- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 7, 2008

Kara Goucher has talked about it for a while now, but it appears she will step up to the marathon distance with a debut at the Nov. 2 New York City Marathon.

It became apparent that Goucher’s career was headed in the 26.2-mile direction last fall when she impressed with a 1:06:57 half marathon to win the Great North Run in England, defeating Paula Radcliffe in Radcliffe’s first race back from her pregnancy. In the process, she posted a time some 37 seconds faster than Deena Kastor’s U.S. record (the course for Great North is not record eligible).

Then last November, shortly after the New York City Marathon where Kara and husband Adam were guests in the lead vehicles of the women’s and men’s races, respectively, Goucher said she had some unfinished business in the 10,000 meters. But she added the marathon was in her thoughts.

“I’m focused on the 10K,” Goucher said then. “I’m really focused on the 10K. I’d like a crack at a fast race. I know my best chance is in the 10K. Right now. In the future, I know I will be running longer and longer. I do see the marathon in my future. I’m not ready for it yet. Maybe in the fall.”

The Portland, Ore., resident reiterated her marathon curiosity in January at a news conference before the Millrose Games in New York.

When asked when she might step up to the marathon, Goucher said: “I would love for that to be this year, but I’m just going to have to see how the year plays out. Anything can happen, I had this knee surgery just totally out of the blue and unexpected. I want to run the New York City Marathon; it’s a goal of mine now to come [to] win in New York, but it will have to be when the time is right.”

Her coach and three-time New York champion Alberto Salazar, in the audience during the news conference, said: “I hope it’s this year.”

At the Beijing Olympics, after Goucher came in ninth in the 5,000 final, Salazar said it was time for her to move to the marathon.

“In the marathon, she could be the best in the world,” Salazar said.

To debut in New York would be a homecoming of sorts for Goucher, who was born in Queens and grew up in Duluth, Minn.

Boston bound - Online registration for the 113th Boston Marathon, scheduled for April 20, began Sept. 3. For the second consecutive year, the field will be limited to 25,000 entrants. In 2008, the field was filled by late February, and race organizers expect the 2009 race to reach its limit even faster. Runners must qualify by age-graded time or run for one of the many charity programs connected with the marathon.

Another marathon debut - You may have seen it in limited engagement in the movie theatres but soon you’ll have the opportunity to purchase “Spirit of the Marathon” on DVD.

On Oct. 7, Image Entertainment debuts the documentary on DVD. Filmed on four continents and in five countries, the movie brings together a diverse cast of amateur athletes and marathon luminaries, including Kastor (2004 Olympic bronze medalist), Daniel Njenga (World Class Marathoner), Frank Shorter (1972 Olympic gold and 1976 Olympic silver medalist), Paul Tergat (former world record holder in the men’s marathon), Dick Beardsley, Radcliffe, Bill Rodgers, Kathrine Switzer, Joan Benoit Samuelson and Grete Waitz.

The 102-minute film will be available for $27.98 starting Oct. 7. You can pre-order on marathonmovie.com starting Sept. 8.

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