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Native Kara Goucher Slated To Run Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon In June

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Maybe you saw her run locally when she was participating in track as a Greyhound at East High School. Or, perhaps you became a fan of Kara Goucher when you were rooting for her  in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  For some, it’s a once in a lifetime chance, but your opportunity to watch her compete locally is just months away!

The road to London will soon take a journey through Duluth for a pair of U.S. Olympians.

Kara Goucher and Abdi Abdirahman officially have registered for the USA Half Marathon Championships to be held June 16 in Duluth as part of Grandma’s Marathon weekend.

The event will be a homecoming for Goucher, 33, who grew up in Duluth and graduated from Duluth East High School in 1996. Now residing in Portland, Ore., Goucher competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in both the 5,000-meters and 10,000-meters, placing ninth and tenth, respectively.

Goucher and Abdirahman earned spots on the 2012 Team USA marathon squad by placing in the top three at the Olympic Marathon Trials Jan. 14 in Houston. Both placed third – Goucher in 2 hours, 26 minutes, 6 seconds and Abdirahman in 2:09:47, his fastest marathon since a 2006 personal best of 2:08:56.

“We are extremely honored to have Kara and Abdi as part of the elite group coming to Duluth for this event. With the Olympic marathon races set for August, the timing is ideal,” said Scott Keenan, executive director of Grandma’s Marathon. “We expect to add many more quality runners in the coming weeks.”

There are currently 158 American athletes signed up to compete in the championships with a May 15 deadline to register. They will be competing for a prize purse of $82,000, including first-place awards of $12,000 for the men’s and women’s champions.

Duluth’s history of hosting national championship road racing events includes the 2003 and 2004 USA Women’s Half Marathon Championships. The 2003 race was won by Colleen De Reuck in a course record one hour, ten minutes – a mark that remains the fastest women’s time on the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon course.

Info via:  Grandma’s Marathon Press Release

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