LONDON -- Sunday morning in London -- which means very early Sunday morning in her home state of Minnesota -- Kara Goucher will take a scenic running tour through London.
She may not be too interested in the view. Goucher, from Duluth, will be competing in the Olympic women's marathon, four years after competing in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters in Beijing.
She finished ninth in the former and 10th in the latter. Goucher isn't predicting a medal in London, but she sounded optimistic when interviewed in her current home city of Portland, Ore., this summer.
"I think something big could happen,'' she said.
The race will begin and end in the scenic London Mall and take her past such landmarks as Buckingham Palace, Admiralty Arch, Birdcage Walk, St Paul's Cathedral, Leadenhall, Tower Hill and the Houses of Parliament.
Goucher said every marathon offers slightly different terrain, and she wondered aloud about running on cobblestones in the biggest race of her life. She has run the course in preparation, and hopes to erase her disappointment over her 10,000-meter performance in Beijing.
"People questioned me doubling [running two events] in Beijing, and I'm so glad I did it,'' she said. "Otherwise the Olympic experience would have been so bitter and instead I had fun. I was really disappointed with one run. The 10,000 was my shot at a medal and it didn't happen.''
Goucher trains with Shalane Flanagan, who won the U.S. Olympic trials as Goucher finished third.
"I made a decision to see how good I can be in the marathon,'' Goucher said. "I had to find out if this is what I should be doing. I didn't want to have to wonder.''