I’m a Fan Girl. #KaraGoucher

14 Comments

Let’s step back in time for a sec. My very first race expo experience was for the inaugural 2009 Chicago Rock n’ Roll half marathon.  I took the South Shore train to Chicago and had no clue what I was doing. I followed the herds of people and picked up a bag full of coupons, safety pins,  goodies and advertisements for companies I had never heard of, a race bib and a shoe chip timer. I watched the tv monitor to learn how to put the chip timer on my Nike’s and then watched again so i wouldn’t mess up. I was new, nervous and walking around alone.

The expo was huge and at the ripe age of 21, I had never been to anything like it before. Every booth had weird food and strange massagers. I never knew running had it’s own little world. I turned a corner and saw a few runners talking to a very pretty, slender brunette. Then I saw the brunette’s face on a promotional poster nearby and realized she must be someone important. Kara Goucher. That name meant nothing to me at the time, but now it’s one of the many reasons I love to run.

She crushed the half marathon that next morning. 1:08:04. She beat every person, male & female in the race. I had found out about her accomplishments that week as I started looking up her stats online. I thought it was super cool I stood 10 feet away from the overall winner of my very first race.

I saw her at another Chicago half marathon expo a year or two later, but this time she was pregnant and I was starstruck. I didn’t have the courage to walk up to her or say hi, even when Cameron encouraged it. I also had no clue what I would say to her. I left another expo without talking to her, but just seeing her and being in the same room was amazing.

You wouldn’t believe it. But as recent as the 2014 Philadelphia Rock n’ Roll 1/2 marathon I almost hit Adam Goucher (Kara’s husband) with my car. No joke. I was pulling out of the paid parking lot after the expo and some dude bolted in front of my car, crossing the street and I slammed on my breaks. The guy gave a quick wave and I yelled “OH MY GOD THAT’S ADAM GOUCHER!” and excitedly looked over at Cameron, like he knew who the heck i Adam was. He just knew I had a crush on Kara. He even took pictures for of her at the start of the race and surprised me with them after I finished. (Of course I can’t find those pics now).

full_width_fam

Kara, Colt, Adam Goucher (source)

Since the very beginning of my 1/2 marathon love, Kara has been a part of it. As strange as that sounds. The earliest memories I have of the sport are paired with a memory of her. I’ve loved following her career over the years, watching her race, reading her interviews, enjoying her candid blog.  There have been many times when i’m out on a difficult run envisioning how Kara mentally gets through tough runs. It always gives me a burst of energy and puts a smile on my face.

“Once you make the decision that you will not fail, the heart and the body will follow.” – Kara

Goucher-Nuun

look who drinks Nuun too! (source)

After all the missed opportunities I had, if i could say anything to her, I would just tell her thank you. For being honest and transparent to her fans, for being gracious, and giving her everything to the sport she loves. Her passion and dedication is the most inspiring thing I’ve ever witnessed as a fan girl. Good luck in LA.

HEAD UP, WINGS OUT!

Author: She's Going the Distance

Runner!

14 thoughts on “I’m a Fan Girl. #KaraGoucher

  1. So jealous you got to see her in the flesh. She is such an inspiration!

  2. I’m so excited to continue to follow her, she is so fascinating and seems so honest! Fingers crossed for Rio!

  3. I was fornature enough to meet Kara (I doubt she even remembers) at a Oiselle meet up last year. It was right after she joined and right before I left the team. That’s crazy about Adam but I guess good you didn’t hit him 😉

  4. I honestly don’t follow too much of running – aside from the Boston Marathon (as a Boston baby 🙂 ) – but have really liked reading about Kara and follow her blog as well. So cool that you’ve seen her at events – I’ve met and chatted with Bart Yasso a couple of times, because he actually gets brought into Corning Inc. for the Wineglass Marathon pre-week events every now and then, and it really builds a super connection.

    I have loved reading all of the previews of runners from Salty and other places …

  5. Kara seems like such a great person! I was bummed because I saw she was at the Big Sur half marathon when I am going to be out there for the full marathon in April. A few days later I was giving a nutrition presentation at the Twin Cities Marathon expo and guess who was there?! Kara! She was on a panel of elite athletes and after her talk, I went up to her and asked if I could get a picture.

  6. I love Kara too, and will FOR SURE be cheering her on!

  7. She sounds like such a lovely person, that’s so cool you’ve seen her. I have a similar but probably even bigger crush on Paula Radcliffe. If I ever saw her I’d probably faint haha.

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