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 two of our conversation with Goucher, who was in Duluth this past June to compete in the 2012 USA Half Marathon Championships.
TH: When you run a race as an Olympian representing the country, which you've done before, does that change your outlook, your mindset, or your competitiveness? Obviously, you want to win every race, but when you're representing the country, is that a little different for you?
KG: When you have that USA on your chest, every little place counts and every little second you can get from yourself. I ran in the World Championships three summers ago in the marathon, and I was having a really rough day. Any other race I probably would have dropped out, but because I had that USA on my chest I just kept fighting and fighting. I was just dying, but you're representing your nation, and it makes you fight just a little bit harder.
TH: What inspired Kara to run, not only run but run fast and run long distances? Grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, family, who inspires Kara Goucher?
KG: My grandpa took me to my first race. My family has always been very supportive of my running. I did a lot of sports growing up --- softball, soccer, swimming, which was terrible. It was a lot of okay. I was okay, and running was the first thing where I felt kind of at home. I didn't have to think about where I was planting my ski pole. I didn't have to think about where I was kicking the ball. I just ran. For me, I really discovered myself through running. I was really shy, a very shy little girl, and I'm still shy. It really helped me discover myself, and I just love running. I love it, and I'll always do it. I'm just inspired by seeing how good I can get, and I've been so fortunate in my life to have so many people supporting me and believing in me. I just want to see how good I can get.
TH: Do you have any advice for younger runners? What would you say to those younger runners watching Kara Goucher at the Olympics?
KG: Running takes a lot of time, and it's something you can do for a really long time. I started running for my junior high when I was 12 years old. I'll be 34 next month, and I'm still getting better. It's been literally 22 years, so my advice would be to just have a lot of patience with it. It's something you can do forever. It'll take you all over the world, and it'll take you right back home. That's what it did for me.
For extended local coverage of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games, visit the Northand's NewsCenter Olympic Zone web site.