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Kara Goucher: Can America's Sweetheart Do It Again?
Name: Kara Goucher
Hometown: Duluth, Minnesota
Marathon PR: 2:24:52 (Boston, 2011)
Best Trials Qualifier: 2:37:03 (New York, 2014)
Previous Trials Result: 3rd, 2012
Our Take: So much has changed since Goucher's last U.S. Olympic Trials appearance. The two-time Olympian switched from shoe giant Nike to Oiselle and Skechers. She left Portland for her college town of Boulder and reunited with former Colorado coach Mark Wetmore.
Watch DRIVEN: Kara Goucher Episode 3 (The Next Chapter) below, and check out Episodes 1 and 2!
She got injured. She tried to make a marathon comeback in New York City. She called out Alberto Salazar. She returned to health in the summer of 2015 and won two half marathons this past fall.
All in all, Goucher remains one of the most cherished and respected distance runners in the country. At the Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Half Marathon this December, Goucher won in 1:11:10 over Trials contenders Shalane Flanagan, Amy Cragg and Kellyn Taylor. Though the others may have had a more conservative race strategy, Goucher's solo effort victory proved that she should not be taken out of the equation come February 13. Timing is everything, and she's been healthy and consistent in this marathon build up. The only question is how she will compete against the likes of Flanagan, Cragg, and 2012 runner-up Desi Linden. She was nine seconds behind Linden in 2012, with Cragg over one minute back in fourth. But if you read anything above, you know that so much can change in four years! Goucher will toe the line in Los Angeles with fresh legs, different logos on her kit and a new set of coaches yelling out splits. But as evidenced in her San Antonio victory, Kara Goucher is the same passionate competitor gunning for another Olympic team.