Olympic marathon runner Kara Goucher has joined the ultramarathon club. On Saturday November 16, the former Nike athlete raced to an impressive third place finish at The North Face Endurance Challenge Championships 50K race in San Francisco in a time of 5:30:57. Goucher has found a new love and appreciation for the trails, especially in the wake of the suspension and allegations of abuse against Nike and her former coach, Alberto Salazar.
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Last hard session today before #tnf50k. In 8 days I will run my first ultra marathon. For the past 8 years, parts of my private life have been a struggle. The last two months it has intensified, and having to relive my past has been difficult. At times the only place I could find solitude was out on the trails, training for this race. Feeling the joy that so many have tried to take from me. To my former sponsor, coaches, support staff and teammates who have humiliated, isolated, and broken me, to the race directors who kept me out of races and trashed me on social media, to the photographers and reporters who bullied me, the trolls who have constantly harassed and lied about me, threatened to kill me- you tried to silence and shame me. But you greatly underestimated me. You have awoken a warrior.
Goucher raced her first trail race back in August at the Leadville Trail Marathon, and has been moving up in distance ever since. The North Face 50K race gains 2,053 metres running through the Marin Headlands in the San Francisco Bay area. Goucher challenged her physical and mental toughness through Tennessee Valley, Muir Beach, and Pantoll Station, descending on the famous Dipsea trail. After crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, she finished the race enthralled and exhausted at Crissy Field.
Goucher shared the podium with Corinne Shalvoy in first place with a time of 5:00:10 and Jenny Comiskey in second with a time of 5:15:12. Nicholas Handel won the men’s 50K race in 3:58:11, Brian Gillis was second in 4:11:45, and Justin Grunewald was third in 4:15:39.