Kara Goucher To Headline Rock ‘n’ Roll Portland

Olympian Kara Goucher will begin her Olympic buildup this Sunday in Portland. Photo: PhotoRun.net

The Olympian is excited to kick off the inaugural edition of her adopted hometown’s race. 

Kara Goucher, who finished third at January’s U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials to earn a spot on the team that will represent the United States in London this summer, will headline Sunday’s inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Portland Half Marathon in Portland, Oregon.

The 33-year-old Goucher, who has been training in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., for the last five weeks alongside her teammate and 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials champion Shalane Flanagan, is excited to be kicking off her Olympic preparations in her adopted hometown.

“I’m looking forward to running the first edition of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Portland Half Marathon in my adopted hometown,” Goucher said. “This will truly be my first step towards the Olympic Games this summer and I’m excited to see where my fitness is at after training in Mammoth Lakes for five weeks. It will also be a treat for me to run alongside my community and through the beautiful neighborhoods of east Portland.”

Sunday’s race will be Goucher’s second half marathon since January’s Olympic Marathon Trials. In March, Goucher finished third at the NYC Half, running 69:13. It was the fifth time in Goucher’s career that she was under 70 minutes for the half marathon. Goucher owns a 13.1-mile personal best of 1:06:57, set in 2007 when she won the Great North Run in England.

Leading the men’s field on Sunday in Portland will be a pair of Olympic Marathon Trials qualifiers from Oregon, Sage Canaday of Sheridan and Ryan Bak of Bend.

Canaday, formerly a member of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project in Rochester Hills, Michigan, sports a 1:04:32 half-marathon personal best, set at Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras in 2011. The 26-year-old Cornell grad is a two-time Olympic Trials qualifier and has recently turned his attention to ultrarunning.

Bak, 30, finished fifth at last weekend’s USA 25K Championships, and has set personal bests for 15K and 10 miles so far this year. He finished 23rd at January’s U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, running 2:15:12.


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