Kara Goucher Inspiring story

Posted: October 26, 2007 in half marathon, inspiring stories, marathon

Immediately after Kara Goucher, Osaka 10,000m bronze medallist , won the Great North run half mile in England, a race where she beat the local favourite Paula Radcriffe, she was named USA Athlete of the week. It has been a tough road to the top.

An early death in the family, disqualifiactions, near death of her coach and flirtation with quiting the sport. Are obstacles this courageous woman has overcome.

Seven days before her fourth birthday, Kara’s father, Mirko Grgas was killed by a drunk driver at 6:30 a.m. on Harlem River Drive near 142nd Street in New York City.

Kara’s grandparents became surrogate parents and that bond remains strong. Her family and that of husband, Adam Goucher, are the foundations of Kara’s life.  Kara and Adam make frequent visits to their respective parent’s homes, and it’s clear that Kara’s grandparents had a major role in shaping her values and encouraging her in her athletic and academic pursuits.

At high school,  she was disqulified at a qualifying meet for going to the Minnesota state championships. She was found to have crossed the start line before the firing gun.

Her coach, Alberto Salazar nearly died from a heart attack.  It was Salazar who had rescued her from a series of injuries that seemed about to end her career prematurely after college. The injury made her doubt about her abilities as a pro runner, at a time when she could have easily said goodbye to the sport, Salazar stepped in, “He believed in me right away,” Goucher said.  “I didn’t have to do anything to prove myself.  He never gave up.  He was always positive.  He said just get your health back.  He was excited to work with me.”

With the bronze medal and the win over Radcliffe at the half marathon, she is harvesting the fruits of her labour and looking to a bright future, I wish her well.

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