Courtesy Running USA wire #6-01-11 –
In what will be her sternest and most important test to-date since the birth of her first child last year, U.S. Olympian and World Championships bronze medalist Kara Goucher will make her NYC Half-Marathon debut on Sunday, March 20, it was announced by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.
“Kara Goucher was a big fan favorite before her maternity leave, and I’ll bet she connects with an even larger audience as a new mom, like Paula did,” Wittenberg said. “Whether it’s new moms or hardcore racing fans, a lot of people are excited about Kara’s return to the international racing scene. We’re especially excited to host Kara in NYC as part of her comeback trail to Boston.”
Boasting a prize purse of $100,000 – the largest half-marathon prize purse in the United States – and featuring a world class international field, the NYC Half-Marathon will be a crucial stepping stone for Goucher on the way to the Boston Marathon, which will be run on April 18. Last weekend, she began her comeback with a second-place finish at the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half-Marathon in 1 hour, 14 minutes, 2 seconds.
One of America’s finest distance runners, Goucher, 32, of Portland, OR, made her mark on the ING New York City Marathon in 2008 when she ran the fastest-ever debut marathon by an American woman – 2 hours, 25 minutes, 53 seconds – and finished in third place. The time is also the fastest ever by an American woman at the race. Goucher also finished third at the 2009 Boston Marathon.
At the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Goucher achieved the rare feat of qualifying for Team USA in two events, the 5000 meters and the 10,000 meters. In the 5000m final in Eugene, OR, Goucher won after a thrilling duel with Shalane Flanagan. In 2007, the Minnesota native took home the bronze in the 10,000 meters from the IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan.
“I always look forward to racing in New York. Whether it is on a track or on the roads, NYC has a buzz unlike any other city in the world,” said Goucher. “I can’t wait to return to the streets of NYC on my way to Boston.”
Goucher and her husband, 2000 U.S. Olympian Adam Goucher, welcomed their first child, son Colton, last September. In her last race before maternity leave, she finished 10th at the 2009 World Championships Marathon in Berlin in 2:27:48.
On a course designed to celebrate New York City, the NYC Half-Marathon will take more than 9,000 runners on a loop through Central Park, down Seventh Avenue through Times Square, across 42nd Street and along the expansive West Side Highway to Battery Park in the heart of the city’s financial district, finishing with a view of the Statue of Liberty.
Headquartered in New York City, New York Road Runners is dedicated to advancing the sport of running, enhancing health and fitness for all, and meeting our community’s needs. Our goal is to use the expertise acquired in our 52-year history to empower all people to live fitter, healthier lives through participation in our races, community events, instruction and training resources, and youth programs. Our races and other events draw more than 300,000 people each year. The ING New York City Marathon, NYRR’s premier event, is the largest and most inclusive marathon in the world, attracting the world’s top professional runners every year and raising $30.8 million for charity in 2010. NYRR’s running-based youth programs, which currently serve more than 100,000 children in hundreds of schools and community centers, promote children’s health and fitness, character development, and personal achievement in underserved communities.
For more information, go to: www.nyrr.org