Kara Goucher Comes Full Circle In Boulder With Shoutouts From Frank Shorter!

By Jeff Benjamin 

The Frank Shorter Track Classic in Boulder, Colorado, is a track meet honoring one of America’s greatest-ever distance athletes,  Frank Shorter.
“Every year we will celebrate Frank’s career, his devotion to the sport of running, and promotion of health and fitness in the town of Boulder, Colorado, where he spent a lot of time during his running career,” said meet director Lee Troop.
Frank Shorter Track Classic logo
 Troop also has honored many of the local running legends since 2018 with an annual commemorative medal designed in honor of that person.
One might say this year’s honoree, Kara Goucher, has come full circle in the town where her excellence began.
And the 2-time Olympian seems to have no greater fan than Frank Shorter himself!
L-R At the 2022 50th Falmouth Road Race-
Jeff Benjamin
Frank Shorter
Brent “The Hawk” Hawkins
“I think Kara is emblematic of the times in which she competed,” said the 1972 Olympic Marathon Gold medalist and one of the initiators of “The Running Boom”.
“Kara was part of an era after Joan Samuelson, Bill Rodgers & I were in who, along with other runners out there like Deena Kastor, kept the Sport going but also stayed around and gave back, not just for profit, but also to fight for what she’s believed in.”
The last few years, no doubt, have been both tough and liberating for Goucher, culminating in her best-selling book, “The Longest Race”, a blunt, emotional autobiography in which Kara held nothing back, going from her childhood right up to her current situations.
The Longest Race movie
“She’s very courageous,”  said Shorter, who also praised the steadfastness of her husband, Adam, throughout the challenging times. “She’s taken on big political & economic forces and never bowed down and yet has also turned all that effort into helping and giving back.”
Shorter’s feelings on Goucher nowadays being a broadcaster for the Sport and its events also drew great praise.
“She really is a good broadcaster,” said Shorter, who, since 1973, is no stranger to the broadcast booth himself.
“When she comments on races, you can tell she’s done her homework and has the ability to “read the room,” so to speak….she has that ability as a world-class runner to put herself into the race and explain to the audience the factors which the runners are contending with.”
It’s always nice to be recognized, but it does mean more when it’s from a community who has supported you and watched you grow,” said Goucher.
Jeff Benjamin with Frank Shorter, Falmouth 50th, photo by Jeff Benjamin
“Boulder has been such an amazing community for me- not just in college but also later in my career and even today… I don’t know if it’s possible to love the community more…every run I go on, I get friendly waves and encouragement.”
“It really is a special community.”
“Not only has Kara been a great athlete, but she has been such a great advocate for women in sport and empowering them to strive and believe,” said Troop.
“We are honored to have her at our race this year, and we can’t wait to see her son Colt run just so he can get a medal of his Mom.”
“Kara and (husband) Adam are just genuine people,” said Shorter, who observed and watched as the couple rose up in the Sport.
“She was never out there selling a brand…she always was running & racing at the moment, which is why her giving back has always been genuine.”
Kara Goucher was also observant of Shorter as well.
Cooper Institute, 1975, photo by Cooper Institute
Top Row L-R Dr. Mike Pollock, Kenny Moore, Steve Prefontaine, Jim Crawford, Ted Casteneda, Philip Ndoo, Unidentified, Dr. Kenneth Cooper. Middle Row: Jeff Galloway, Doug Brown, Russell Pate, Perry Pittman, Gary Tuttle, Richard Pettigrew, Mike Manley. Bottom Row: Unidentified, Ron Wayne, Jim Johnson, Paul Geis, Don Kardong, Unidentified, Frank Shorter, from Frank Shorter
“Frank and I have really bonded over our passion for anti-doping,” said Goucher, who, with Olympian husband Adam, have been acquainted with going on more than 25 years.
“While he accomplished so much on the track and the roads, his efforts to keep our sport clean are even more impressive to me.”
“What better person to talk about what’s going on than Kara!” echoed Shorter right back at Goucher.
“She has used her notoriety in a good way, culminating with her powerful book.”
“I just feel very honored,” concluded Goucher, whose personality has led to many runners, from beginner to elite, to respect her.
But it’s Boulder where understandably she feels most appreciative.”
“The Boulder running community is very supportive and positive, so it feels very good.”
That inclusivity was finally echoed by Troop.
“From 5-year-old kids, to 82-year-old Steve Stovall, we are proud of what we have created here from all ages, all abilities, and the celebration that comes.”
Thanks to Frank Shorter & Kara Goucher, the celebrations will continue!
Bell Lap –
For event info, please go to
The celebrated Olympians @ the Frank Shorter Track Classic have included  –
2018 – Frank Shorter
2019 – Benji Durden
2020 – No event due to COVID-19
2021 – Arturo Barrios
2022 – Billy Nelson
2023 – Kara Goucher
To purchase “The Longest Race,” go to
Jeff Benjamin has written about the Gouchers for more than a decade!

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