Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- Northland's NewsCenter sports director Tom Hansen spoke with Duluth native Kara Goucher earlier this summer ahead of her departure for the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games.
Goucher will run August 5 in the womens' marathon, with that race set for 5:00 a.m. CT and live coverage in the Northland on KBJR6 and Range11.
The former Duluth East Greyhound will be competing in her second Olympics, having run both the 5,000-meters and 10,000-meters at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Below is a full transcript of part one of our conversation with Goucher, who was in Duluth this past June to compete in the 2012 USA Half Marathon Championships.
TH: Joining us is Kara Goucher, of course a member of the U.S. marathon team. Kara, thanks for joining us. First and foremost, welcome home because I know home is where your heart is, isn't it?
KG: Absolutely. I was just telling someone that this is where I went to prom, right where we're standing right now. This is where I danced at prom, so it's pretty incredible to be here right now.
TH: You underwent a coaching change. That had to be a huge decision in the middle of your running career, making an adjustment like that. What's that been like running-wise?
KG: It was very stressful at the time. I chose to leave my coach less than four months out from the Olympic Trials, and it was a gamble. A lot of people, like my shoe company, were nervous about it, but I think you have trust your heart. I knew I needed something different, and I ended up with a group that I absolutely love. I love my new coach, and I love my new training partners. It was stressful at the time, but it happened for a reason, and it's worked out really well."
TH: You're running in the Olympics as a mom this time. That's obviosuly a challenge as well, isn't it?
KG: Yeah, it's different. I'm not going into London until a couple days before because I'll have my son with me, and it's so expensive. We'll be staying outside of London until a few days before, so it changes everything. I won't be staying in the Village because I want to be with my child, but it'll be just as exciting as it ever was.
TH: The fact that you've run this course, will that help you when it comes time for the Olympics?
KG: I am really glad I saw it because if I just showed up and ran it, I would be shocked. I would probably start crying in the middle of the race because it's very technical. In the past eight months, I've completely done away with the track, and I've become 100 percent road runner. This is one of the reasons I changed coaches because I wanted to see what I could do at the marathon and just be a marathoner. I told myself I was going to dedicate myself to it for two full years and not run on the track, so it's been really different. There's a lot more miles. The workouts are a lot longer. I miss sprinting. I miss the sound of the bell and having to sprint and having to gather yourself, but I've also really fallen in love with the roads. I've learned to appreciate it more, and the more my strength comes around the more I like the distance. It's been a change but a good one.
The Northland's NewsCenter will air part two of our 1-on-1 interview with Goucher this upcoming Wednesday, August 1, on the KBJR6 and Range11 news at 6:00 p.m. and the KDLH3 news at 6:30 p.m.
For extended local coverage of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games, visit the Northand's NewsCenter Olympic Zone web site.