Goucher (pictured), the Duluth native who was fighting to return to form after giving birth to a son in September, finished a battling third at yesterday's NYC Half Marathon in Manhattan.
Goucher ran 1:09:03, but was outrun in the final miles by winner Caroline Rotich of Kenya (1:08:52) and countrywoman Edna Kiplagat, runner-up in 1:09:00.
Goucher's result, coming four week's before she's to toe the starting line for Boston, put the 2007 IAAF World Championships 10,000-meter bronze medalist back in the lead pack of contenders for the 115th running of the race from Hopkinton to Boston.
Goucher, who has a 2:25:53 marathon personal best, placed third at the 2009 Boston Marathon.
At Boston this year, Goucher will face a strong field including defending champion Teyba Erkesso of Ethiopia, 2009 Boston winner Salina Koskei of Kenya, and fleet fellow American Desiree Davila. (Find the full elite entrant list for Boston HERE.)
The strong result in New York came after a change in attitude for Goucher. The Duluth East alumnus told Universal Sports, in THIS pre-race story, that after her 7th-place finish at the USA Cross Country Championships in February, she asked coach Alberto Salazar to step up her training.
In men's competition, won by the Salazar-trainer Mo Farah of Great Britain in 1:00:23, Team USA Minnesota's Jason Lehmkuhle finished 16th in 1:02:58.
Find NYC Half Marathon race results HERE. There's a wrap-up story HERE.
A highlight video from the event can be viewed HERE.
On-demand coverage of the event -- with Carrie Tollefson at the mic -- can be viewed HERE.
Photo by Victor Sailor/Photo Run.