by Kara Goucher | Dec 14, 2010 |
Last year I won the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon. And when I say “won” it, I don’t mean I was the first woman to cross the finish line. I was the first person to cross the finish line. Behind me were all of the 9,354 other women in the race—and all of the 5,105 men.
People sometimes ask me if I take special satisfaction in beating men in races. The answer is not really. I guess I thought it was kind of cool to outrun most of the boys my age when I did my first few road races in Duluth as a kid. But then I stopped racing boys. In high school, college, and beyond, all of my cross country and track races were female only.
I started competing with males again in 2007 when I started racing half marathons and marathons. And since the elite women have a separate start in a lot of those races, I still don’t have a lot of experience going head to head against men.
I know there are some men out there who can’t stand to lose to a woman. And I have to admit, I do enjoy beating those men specifically! I figure if a guy has a problem with women being faster than him, he deserves what he gets when I leave him in my dust!
Recently I heard through the grapevine that Mario Fraioli at competitor.com wants to beat me at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon on January 16. Now, I don’t know if Mario is one of those guys who can’t handle losing to a woman or if he just thinks that trying to beat me is a good goal, but if he wants to beat me, then I want to beat him.
That’s right: You’re going down, Mario Fraioli!
I’m only halfway kidding. The folks at Competitor have told me there will only be a limited number of fast women in Phoenix to compete with. Anytime I race, I like to have at least one other runner close by to push me along to my best possible performance. And if it’s a coed event, I don’t care if that other person is male or female.
Based on what I’ve been told, Mario should be a good match for me. He recently ran 1:11:55 at Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas. He’ll probably be ready to go a little faster in Phoenix, and I hope I can too. It could come down to the wire!
I just hope Mario doesn’t cry if I beat him. I’d hate to make a grown man cry.