Kara Goucher

Ali on the Run Show Episode 411: Kara Goucher, NBC Olympics Distance Analyst

“When you compete at that level, there’s this high that comes with that. And I’ve missed that. And nothing has replaced it, really… And I got little bit of that feeling calling some of those races. I started to feel that little high again that I used to get when I raced.”

Last month, Kara Goucher joined the Ali on the Run Show to talk about her experience being part of the NBC broadcast team at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in Eugene, OR. Today, Kara’s back — and this time, she’s here to talk about what it was like commentating at the Tokyo Olympic Games! Kara just returned from Tokyo, where she served as an NBC Olympics Distance Analyst, calling the men’s and women’s races from the 1500m up to the marathon. She talks about how this experience compared to the Trials, and breaks down her studying process for each race, including what she did to make sure she pronounced every name of every athlete correctly. She shares the one thing she said on air that kept her up at night, reflects on getting choked up when Molly Seidel went for the bronze in the marathon, and explains why she wasn’t allowed to cry on air. She talks about having to keep it together when one of her closest friends, Emma Coburn, was having a tough race in the steeplechase final, and talks about what it was like calling the men’s marathon after having a complicated history with former teammate and Team USA competitor Galen Rupp. Finally, Kara, a two-time Olympian herself, answers listener questions about her time in Tokyo and what’s next.

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Kara explains what her role was at the Tokyo Olympics, and when she could be heard commentating (3:55)
  • How Kara was feeling confidence-wise heading into the Olympics broadcast (16:45)
  • How Kara studied and prepped for the races she’d be calling (22:00)
  • How Kara decompressed each night after working the races (27:45)
  • The races Kara was most excited to call, and how to find the line between excitement and emotion (30:00)
  • How Kara recalls her own experiences on the run during these races — without talking about herself too much (43:00)
  • How Kara and her team called the men’s and women’s marathons (44:30)
  • Does Kara feel respected in this role? (50:20)
  • What’s next for Kara on the commentating front and beyond? (51:30)
  • How being at the Games this year gave Kara a different perspective on her own time competing (56:15)
  • Kara answers listener questions from the Ali on the Run Show Facebook Group (1:03:30)

What we mention on this episode:

Kara Goucher on Episode 43 of the Ali on the Run Show

Kara Goucher on Episode 86 of the Ali on the Run Show

Kara and Adam Goucher on Episode 208 of the Ali on the Run Show

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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