Former elite US marathoner Kara Goucher was the fifth female across the finish line and first in her 40-49 age group at yesterday’s Leadville Trail Marathon in the Colorado Rockies. “Without a doubt, the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she tweeted–quite a statement from a two-time Olympian, world championship silver medallist, and two-time Boston Marathon third-place finisher.
Without a doubt, the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Lots of dark moments today, thank you fellow athletes and spectators for getting me through. Massive respect not just for the amazing winners today but for everyone. That was tough as 🤬! #leadvilletrailmarathon pic.twitter.com/160VSG2gvD
— Kara Goucher (@karagoucher) June 15, 2019
Goucher has blogged about the experience of transitioning from the roads to the trails on her sponsor Oiselle’s blog, where she also dispenses advice to those considering (or executing) a similar transition. It seems road running and trail running are, well, quite different. For one thing, terrain and weather conditions play havoc with road runners’ expectations regarding time and pace, which are mostly beyond anyone’s control. (Goucher’s time yesterday was 3:54:07.)
5th overall and an age group win! Can’t walk today but thanks for an experience like no other @LTRaceSeries! Yesterday I pushed beyond any limit I ever have, thanks for making me find out what I’m made of when the going gets rough! Congrats to all the finishers!!! https://t.co/IoYIr4tmPH
— Kara Goucher (@karagoucher) June 16, 2019
“Yesterday I pushed beyond any limit I ever have, thanks for making me find out what I’m made of when the going gets rough!” Goucher said in another tweet. Goucher told Runners World that she was vomiting repeatedly from altitude sickness throughout the race.
Tara Richardson of Glenwood Springs, Colo., Jana Willsey of Denver and Corinne Shalvoy of Castle Rock went 1, 2 and 3 for the top three females while Joshua Lund of Boulder, Pat Cade of Leadville and Chad Trammell of Anchorage stood on the men’s podium (which also happened to be the M30-39 podium).
1. Joshua Lund
2. Pate Cade
3. Chad Trammell pic.twitter.com/8SbTc5SACb
— LeadvilleRaceSeries (@LTRaceSeries) June 16, 2019
The course runs through old mining roads and trails, reaching a maximum elevation of 13,185 feet (4,019m). This was the race’s 19th year.
After a much-anticipated return to the roads, Goucher DNF’d at the Houston Marathon in January, as a result of an old injury flare-up. She posted to Twitter after the event, “After 16 miles of loving every second and feeling confident I was going to run in the mid to high 2:30s, I started to feel an old hamstring injury from 2015. I told myself it was in my mind but 2.5 miles later I had trouble putting weight on it.”