sinuses clearing out and my cough subsiding. All of the talk seemed to be about the weather, but I kept reminding myself that everyone was going to have to run in the heat. The days leading up to the race went smoothly. I felt very supported by fans, family, and friends who were in town for the race. The night before the race, Heather (my coach Heather Burroughs) and I made my final race plan. We decided that the heat was going to play a big factor and that we should play it safe. We thought 2:29 would make the team (it did) and to not get caught up in early moves which might backfire in the heat.
Race morning I felt very nervous. I went down to the lobby to walk over to the start and I saw my family gathered. I walked over to pick up Colt and give him a hug. I buried my face in his stomach as I started crying. They weren’t tears of fear, rather just nervous joy that I was about to start the race I had been dreaming of for so long. As I began my warmup I felt very calm. I knew that I had done all I could to be as prepared as possible. There was comfort in that. I was as ready as I could be and now I just had to execute.
After the gun went off my main goal was to stay cool and calm. I was hoping to be about 74:30 through the half and to just stay as hydrated as possible. The first half of the race was a blur. I was grabbing sponges, pouring water all over myself, and trying to maintain a pace that was strong but not too aggressive. I dropped my second water bottle and remembered after I had run away from it that my coach Mark Wetmore told me to stop and get my bottle if I dropped it. Oh well! I tried to put it out of my mind and looked for more water up ahead. I later joked with my family and friends that this race was the most athletic endeavor of my life. I was grabbing sponges, putting them around my neck, dumping water, etc. (Those who know me know I have trouble catching a ball, so I was pretty proud of my skill level!)
There was a big move around the 8 mile mark, but I stayed calm and let it go. I thought it was too early to be running so hard in the heat and that the women would come back to me. With 8 miles to go I was in 4th place, feeling pretty strong, and about 8 seconds back of 3rd. Heather and Adam yelled at me to go for it at the 20 mile mark. But when I got to the 20 mile mark I was sort of stuck in my pace. I kept asking myself if I was doing all that I could and I was, yet 3rd was slowly getting farther and farther ahead. Around the 22 mile marker I realized it wasn’t going to happen. Without a miracle and someone dropping off the course, I was going to be 4th. The last two miles were the longest two miles of my racing career. I started to slow down, not entirely because I was physically struggling, more because I was simply sad. My dream was dead and the minute I finished that race it would be gone forever. I forced myself to finish, carried by the cheers and energy from the crowd. But it was difficult to keep going.
After I finished Amy and Desi both came over to comfort me. We have all been through so much in the sport and so I sincerely appreciated their kind words. I went to the media area where I was asked about the race. Amy, Desi, and Shalane were better athletes than me and they deserve to be our Olympic team. Amy was fourth four years ago and has stayed motivated and unbroken to return to be the trials champion. In 2012 Desi had to drop out of the Olympic marathon and has had a long and patient journey back to the top of the world scene. Shalane has carried the US distance running torch for years and toughed it out on a difficult day to make the team. Bottom line is, they are all incredible athletes and I take no shame in losing to them. But it still hurts and I wish that I was on the team with them.
After being interviewed for over 20 minutes I was asked about my resurgence and that lead to questions about my former coach and teammate. It was the first time they had entered my mind all day. I gave honest answers and I’ve taken a lot of heat for that, but it is a part of my story – as flawed as it might be. Later that evening I got to have dinner with my sponsors, family and friends. After that, Oiselle had a party and we celebrated the 18 women we had running in the marathon. It was during this time that I was filled with so much love and gratitude. The last 6 months have been the happiest time of my life. I have felt so alive and so free. I have felt so much hope and love. I could never thank everyone enough for being there for me throughout all of this. I could never do what I do without the support of people around me. My husband, family, friends, coaches, teammates, sponsors, support team, fans… the list could go on forever. My life has changed because there are so many people who believe in me. I am a different, stronger, and happier person because of those around me. I don’t know how to properly say thank you, but if you are taking the time to read this, I am thanking you as well.
The hope of making my third Olympic team has carried me through so much despair and frustration. It has given me purpose and a reason to fight. It has turned my life around. And even though my dream did not come true, I would do it again. Even if I knew I was going to have the same result I would take this journey again. It has been the thrill of a lifetime. It has been everything. Thank you.
You are a constant inspiration and motivator to all who watch you. Not just as an athlete but as a mom, a woman and a friend. Thank you for doing what you do and having so much gratitude in a lost dream.
You’re awesome–as a runner, a mom, and an amazing woman! Hold your head up high from all you have accomplished!! Recover well & I hope you have a 2016 retreat 🙂
I watched and rooting for you and thought you did fantastic! do not think for a second that you are not as great an athlete as the three women ahead of you. You are brilliant and your efforts were valiant.
Hug Colt & Adam . . . you have MUCH to be proud of!!
– a fellow mother marathoner
You are a beautiful and inspiring person. Thank you for sharing.
Amazing race Kara!! All you can do is do your best, and that’s what you did!! Keep up the hard work! You’re not done yet girlfriend!!!!
I could only “watch” the trials from Twitter lives update, but the last few miles I felt like I was there too. When someone tweeted that it seemed like you’re hurt out there, I almost cried. Now reading your post, I could only imagine that maybe it was the sadness that got into atm. It was such a great race & you’re really the winner in our hearts. Thank you for remaining just as real & hopeful & inspiring & strong as you always have been.
Your athleticism, grace and humility inspire me.
As a runner I admire all that you have done and all that you have become. As a high school coach I can only hope that my athletes turn out to be anythingime the example that you have set.
You inspire all of runners out there, men and women. Despite not making the team, you stayed strong and true and should be proud of what you’ve done.
i believe that the reason you were 4th was that illness, just before the race. since it was a very warm race and you WERE not full strength, it is a miracle you finished that high in the order of finish. i have ran 59 marathons. my fastest @ age 32 was 2:24. my next fastest @ age 41 was 2:25. i think if you tried one more time you could be one of the 3 on the team once more. ps: i am from denver, and those times were @ lower elevations mardi gras marathon; los vegas marathon (1980;1989).
Kara, you are an inspiration and I have enjoyed following your training for the Olympic team! Thanks for sharing your Journey.
Ms. Goucher, I watched you run in Boston,2011. In fact,I saved the phone video I took of you as my own source of courage and inspiration to qualify for and run the heat of Boston ,2012. 2011 was also the same year your husband wrote an inspirational quote along with an autograph on a card for me at the expo. I carried those moments and treasures with me to draw strength from, so that each time I was defeated by time,I tried again. You, are a shining star, keep doing what you are doing, you truly cannot understand what it has meant for a simple runner,such as myself. There is a much bigger puzzle and you have played a part in creating my own,I thank you for that. USA is proud to have an athlete with your caliber represent with such perseverance, grace,and sportsmanship. God bless.
Cindy Jessop Thomas
My daughter is 17 and has been running since she was 9. She met you at Footlocker XC 1 yr ago. You motivated her to keep her dreams in sight. She just made the Junior USA team and she is so excited to compete in Venezuela. You are part of her inspiration to keep running. We cheered you on that day you ran, we prayed you would catch the third place runner. no matter what, she was proud of you and you ran a great marathon in the heat! I thank you for being the runner you are and being a girls hero in the running world❤️. You continue to inspire girls everywhere
I’m a person who strives for a lot of goals. Day in, day out — in the public eye — sometimes winning, sometimes failing. I know the space of striving for a goal. I know this feeling you have. I’ve lived with it, eaten it whole, had it be my life.
One morning soon, you’ll wake up and the next goal will be right there. As will I — waiting to scream “Go Kara” at you out the window of the car as we drive by. Ready to applaud you on.
It’s hard to imagine, but right now, you may not know it, but you’ve already won.
Sending much love.
You are such an incredible runner and competitor, Kara! Even more, you are such a great person and mother. I truly hope my daughter will grow up to be as strong as you!
You ran a great race and deserve to feel proud. Very good to read you’re feeling good about yourself.
You are amazing, Kara. Thank you for being such an amazing inspiration to all of us and for showing how tough and kick-ass female runners can be!
You are amazing and such an inspiration to so many! Thank you for sharing your dream and your journey with us! May God continue to bless you and your family!
I can’t fully understand the courage it takes to put it all out there like you do. But, I can say congrats on being a great role model and athlete. Thank you!
Oh, I forgot to mention, I saw you at the Rock n Roll San Antonio! I was simply star struck 🙂
I think one of the many reasons you are so admired as a runner, and woman for that matter, is that you let everyone witness your journey and you are honest and open about your struggles and successes. Watching you struggle in past races and then preserve and push to come back from that, has given me hope that I can do the same.
If anyone can come back in four years to take another crack at the Olympic Dream, it’s you.
As a former competitive runner (not of your magnitude, of course), I know what it’s like to train and pour everything into reaching those goals, only to fall short. BUT like you’ve stated in this article, the journey and accomplishments along the way, give so much joy, show so much strength you didn’t realize you had until later looking back at just how far you really did come, that every ounce of pain, every struggle was well worth the fight. Reading this gives inspiration to all, to not let one outcome define who you are as an athlete, as a person. You worked so hard Ms. Goucher; I may just be a fan that will only ever be just that, but I am a fan that is proud to be that, you are genuine and true, and I hope the best for you and your family’s future! Keep up the positive attitude, and always find the joy in pain. It shows just how strong you really are <3
I for one appreciate what you said at the finish line and I’m glad you’re sticking to it. Congratulations on all Kara.
I love all of this! Your gratitude, your grace, your honesty, and the way your love and dedication for the sport are so eminent!
You are a gift and I know you continue to contribute so much to this sport! ❣ #headipwongsout and # heartradiating
You are a class ACT! thanks
Thank you for giving your all, for running with your whole heart. It’s clear that every time you run, you are wholly in it. Thank you for making this sport better every day.
Thank you for your honest, inspirational thoughts on your race. Your gratitude for your gift is what separates you from others in your field. Dream on!
Thank you. May God bless you in ways you don’t understand. Cheers to inspiration and job well done.
You. Are. Inspiration. I hope you never lose your sense of wonder, you get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger, may you never take one single breath for granted, God forbid love ever leave you empty handed, I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean, whenever one door closes I hope one more opens, promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance, and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance! So proud of you Kara!
Thank you for sharing your journey as an elite athlete. It is truly about the journey and not always the end result. If we all focused on the end result we would miss some of the best moments of our lives. Life is all about the little things that bring us joy and happiness. Like our children’s smile, or that run that is just simply so peaceful you forget you are even running. Keep your head held high and remember God has a plan for your life. You have so many people that look up to you and are rooting for you.
I absolutely love that you are such an honest human!! 🙂 (and an AMAZING runner!!)
You are a constant source of inspiration to so many, Kara. Thank you for your openness, and genuine nature, and fierce work. Really appreciate you.
You are such an inspiration. As a mom of 4 myself, I was rooting for you every step of the way. It is truly a balancing act being a mom and training at your elite level. What a tough woman you are. I admire you for being honest and real in your interviews. You are a class act! Keep your dreams Alive. From, Mother Runner of 4 (top 10% women finisher Boston marathon 2013 and top 500 finisher Indianapolis Mini Marathon)
Thank you for the honest recap. You’re so strong, yet you keep your vulnerability. I think that’s why I adore you so much. Watching you come back for this race and gut it out was inspirational. Someone had to be fourth, and though I’m sad for you, I think you handled it with grace. Love you, Kara!!
Just reading this gives me chills – you, Kara Goucher are such an inspiration to us you have no idea!! We love watching your fight, grit and determination you take with you everywhere you go! Best of luck for what’s next.
Love you Kara. Even with how things ended up, or maybe even because of it, you inspire and motivate me to stay in the sport and dream big dreams.
Great post, Kara! I have enjoyed following you through this journey. Thank you for sharing. You are brave.
There are certain athletic efforts and endeavors that transcend the event itself. It is often the untold story by thousands of runners who strive and fail and look deep within for restoration and motivation. The fact that you lived your dream quest out in the open was an inspiration to all those who are on the journey. What I witnessed was a person who began a race to qualify for a team…and by the end of the race had taught us all how to run the race of life.
Kara you are a running icon and no matter how fast you have run and will run in the future, your legacy is who you are as a person. What you stand for supercedes any medal or Olympic team in the minds of many of your steadfast fans. I am proud to be one among those thousands.
You’re welcome! I felt like I took every step with you at the trials. I am so proud of you and what you have done for women’s distance running. Keep training hard, you never know, you may be at the starting line in Rio! I just wear insect repellent! Lol! #TEAMGOUCHER
I loved that your interview was truthful and from the heart – don’t change! Congrats on your phenomenal marathon journey!
I am a runner and a running fan. Love your attitude,work ethic,determination and toughness. Your “comeback” is a success….keep it up. Good luck as you move forward with your running and your life…..you are on the right track. Hope you make that 10,000 meter team and/or run a great Fall marathon.
What an amazing and inspirational piece. Thank you for writing this. It reminds me that fighting the fight is the real win. You are a true hero.
You are an inspiration to everyone, esp young girls and boys who are wanting to fulfill their dreams. You are a very strong woman, your son is very lucky to call you MOM 🙂
Beautiful! Kara, no matter the results you have been my inspiration. I have had to fight back from a horrible place and now I am running again…your story and your fight has been much of my inspiration to run and to endure! Thank you for your spirit and your heart! Keep on keeping on!
You are an amazingly strong woman. Your faith in yourself, and those around you brings hope to those who want to believe. Thank you for always proving that the journey is part of the magic and that faith in yourself is a beauty beyond a medal.
WOW! I can feel you! You truly are an inspiration! I saw you on TV, you were impressive. From what life has taught me, God has a purpose and as longs as you keep inspiring us; I believe it’s a great legacy! Thank you, really! I’m from Guatemala by the way 🙂
I’m sorry that you won’t be representing our country in Rio in the marathon (fingers crossed for the 10,000!!), but I think your strength of character, your grit and gratitude, are as Olympian as it gets.
Thank you. For being brave and honest and tough. We need more people like you in this sport who aren’t afraid to speak up no matter what. Your courage is an inspiration.
Kara – Your performance and your willingness to let fans inside your ‘personal/emotional’ tent are both admirable and inspirational.
We at AthleteBiz would love to have the opportunity to share your blog and/or feature you on the platform. We reach a segment of the public that may not be tuned to your voice and story. We may be the purest (non-commercial, non- profit) athlete-centered platform of any sport.
If not, no problem. Congratulations again. Jack
You’re a true champion in every sense of the word. Thank you!!!
This is so beautifully written. Thank you for your honesty and your strength.
You, your journey, your words have made a great difference to so many people. You have more than a talent for running you have a talent for reaching and supporting people. You are a blessing.
Kara be proud of your effort. I wish you had made the team but someone has to be 4th, uhg, I know. You are such an inspiration to so many, young and not so young, like me. You have taught me that you don’t always get to where you wish but you always get somewhere! Usually a better place than where you began. Keep running! !!!
Keep chasing your dream. I see that fire in you. #inspired
You have been my inspiration since my high school freshman cross country days and still are.
Your gratitude and support of other athletes is amazing.
The heart and genuine love you have for running is beautiful. We all can learn so much from your perseverance and courage!
I am amazed at your level of success & yet you remain kind & caring & honest. No one can take those amazing qualities from you. We are proud of you & were happy to cheer you on that day. We were also glad Colt & Sierra could play after the race.
You are an amazingly strong person….so much to look up too! Hopefully all will share this story with other athletes and people going through struggles so they know it’s not as easy as you look it to be!
Thank you for being courageous and of true heart for sharing your path of life
I think you need a little vacation to recoup….there’s a nice little bird camp happening in NH in June….just saying (I’ll supply the lobster I promise!)
I needed to read this today. I’m struggling through an injury that has me sidelined and unable to run. Thank you for sharing your story – I’m sure it will motivate so many of us – if you can overcome and be stronger for the experience, we should try to do the same. ❤️
You may not have reached this goal but you have created such an example and legacy in the kind of runner and person you are. Thank you for being such a fighter and for being so honest along the way–truly inspiring!
Hell yes Kara! You are a true class act.
Beautifully said, Kara. Thank you for sharing your journey so truthfully. You inspire me every day.
It was such an inspiration to see you run so well. You live and run with such integrity and courage.
When I met you, Adam, Colt and Shalane at the airport, I was star struck. I still am! You are an inspiration of the truest form for all runners. Congratulations on your continual fight for what you believe in. What a marvelous story of your life so far…
You are such an amazing person, Kara! Thank you for sharing your journey. I feel so lucky that I got to watch you at the Trials and am so inspired by your perseverance and drive to be such a strong athlete and woman. So, thank you for that! We all love you ❤️
a true sensitive soul.
thank you for thanking me the reader. a rare gesture from an elite athlete.
Amazing. WE ALL LOVE YOU.
Kara, thank you so much for sharing some of your life and experiences. Watching you race was incredible and inspiring. I cannot imagine how difficult it was to keep going, still having an amazing race, even when you realized you were going to be fourth. You inspire me on each run as I train for my first marathon. Thank you for sharing your journey and allowing yourself to be vulnerable!
So much love and admiration. Thank you for sharing your journey, your honesty, your feelings.
Love it! This is why my wife and I are always pulling for you!
Thank you Kara for everything you are and do-your honesty and idealism inspire me to be a better person. You are amazing, don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!
You have been the source of tremendous inspiration to me (and countless other women) who run. I got to stand in the front row (where I waited for a long time) to hear you speak at the 2013 Nike Women’s Marathon. I got up early to watch you (on tv) tackle a very cold and windy NYC marathon in 2014 and I flew to LA to watch you race your heart out in the time trials, screaming your name as you ran through the finish shoot. You have much to be proud of. The other ladies, while incredible runners, are not better than you in my eyes or the eyes of so many of your fans. Your character speaks volumes. Thank you for leading by example!
Your dedication and courage as an elite runner and as one speaking the truth about our beloved sport and naming the cheaters has won my total respect and admiration. May you and your dear ones be blessed with much happiness and joy ever onward.
You’ve been one of my favorite athletes over the last decade of my running and I thank you for putting together such an inspiring story, especially over the last few years. I don’t know you and I’ll probably never meet you, but know that your struggles over the last few years me come back following my cancer diagnosis a couple years ago. You’re one of the people who helped motivate me to keep my dreams alive. Thank you!
Kara, that race was the only trials marathon I ever watched where I wanted four to make the team! You’re a tough one, and you’re an inspiration to us all. Thank you!
As an official “old guy” marathoner from the 70s-80s, I can honestly say you’ve helped bring U.S. distance running back into the game after a long drought. I appreciate your honor and integrity, Ms Goucher. By the way, I also believe you have a lot of racing left – I bet your coaches concur, too.
You are such an inspiration for runners of all ages and talents. Thank you so much for being my idol during my high school and college cross-country career. Everyday, your dedication pushes me to not only be a better runner, but a better person as well. Again, thank you.
I’ve been a huge fan and followed you forever. Despite the trials not going your way, the way you raced that day was absolutely the most inspiring performance of the day. Keep doing what you love!
You are a true athlete and represents the USA very honorably. I loved the part where you cried into your little boy s belly. I was at 2012, and it is crazy that the top 5 where the same. Thank you for sharing. I always ask Ben n Steph what keeps you guys going. You have let your fans know.
For 37 years old, it was a solid effort for sure and something to be proud of. Unfortunately, your comments after the race are comments that you would not have made had you made the team. Unlike others, I”m not star-struck, I’m a realist. Dropping the F-bomb was uncalled for and using it to try and sound cool just doesn’t work. I’m my own person and don’t need fanboys and fangirls to agree with me. It was uncalled for and had someone else done the same thing and you hadn’t, it would have been different, right? Trying to get publicity that way is sad and shouldn’t be a level that you should stoop to. If you’re carrying extra baggage, go talk to a therapist, don’t use 4th place at the trials as an excuse for your own personal sounding board. Regardless, great effort in the race.
You had our support until your whimpering, crybaby rant about NOP, simply for attention. That had nothing to do with your race or solid 4th place. Rather, you chose to gain more media exposure for yourself, and your sponsors. You showed the true example of being a sore looser while looking for media exposure. I can assure you, my daughter, a 3 sport HS athlete, who remarked on her own about your behavior, will not be, nor I, BUY ANY OISELLE OR SKECHERS equipment anymore. It’s too bad that a guy like Meb gives great exposure to the Skechers brand, and you destroy it.
I hope that you consider the 10 000 Olympic Trials!! Go for it.
Thank you for sharing your story here, and sharing what is really a private journey with so many people. As a mother of four and marathoner, I have always looked to you as an inspiration. How many moms were in that top 4 ?? A winner in my eyes…
As Meb said, 4th is not a bad position to be in; you never know what may happen. I remember being amazed as he dug deep in London. You were no less awsome.
You ran such a great race! I hope you try to make the 10,000 team. I’ll be cheering for you!
Good luck, and I hope you go for the 10k. I think you can do it. Also, you shouldn’t lose all hope regards to making the team, as one of the top 3 may not be ready or available to run – so you may get in to the marathon afterall. The marathon is hard on the body, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if you were called in to run. Keep ready, keep going, keep racing, and good on you! No matter what, you’ve shown you are incredibly tough, an incredible runner, and the future is very bright for you – A former fellow NCAA competitor.
Congratulations! You are a class act. Good luck in the 10000m.
What a great read. Anyone who has toughed it out, through whatever the journey, can appreciate all the moments you went through that day. You have a great ability to see the bigger picture. Congrats and best of luck!
Thank you for your raw tenacity. I cheered you on near Adams and Figueroa and could see you fighting. Keep fighting. Your story has resonated with me and so many people. I thought your Salazar commentary after the race was honest, authentic, and refreshing. Truthfully, it’s what a lot of us are already thinking anyways.
You are such a straight forward and open person and you have taken us with you on this amazing journey of yours! I was following you in the middle of the night here in Mumbai, hoping that you would make the Olympics team. sadly it was not to be and that is sport.
You left it all on the roads of LA and you should be proud both of your run and of how you handled yourself after such a disappointment.
Uuuugh, such a misery!
Remember for your all attitude after the OTM finish. Your shamefull words, for the same teammates that used to work together and the same coach who gave you the same ‘drug’ that you accuse others for taking.
Now, with this emotional speech, you’re just trying to balance all of that misery, all of your bad words and try the running fans to remember you as a good person.
You used to be a role model of mine also. But with every step of words, every interview and races attitude, I’m getting so much sick of you.
Go away, you are not a true sport-person. You don’t deserve an Olympic team at all!!!
youre not only an inspiration but you also connect with us amateur runners so well. You will emerge stronger from this not because of any training but because you have received the live and warmth from everyone around you. Hope to meet you in person some day. Be well.
This was gorgeous and so inspiring! An absolutely beautiful write up of the trials. Best of luck with your 10,000m trials, you are my inspiration! xx
I’ve been a big fan but even a bigger fan now. You are a big inspiration so thank YOU for all that you do. You’ve always stayed true to yourself and what you believe and we love you for that.
You are the definition of bravery and commitment in life and running. I watched that race and I can tell you that we were all rooting for you(and proud of you) then and we will be rooting for you in the future! As a parent I point my kids to your example that doing sports in the right way is the most important thing at any level. Thank You!