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May 28, 2020

How Kara Goucher Stood Up to Running's Goliath

Kara Goucher explains how calling out Nike shaped her career, and where she goes from here. (Photo: Ian Allen)
Kara Goucher explains how calling out Nike shaped her career, and where she goes from here.

When Olympic marathoner Kara Goucher went public in 2015 with her accusation that her former coach, the legendary Alberto Salazar, had skirted antidoping rules with the elite runners of the Nike Oregon Project, she suffered an onslaught of criticism. The blowback set her back financially and competitively—and made her wonder if she had made a terrible mistake. Then last spring, Goucher spoke up again, joining former Nike teammates in a New York Times op-ed about the company’s practice of suspending female athletes’ pay during pregnancy. Nike soon pledged changes, and in the fall the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency banned Salazar from coaching for four years. In the middle of this storm, Goucher converted to trail running at age 40, finishing in fifth place among women in her first off-road event, the infamous Leadville marathon. In this episode, reporter Stephanie May Joyce, who profiled Goucher for a recent issue of Outside, asks the runner how calling out the athletic footwear and apparel juggernaut shaped her career, and where she goes from here.


This episode of the Outside Podcast is brought to you by Tracksmith, an independent running brand with a deep love for the sport. Tracksmith is offering Outside Podcast listeners $15 off your first product purchase of $75 or more. Go to Tracksmith.com/outside and enter the code OutsidePod at checkout.

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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.