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.
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.
Sisters Who Survived Columbine Will Run Boston Together 20 Years After Tragedy
They are running to show that anyone can overcome anything.
Almost 20 years to the day, two survivors of the Columbine High School massacre will run the Boston Marathon.
The lives of sisters Laura Hall, 34, and Sarah Bush, 36, changed forever that day in 1999 in Columbine, Colorado, when two gunmen killed 12 students and one teacher. It is a day they, and the rest of the country, will never forget.
In the immediate aftermath, they didn’t know how to heal. But since they grew up in a running family—participating in and volunteering at races like Bolder Boulder each year—lacing up would become an unexpected coping mechanism.
For Bush, who was a sophomore on the track and field team at the time of the incident, running was a way to overcome any challenge. It was a reminder that she wasn’t a victim; she was capable of doing and being anything, like a marathoner.
That was Bush’s goal in college: She wanted to run a marathon before she turned 20. Bush was on track to do that until IT band syndrome crept up on her while training. She felt defeated when she went to the doctor. But she was angry and determined when she left.
“The sports therapist said to me, ‘Some people aren’t meant to run ’” Bush told Runner’s World. “I was really mad. Nobody can tell me I can’t do something, and I proven him wrong, because this Boston will be my 11th marathon.”
For seven years after the tragedy, Hall—who was a freshman when the tragedy occurred—struggled to cope until she embraced running as a form of therapy.
The moment this sunk in arrived as she trained for her first marathon in 2006.
“It is so important to choose to be hopeful, and whatever you choose, whether that’s running or sewing, there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Hall told Runner’s World. “Both Sarah and I have been in that tunnel, and we live happy and fulfilling lives, and running is a huge part of that.”
The two-time Olympian will make the high-altitude event her trail running race debut.
All I had going for me in my attempt to keep up with Kara Goucher were the rocks. The two-time Olympian and 2:24:52 marathoner is relatively new to trail running, and on our car ride over to a trailhead in Boulder, Colorado’s, Chautauqua Park, she claimed to be “terrible at it.” And so, to abate my own fears of being dropped by the pro—even on a casual run—I chose a particularly rocky and technical route.
The purpose of our jaunt was to chat about Goucher’s transition from road racing to trails. After a disappointing DNF because of an injured hamstring at January’s Houston Marathon, the 40-year-old athlete hinted via Instagram that she wanted to take her running “in a new direction.” She told Runner’s World after the race, “I have my eye on a race in June, but it is not on the roads.”
That goal race, she revealed to Runner’s World, is the Leadville Trail Marathon on June 15. The 26.2-mile course, located roughly two hours from her home in Boulder, winds through rocky, rugged terrain and tops out at 13,185 feet in elevation. It’s a far cry from the road routes Goucher is used to—and will certainly demand a different style of running.
“I’m scared of downhills, especially,” she admitted on our drive to the trail. She explained that while she grew up running on trails in Duluth, Minnesota, and frequented nearby mountain trails while on the University of Colorado cross-country team, for many years she became what she calls a “surface diva.”
Follow these tips and your training will spring forward, too.
Daylight Savings Time Change 2019 – Daylight Saving Tips for Runners
Don’t let daylight saving time put your fitness to sleep when the clocks roll forward in 2019. When it hits—this year on Sunday, March 10—our clocks will jump ahead an hour, giving you some extra light on those evening runs at the end of the day.
Losing 60 minutes of shuteye may not seem like much when it comes affecting your fitness, but it can take a toll on your running routine for several days if you don’t make some simple adjustments. Fortunately, you can keep the overall grogginess away with some prep heading into daylight saving and some extra motivation to not swat the snooze button before your long run the next morning (or race).
Just follow these five tips to keep your training on track.
1. Go for a run the night before.
A good night’s rest during this weekend is vital for your body’s clock to transition to the new weekday schedule. For starters, go for a run on Saturday because exercise will significantly improve your snooze quality. Michael Breus, Ph.D., a runner and sleep specialist also recommends reducing your alcohol and caffeine consumption this weekend.
“Alcohol keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep,” he says. “Calm your caffeine consumption down by 2 p.m. on Saturday—that will help get you into deeper stages of sleep that night.”
2. Adjust your sleep schedule.
Go to bed 30 minutes earlier on the night of daylight saving and sleep in 30 minutes later Sunday morning, Breus recommends. “It takes the circadian clock in the body about a day to get used to the change,” he says. Putting in the extra Z’s during the weekend time shift will help you feel less tired if you have to get a run in before work Monday morning.
The precious time alone in the calm of nature became transformative in Rachel Sapp’s healing process.
When every muscle in her body begins to feel like a weight pulling her down, and every ache urges her to quit, Rachel Sapp continues to run, pressing forward with every step on the trail.
This grit serves as an important reminder in every aspect of her life. Just as she survived a brutal attack, she can survive any grueling physical challenge that comes her way. And running has helped her summon that courage.
“The strength that running has provided, it’s almost unspeakable,” Sapp told Runner’s World.
“Running put that at the forefront for me to know that I got through these situations in life that are hard. It may be difficult right now, but it’s also beautiful, and it’s also vulnerable and I can be in this place and experience all of these things and it’s because my legs can propel me. There’s something so magical about that.”
It all started in the spring of 2017, when the Nederland, Colorado resident was leaving the Denver area hospital where she worked as a paramedic. Two people followed her to her car and attacked her, breaking her ribs and her cheekbone. From the parking lot, she was rushed back into the hospital.
Sapp ended up suffering post-traumatic stress from the attack. She felt helpless and lost, and she knew that she didn’t want to return to work at the hospital.
With the support of her husband Zack, Sapp decided to quit her job in emergency medicine and make the transition to becoming a full-time stay-at-home mom to her six-year-old twin girls. Unable to escape the painful memories, Sapp still felt anxious and trapped. And as a mother and wife, she couldn’t check out completely.
So when her husband encouraged her to get out of the house and take an entire day each week to taking care of herself, Sapp took him up on it. That precious time alone became transformative for Sapp, not just for her recovery, but for her overall wellbeing.
At first, though, she didn’t quite know what to do with all that free time. Still recovering from her injuries, Sapp would sit at park benches unsure of where to go or what to do. One thing she did know, though, was that she wanted to avoid large crowds. So she started to go for long walks. Soon after, she had the desire to explore further and see more of the breathtaking trails that surround her mountain town.
“I thought, ‘Why am I just walking? I could be making so much better use of my time and see so much more if I run,’” she recalled.
On April 11, 2017, Sapp went for her first run. A lifelong rock climber, Sapp always hated running, and her first attempt on the Flatirons Vista Trail was anything but easy. She got several side cramps, and could only make it half of a mile before she had to stop and walk.
“I was huffing and puffing by the end. I had no idea how to control speed or anything,” she said. “There wasn’t a time in my life that I had run other than those horrid middle school miles. It was so new, but I liked that no one was there.”
Runners had to be 4:52 faster than their qualifying time to gain acceptance to 2019 event.
The Boston Marathon, the holy grail race for serious distance runners, has become even harder to get into. Race organizers announced that the qualifying standards for the 2020 race will be 5 minutes faster for every age group.
For the sixth year in a row, the race turned away applicants who had met their qualifying time. In order to enter the 2019 race, which will be held on April 15, runners had to be at least 4 minutes, and 52 seconds faster than their qualifying standard, Boston Athletic Association (BAA) officials said on Thursday.
So far, 23,074 runners have been accepted into the 2019 race. That left 7,384 runners, out of 30,458 who applied, shut out of registration, even though they did achieve the posted standards.
Runners were learning of their registration status for the 2019 race by email.
The field for Boston is capped at 30,000. More than 80 percent of those are time qualifiers, and the time required varies based on a runner’s age and gender. The rest of the field gains entry by running for charities or through a different connection to the race.
Registration for Boston happens over a two-week period, with fastest runners able to register during the first week, which was September 10 through 15. Runners who bettered their qualifying standard by more than 20 minutes had the first crack at registration, followed by those who were 10 minutes faster, followed by those who were 5 minutes faster. The BAA has used the rolling registration system since 2012.
As if racing up and down a mountain wasn’t hard enough.
The winner of the Pikes Peak Marathon not only crushed the race itself, but also the four days of travel leading up to it: He biked 250 miles to get to there.
Dakota Jones, 27, of Durango, Colorado, departed Silverton, Colorado for Colorado Springs with the intention of raising money for Protect Our Winters, a non-profit environmental group that has brought together athletes against climate change, according to the Durango Herald.
“I’m really aware of climate issues and environmental problems,” Jones told the Durango Herald. “Those things can be super sort of paralyzing. It’s such a big problem, what can I do? Honestly, me not driving and me biking doesn’t make that big of a difference, but if you think of it like that, then nobody will do anything. We have to do something, no matter how small it is, and so this is a good opportunity for me to put this into practice.”
Once at the race, things did not go as planned during the ascent for Jones, placing between fifth and seventh until he reached the treeline. After that, he was second to the 14,112-foot summit in 2:17:22, and his blistering 1:13:53 descent gave him the five-minute victory. His descent time was a course record, and his official time was 3:32:20.
The intense race takes runners from elevations of 9,200 to 12,600 feet in the extreme terrain of the Colorado Rockies.
For the second time, 41-year-old Rob Krar from Flagstaff, Arizona won the Leadville Trail 100 Run on Saturday night. The intense race, which takes runners through high elevations along forest trails and mountain roads in the Colorado Rockies, is “where legends are created and limits are tested,” according to its website.
Krar took the podium at 15:51:57, more than hour ahead of this year’s second place finisher, Ryan Kaiser. Krar’s time beat his 2014 win and PR time of 16:09:32.
“Going back to Leadville four years after I first ran it was definitely a magical experience,” Krar told Runner’s World. “Back in 2014 when I ran it, at the time it was my most difficult 100 mile race ever, so I had been wanting to come back and have a more amicable experience.”
Krar, who says he had a “tough couple years” with injuries and personal issues, is hoping that this win will have a snowball effect and give him the momentum he needs to get his running back on track.
Last week the Chicago Marathon rolled out a new way to enter the 2018 race without the hassle of participating in the registration lottery. Runners who meet qualifying times specific to their age and gender will gain an automatic ticket to the starting line.
The new time standards are a strategy for race organizers to give participants of all ages an equal chance to qualify for guaranteed entry. In the past, the time qualifier guaranteed-entry option only applied to men who ran 3:15 or faster and women who had a sub-3:45 race to their names, no matter what their age.
“Make a date to meet someone for a run,” says Jean M., a reader in Colorado. “There’s no wimping out when someone is waiting.” John Stanton, the founder of the Running Room in Edmonton, Alberta, says the club’s Wednesday and Sunday group runs are popular in winter, when the average high is 17°F. In January and February, the Running Room hosts the Hypothermic Half Marathon, which attracts 3,500 runners in 14 cities across Canada—even at temps as low as -40°F. “There’s a big, free brunch afterward,” Stanton says. “People will do anything for omelets and pancakes.” Solo? “Tell yourself that you can go back inside after five minutes if it’s really bad,” says Patti Finke, a coach in Portland, Oregon. “Usually you stay out there.” Of course, not everyone objects to winter weather. “A night run during a light snowfall is one of the most peaceful things you can experience,” says Justin Lord of Kenmore, New York.
2. Arm Your Feet
To keep warmth in and slush out, run in shoes that have the least amount of mesh. If you have shoes with Gore-Tex uppers, all the better, says Mark Grandonico, president of the Maine Track Club in Portland. Wear socks that wick away wetness but keep your feet warm. Runner Joe McNulty of Philadelphia swears by nonitchy SmartWool socks.
3. Get Dressed
You want to be warm without sweating so much you get a chill. “The rule of thumb is to dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer,” says Maine Track Club president Mark Grandonico. “You should be slightly cool when you start.” Think layers of technical fabrics, to wick sweat, with zippers at the neck and underarm area to vent air as you heat up. You’ll learn your own preferences, but readers Darrell Arribas, of Cumberland, Rhode Island, and Eric Maniloff, of Stittsville, Ontario, both helped create these general guidelines. Assume you always wear gloves or mittens and a hat.
* 30 degrees: 2 tops, 1 bottom. Long-sleeve base layer and a vest keep your core warm. Tights (or shorts, for polar bears).
* 10 to 20 degrees: 2 tops, 2 bottoms. A jacket over your base layer, and wind pants over the tights.
* 0 to 10 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms. Two tops (fleece for the cold-prone) and a jacket. Windbrief for the fellas.
* Minus 10 to 0 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms, extra pair of mittens, 1 scarf wrapped around mouth or a balaclava.
* Minus 20 degrees: 3 tops, 3 bottoms, 2 extra pairs of mittens, 1 balaclava, sunglasses. Or, says Arribas, “Stay inside.”
4. Be Seen
With limited daylight, chances are you’ll be running in the dark (Alaskans, sadly, get only a few hours of dim light per day). Tall snowbanks on plowed streets make you even harder to see. Wear reflective, fluorescent gear, and don’t be shy about lighting yourself up like a Christmas tree, says RW’s own Ed Eyestone, who runs in snowy Utah. Says Adam Feerst, a coach and trail-race director in Denver, “I use a headlamp or carry a flashlight, less so I can see where I’m going and more so people can see me.”
5. Warm Up Prerun
Move around inside enough to get the blood flowing without breaking a sweat. Run up and down your stairs, use a jump rope, or do a few yoga sun salutations. A speedy house-cleaning works, too, says D. A. Reng from Kentucky. “The cold doesn’t feel so cold when you’re warm,” says Laura Salmon of Akron, Ohio. If you’re meeting a group of running buddies, don’t stand around in the cold chatting before you run. “We sit in our cars,” says Denver’s Feerst, “waiting for one person to get out before we all get out.”
6. Deal with Wind
Start your run into the wind and finish with it at your back, so the breeze doesn’t blast you after you’ve broken a sweat. To avoid a long, biting slog, you can break this into segments, running into the wind for about 10 minutes, turning around to run with the wind at your back for five minutes, and repeating. You can also seek man-made wind protection. “When we get wind here, it can be like a hurricane,” says Chuck Bartlett, the team director of Seattle’s Club Northwest. “The buildings downtown block it.” Protect exposed skin. “I use BodyGlide on my nose and on my cheeks to prevent frostbite,” says the Canadian Stanton. Other options include Vaseline (a bit messy) and Kiehl’s All-Sport Non-Freeze Face Protector.