Running Book Reviews with Alan and Liz

The Longest Race, by Kara Goucher and Mary Pilon

May 15, 2023
Running Book Reviews with Alan and Liz
The Longest Race, by Kara Goucher and Mary Pilon
Show Notes

In this episode, Alan and Liz chat about Kara Goucher’s recently released book, The Longest Race. They’ll tell you what they learned, what they thought, and why they wanted to read the book in the first place.

Kara Goucher grew up with Olympic dreams. She excelled at running from a young age and was offered a Nike sponsorship deal when she graduated from college. Then in 2004, she was invited to join a secretive, lavishly funded new team, dubbed the Nike Oregon Project. Coached by distance running legend Alberto Salazar, it seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime. Although Alberto initially let her train with the team because he was more interested in her husband Adam, his focus shifted once she won a World Championship medal. She later went to the Olympics, and stood on the podium at the New York and Boston marathons, just like her coach. Those podiums are what the world saw, but behind the scenes, Salazar pushed the limits of anti-doping rules, and created what Kara experienced as a culture of abuse, the extent of which she reveals in her book for the first time. Meanwhile, Nike stood by Alberto for years and proved itself capable of shockingly misogynistic corporate practices.

Kara Goucher is a three-time NCAA champion, two-time Olympian, winner of the silver medal at the 2007 World Championships in the 10,000 meters, and a podium finisher at the Boston and New York Marathons. She is a running analyst for NBC Sports. She cohosts the hit running commentary podcast Nobody Asked Us with Des & Kara, as well as the Clean Sport Collective podcast, promoting fair play in sports. She lives in Boulder, Colorado, with her Olympic-runner husband, Adam, and their son, Colt. Her website is

Mary Pilon is a journalist focused primarily on the worlds of sports and business. She is the author of the bestselling books "The Monopolists" and "The Kevin Show," the co-editor of “Losers: Dispatches From the Other Side of the Scoreboard,” and co-host and co-author of the audio series “Twisted: The Story of Larry Nassar and the Women Who Brought Him Down.” Her work regularly appears in the New Yorker, Esquire, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Vice, New York, and The New York Times, among other publications. She has worked as a producer with NBC at the 2016 Rio Olympics and on HBO’s forthcoming documentary “BS High.” She is currently co-directing a documentary about pickleball for Peter Berg’s Film 45. Pilon previously was a staff reporter with The Times on the sports desk and at The Wall Street Journal, where she covered various aspects of business and finance. A native of Eugene, Ore., Mary started reporting for her hometown paper, the Register-Guard, as a teenager.

If you’re interested in getting a copy of this book, you can find it on Amazon here:

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