Interviews, Running & Fitness

Catching Up: Interview With Kara Goucher

Matt Orlando
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Over the past several years I have had the pleasure and honor of interviewing Kara Goucher multiple times. We have shared her journey from when she just moved to Boulder, having just changed coaches and still seeking new sponsors. We were there for the highs and lows of her training and racing, from Philly to New York to LA. She has rediscovered herself and her heart and love for running, and has continued to impress and inspire with the role model she is for runners everywhere.

Kara was gracious enough to share with me again and provide some insight on her Olympic Trails performance and her new focus. She shares some more thoughts on her outspoken campaign against the Nike Oregon Project. She lets us know a little more about her husband Adam’s company’s 2016 in 2016 challenge, and gets us up to date on all the exciting things she has going on through her sponsors. So, let’s get to it and catch up with Kara.

We all shared your heartbreak with your fourth place in finish at the Olympic Trials. Now that you have had some time to reflect, what positives were you able to take away despite not reaching your goal?

The biggest takeaway is that I am still able to compete on the highest level. Although I was one place away from making the team, I showed that I am still a contender and that has given me a lot of affirmation to continue moving forward with the sport.

My two boys have a way of making me smile even when I am at my lowest. Was there anything particular Colt said or did which helped brighten your mood and give you some perspective?

Even though I am an emotional racer, I really don’t cry very often in my normal life. Colt hates seeing me cry and after in the media area he just kept kissing and putting his palm on my cheek. It was his way to try to calm me down and honestly it worked. Back at the hotel he was just his normal self. He wanted to be around his mom after having limited time with me the days before. He just wanted his mom. He didn’t care at all that I didn’t make the Olympic Team. That always puts things in perspective.

I would imagine your sights are now set on the 10,000M for Rio. With just a few short months to make the transition, what is your confidence level in both your speed and your ability to mentally shift to a track event which you’ve had great success with in the past?

I think at this point my coaches are more confident than I am! I am excited for the challenge but it has been a while since I had a strong finishing kick off of a quick pace. But, I do know that the ability lies within me. So as I get on the track more and more I think my confidence will rise.

After the race you had some pretty critical words for NOP. Do you feel that the truth will eventually win out, or do you feel that things will simply continue on there as is until a change of leadership comes about? Do you feel that enough is being done to address the issue?

I think my words were blown out of proportion. That being said, I do feel strongly that we need to clean up our sport and that we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it. I feel like we are currently on the cusp of major change in our sport. There is a new doping case being announced daily. We are actually starting to name people. Now we just need a system to catch people quicker, not always retroactively. I do not feel that enough is being done, but I do feel like people are starting to demand change.

How involved are you in Adam’s 2016 in 2016 program and what words of advice can you share for those taking it on?

2016 in 2016 is an amazing community of runners who support each other. By joining you get access to the Virtual Expo where there are discount codes and information only accessible by doing the challenge. Now that my marathon training is taking a break you’ll see more of me in the expo giving advice, training tips, etc. The Facebook group is incredibly supportive and you have people who will build you up and help you achieve your goal.

Any parting thoughts you’d like to share on your outlook for Rio, Team USA in general, and your future in both professional sports and with companies like Oiselle and Skechers?

Although I wish I was on it, we are sending an incredible women’s marathon team to Rio. We have three women who all have a chance to be standing on that podium. Team USA is always strong and many great stories of triumph will be told.

As far as the companies I work with, they have all been incredible supportive and all have exciting projects in the works. Oiselle’s spring/summer line is amazing. The attention to detail is outstanding. Skechers just released the Forza, which is a stability shoe that I helped develop, and I’m really proud of that. Nuun continues to push the envelope with being an environmentally friendly company and has a new reformulated Nuun. Zensah is working on some new sock styles that will really excite people. And Soleus will be releasing watches designed by myself, Nick Symmonds, and Alysia Montano. It’s just a really exciting time to be a part of all of these companies.

Be sure to leave some love and support for Kara in the comments section below!