It was a great story before Saturday.  Elite athlete Kara Goucher returns home to Duluth to run for the first time in Grandmas Marathon weekend.  When the women's USA Half Marathon Championships was over, that great story became storybook perfect.

As Grandma's Marathon reported, Kara Goucher’s first time racing in her hometown as a professional turned into a victory party as the former Duluth resident won the women’s race at today’s 2012 USA Half Marathon Championships.

Goucher, 33, ran the fastest ever women’s time on the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon course – 1 hour, 9 minutes and 46 seconds. Headed for the Summer Olympics in London to race in the Aug. 5 marathon, she captured the national title and $14,000 in prize money – $12,000 for first place and an additional $2,000 bonus for a time under 1:10:00.

Kara crossed the finish line with her fist pumping and the crowd going wild.  Kara was wrapped in a flag and made sure to find her young son to celebrate.  She then found our own Chris Allen to discuss her special hometown victory.

Kara will represent the country running the marathon in the Olympics in hopes of taking home a medal.  I think we all agree that she is the perfect representative for the Northland and the United States.  Welcome home, Kara, welcome home.