Elite female runners like Deena Kastor and Shalane Flanagan are inspiring to watch. But, my favorite elite runner is Kara Goucher.
To me, when I see Deena and Shalane - I think they are inspiring and fast and hard working and awesome...but I also feel like they are in a whole different class of runner from me.
Obviously, Kara Goucher is in a whole different class of runner from me too (Hello - she ran the Philly Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon a full hour and 20 minutes faster than me!). But, Kara seems like the kind of person I could sit at Starbucks with and chat about running and not feel like a total amateur. I feel like Kara Goucher is real. She is strong, and not the skin and bones skinny of Shalane and Deena.
(Kara and her son Colt after the Philly Half.)
(I snapped this shot of Kara - in the red - during the Philly half when the elite packs passed us! It was my favorite race moment!)
(one of my all time favorite running quotes)