Kara Goucher’s Leadville Trail Marathon Debut

Kara Goucher Calls Leadville Debut ‘Hardest Thing I Ever Accomplished’

From Runner’s World
By Taylor Dutch

Photo by Matt Trappe

Bouts of vomiting from altitude sickness made the Olympian consider dropping out, but she pushed through for a fifth-place finish.

  • Kara Goucher made her trail race debut on June 15 at the Leadville Trail Marathon in Leadville, Colorado.
  • The two-time Olympian finished fifth in the women’s division, crossing the finish line in 3:54. Tara Richardson won the women’s race in 3:22.
  • Goucher credits the crowd and her competitors for helping her fight through bouts of altitude sickness during the notoriously difficult course.

Even with decades of experience running at the highest levels in the sport, Kara Goucher is still pushing her limits. Goucher made her trail racing debut on Saturday at the Leadville Trail Marathon, where the two-time Olympian said she experienced the most difficult competition of her career.

With bouts of altitude sickness, Goucher, 40, ran through some extremely tough moments in Leadville, Colorado. But with encouragement from supporters along the course, the marathoner fought through the challenges to finish fifth and win her age group.

Goucher completed the marathon in 3:54 for an average pace of 8:56 per mile. Race winner Tara Richardson, 27, covered the course in 3:22:39. In the men’s race, Joshua Lund, 30 of Boulder, won the event in 3:03.

“I’ve never been so low and continued on, so I guess I found out that I’m tougher than I thought,” Goucher told Runner’s World. “I think of myself as a pretty tough person, but I’ve never been in such a pain cave as I was yesterday. I mean, I was in such a dark place that I’ve never experienced before.”

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