Kara Goucher Nearly Collides With Mountain Lion on Morning Training Run

The big cats are a regular part of life in Boulder, but the former Olympian wasn’t expecting to see one on a populated road.

From Runners World
By Jacob Meschke

Photo: Todd Ryburn Photography/Getty Images
  • Former Olympian Kara Goucher nearly collided with a mountain lion during a morning training run last Monday in Boulder, Colorado.
  • After an injury forced her to drop out of Houston Marathon in January, the 2:24:52 marathoner decided to try her hand at trail running.

Even Kara Goucher, 2:24:52 marathoner and mainstay of U.S. women’s distance running for over a decade, gets spooked sometimes. But when it’s a dangerous wild predator just inches away from you, that’s understandable.

Since the return of an old hamstring injury forced Goucher to drop out of January’s Houston Marathon after 16 miles—her first marathon attempt since her heartbreaking fourth-place finish at the 2016 Olympic Trials—Goucher has taken her running in a new direction: the trails.

After so much success on the road and track, the 2007 IAAF World Championships silver medalist in the 10,000 meters and three time top 10 Olympic finisher, now 40, is training to run the Leadville Trail Marathon on June 15.

Photo: Allen Krughoff/Hardcastle Photography LLC

Though she wants more time to acclimate to the new discipline, Goucher told Runner’s World, training in her home of Boulder, Colorado has been going well. That is, until she nearly collided with a mountain lion.

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Full details revealed of mountain lion attack on runner in Colorado

From OutThere Colorado
By Liz Forster

Photo Credit: Dougal Brownlie; The Gazette

Usually, when Travis Kauffman is trail running and hears something rustling in the brush, he doesn’t get alarmed. It’s likely just deer foraging or a squirrel.

Last week, while on a 15-mile run the afternoon of Feb. 4 in a remote area of Horsetooth Mountain Open Space just west of Fort Collins, something told Kauffman to look back when he heard a crunch. When he did, he saw a mountain lion about 10 feet away getting ready to pounce.

The gangly, 5-foot-10 Fort Collins resident had moved to Colorado from a town in the southern Ozark Mountains of Arkansas five years ago for the outdoors. He picked up mountain biking, trail running and downhill and cross country skiing. At 31, being active made him “feel younger,” he said.

He had biked the West Ridge Trail, which is steep, technical and remote.

Just minutes before spotting the big cat, he had completed the tough first ascent. Then, “one of his worst fears was confirmed.”

“My heart sank into my stomach,” he said Thursday during a news conference in Fort Collins, the first time he had spoken publicly about surviving the attack.

Kauffman had read about what to do if he encountered a mountain lion, so he halted, threw his hands up in the air and yelled to intimidate the animal.

It showed no signs of backing down. The juvenile mountain lion, also known as a puma or cougar, which Kauffman estimated to be about 3 to 4 feet wide and 2½ feet tall, leapt at him and locked its teeth around his right wrist.

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Related News:
Only in Colorado – Runner kills mountain lion during attack in Colorado park

Only in Colorado – Runner kills mountain lion during attack in Colorado park

From OutThere Colorado
By Spencer McKee

A male runner killed a mountain lion on Monday afternoon after it attacked him in Horsetooth Mountain Open Space near Fort Collins, Colorado. The man was bitten multiple times, receiving wounds on his face, arms, legs, back, and wrist.


Photo credit: milehightraveler

While the victim was defending himself, the attacking animal, described as a “juvenile mountain lion,” was killed.

According to the account of the attack, the runner heard a noise behind him and stopped to investigate. This is when the mountain lion lunged at the runner, grabbing ahold of him with his teeth. The runner fought back in self-defense, killing the animal in the process. The runner sustained serious injuries, though they weren’t life threatening.

Authorities returned to the scene and found the mountain lion where the runner had described it would be. The incident occurred on West Ridge Trail. A necropsy is being conducted to determine exactly what killed the lion.

According to the Larimer County website, Horsetooth Mountain Open Space is 2,711 acres in size with 29 miles of trails. Though close to Fort Collins, it is located in the foothills of Horsetooth Mountain.

Mountain lion attacks are rare, as mountain lions prefer to avoid human interactions.

An apex predator found around the state of Colorado, mountain lions are seldom seen, but often a topic of conversation. Here are a few things you should know about this amazing creature.

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