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Goucher plans to take a break from running, start family

Goucher was raised in Duluth

Kara Goucher has been on a fast track in distance running the past few years, from the World Championships to the Summer Olympics to the roads of a major marathon.

But after the Boston Marathon on April 20, she plans to take a break to start a family.

Goucher, 30, and husband, Adam, 33, have been married for seven years and have talked about having children for some time, Kara Goucher said Monday from her home in Portland, Ore. Adam Goucher is a former U.S. Olympic runner at 5,000 meters.

"Adam and I have been wanting to have a child for years and there always seemed to be a reason, a race, to put it off. But we feel confident that I can take time now and be ready for the Olympic Games in 2012," said Goucher, who hopes to be a U.S. Olympic candidate in the marathon in three years. "I want to earn a medal at the 2012 Olympic Games. This is my goal, this is what I believe I am capable of.

"But I also know that life isn't all about running and I would love to be a mother and Adam would love to be a father. I am in no way changing what I want out of the sport, but I am willing to step away for a year for my personal life."

The Duluth-raised athlete finished third at 10,000 meters in the 2007 World Championships, then competed at 5,000 and 10,000 meters in the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, followed by a third-place finish in the 2008 New York City Marathon in October in an American women's debut record of 2 hours, 25 minutes, 53 seconds.

"If I thought I would retire after the 2012 Olympics, then I would wait until then to start a family. But I would like to go through 2016 and I didn't want to wait until after that to have our first child," Goucher said. "Adam and I have been very open with [coach Alberto Salazar] about our desire to have a child and we had originally decided that right after the New York City Marathon might be a good time.

"But after some pretty serious conversations, we decided that it would be better for my overall development to get in another marathon before I took time off. We felt it was a better athletic choice to wait a few more months [after New York], get in more marathon experience, and then focus on starting a family."

Goucher points to England's Paula Radcliffe, the women's world record holder in the marathon, as an example of a distance running mother. Radcliffe, 35, won the 2007 New York City Marathon 10 months after giving birth to her daughter, Isla.

Goucher is putting in road miles in preparation for the 2009 Boston Marathon, but also won twice on the track Saturday at the University of Washington Indoor Preview in Seattle. She won the women's mile in 4:39.51 and came back 25 minutes later to win at 3,000 meters in 9:03.47. She'll run the mile at the Millrose Games track meet Jan. 30 in New York.