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Competitor Running’s Sean McKeon was at the 2009 Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon press conference and caught some of the best quotes from American star Kara Goucher and legend Frank Shorter. Kara is running the race on Sunday and Frank won the race in 1977.
On running the race: “This is a great time to get out and do something a little hard to break up the training block. I have 3 weeks to go on Sunday so it’s just a chance to execute a race plan and go through a dress rehearsal for Berlin.”
On the race: “It is one big start and there will be lots of men in there…It’s really about pushing myself and there will be lots of men out there for me to chase down. I’m not going to go out at a (1:06-07) hard pace but I would love to chase some people trying to run that down.”
On her Boston Marathon experience: “It was my favorite experience as a runner so far. I felt a little heartbroken in the end b/c I didn’t deliver for a lot of people. There’s just so much support and cheering…it was an incredible experience.”
On what happened to change her level of running as she hit her late twenties: “I am definitely a late bloomer, I have been in everything in my life actually. Things did change in my late twenties. I changed coaches, I moved and I started doing more overall bodywork. I was finally able to stay healthy and then I was able to take my training to a whole new level…Having the perspective in life and knowing that running isn’t the only thing that I can do well…so when I do race it really is just running.”
On running her own race versus running against competition: “I really don’t run for PRs, I think my PRs are pretty weak on the world standard and I think it is because my coach has me focused on being a good competitor and championship racer. So when I go to a big race I don’t’ think about my race I think about how to cover other people’s moves…It helps alleviate the pressure on me because I don’t really think until the end of the race, I just cover everybody else.”
On going back to the track: “I love going back to the track. I plan on going back to the track in 2011. I really want to go back and go to the world championships in the five (thousand meters) and ten (thousand meters). My heart is in the marathon and if I want to reach my true potential I need to do it in the marathon. 2012 is going to be all about the marathon.”
On throwing out the first pitch at the Chicago White Sox game: “My coach Alberto Salazar is so concerned about how I’m going to throw this pitch that we’ve been ending every workout throwing a pitch. It’s like more important than cooling down! (Alberto says) let’s get out and throw!”
On the race: “The great thing about running in Chicago is it is flat! So if you really want to set a PR and you have a good day like the weather we are having here you can run well.”
On the Kara’s use of the race as prep for Berlin: “The timing for the world championships is perfect because it allows you to go hard and then you also realize that because you have gone hard that you should rest because you are getting near that point in time when you need to back off.”
On his experiences when running this race: “I always loved to come to Chicago (to race this race) because of the heat. I am one of those weird people who loves to run in the heat.”
On the US beginning to understand that first is the only place to be proud of in a distance race: “If you think about it in this past Olympic games the telecasters finally began talking about medals other than gold. It has been a great shift. It is so great you (Kara) can have that performance in Boston and feel the way you do about it, rather than say you disappointed everyone because it is an all or nothing situation.”
On how running has changed over the past 30 years: “That was what I liked to call the first wave of the running boom and many of us were running and more focused on getting personal records…that was your measure of success. In the second wave of the running boom, today, in large part fueled by people who run for other people and other reasons, such as charities… A big part of what is fueling this second running boom are these runner’s for whom running fast doesn’t matter… I think it is a good difference and something that had to happen.”