Leadville Trail Marathon Just Got Even More Interesting, with Kara Goucher Joining the Lineup

14 Jun, 2019

Famed long distance runner and two-time Olympian Kara Goucher is set to switch to the trails, officially announcing her debut at Life Time’s Leadville Trail Marathon on June 15, 2019. Kara has previously teased the idea on social media and in a recent Runner’s World article stating, “I have my eye on a race in June but it is not on the roads.”

Highlighted as one of the world’s most extreme marathons by Bloomberg the Leadville Trail Marathon and Heavy Half takes runners through the historic mining district’s challenging old mining roads and trails, hitting a high elevation of 13,185 feet up Mosquito Pass. The race sells out each year, giving 1,600 participants the opportunity to Race Across the Sky on the nation’s highest elevation trail course. It’s one of only five iconic trail races produced by Life Time and the storied Leadville Race Series each year.

“With a lot of humility, I look forward to lining up for the 2019 Leadville Trail Marathon,” exclaims Kara Goucher. “I am realistic to know that this will be a difficult race for me, but I am excited to face the challenge and participate in such an iconic race series.

“Kara embodies Leadville – she’s gritty, iconic and tough while also authentically living a healthy, happy life,” says Michelle Duffy, senior brand manager at Life Time. “To have her make her trail debut at Leadville seems like a natural brand fit as we work to grow the sport of trail running and get more women on dirt.”

Kara’s accomplishments range from a marathon best of 2:24:52 in the 2011 Boston Marathon to a 2007 silver medal in the 10,000-meter world championship. After placing fourth at the 2016 Olympic Trials, just one place shy of making her third US Olympic team, Kara took a few years to rest and recover before announcing that she would return to the sport of competitive running at the 2019 Houston Marathon. Unfortunately, her plans were derailed after an old hamstring injury prevented her from continuing the race, forcing her to make the difficult decision to drop out shortly after the 19 mile mark. Kara addressed her decision to not finish the race on her social media saying, “I think I’ll be taking my running in a new direction,” adding more suspicion that the athlete had her eyes on the trails.

On top of partnering with Kara and encouraging more women to make the transition to trail, Life Time and the Leadville Race Series is also launching a robust women’s initiative to get more women on dirt. “We want to break down some of the intimidation factors of trail running and help build a network for women to find others with like-goals,” says Duffy.

Recently, Life Time has partnered with Trail Sisters to host Ladies Runs in the Boulder area. Two runs have been held so far with more in the works. The company is also investing in women-focused media and expanding its Leadville distance portfolio in 2019, adding a new 15-miler and relay distance at the Silver Rush to open the barrier of entry.

Registration for the 2019 Leadville Trail Marathon and Heavy Half is currently open at

The Leadville Trail Marathon and Heavy Half was established in 2002 as part of the storied Leadville Race Series which is owned and produced by Life Time, the premier healthy lifestyle brand. It is among more than 30 premier athletic events owned by the company, including the Miami Marathon, the New York City Triathlon, the Chicago Triathlon, and most recently the Dirty Kanza.

About Life Time®—Healthy Way of Life: Life Time champions a healthy and happy life for its members across its 143 destinations in 39 major markets in the U.S. and Canada. As the premier healthy lifestyle brand, Life Time delivers an unmatched athletic resort experience and provides a comprehensive healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment experience that goes well beyond fitness to encompass the entire spectrum of daily life for individuals, couples and families of all ages. For more information visit,

About Leadville Race Series: Started with only 45 runners as the Leadville Trail 100® in 1983, the Leadville Race Series now consists of six running events, the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race, and six mountain biking events in the Leadville Qualifying Series. The Race Series stretches across three months, and hosts thousands of racers on foot and on mountain bike in some of the world’s most iconic events. Endurance athletes worldwide now make the pilgrimage to Leadville, Colo., with the single goal of competing in “The Race Across the Sky.” Visit for more information.


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