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One of America’s favorite marathoners and our 2014 November/December cover runner, Kara Goucher, will return to racing tonight at the Hoka One One Middle Distance Classic in Los Angeles. The two-time Olympian will wear her first bib since last year’s New York City Marathon, where she had a “dismal performance” according to her blog. Goucher underwent knee surgery on her meniscus in January. After some slippery training in Boulder during a rough February winter, her knee swelled up, forcing some extra cross-training.
“During this time I made a promise to my coaches. As soon as the knee swelling went down, I would come back as slowly as they wanted,” she says in her blog.
This will be Goucher’s first track competition since June 2013, and it’s “just a little test” of fitness. She will run the 5,000 meters to “dip my toe into the racing waters, get information, and go back to Boulder to put in more work.” Her last full year free of injury was 2009, before her son was born. The 2016 Olympic hopeful is aiming to be “silly conservative” with her comeback and stay healthy from now until the Olympic Trials Marathon in February 2016, also in Los Angeles.
Other tracksters competing include Jenny Simpson, making her outdoor debut this year; former high-school phenom and current Nike athlete Mary Cain; and steeplechaser Emma Coburn, who will race the 1,500 meters. Track nerds can tune into the meet live at usatf.tv.