In 2014, Oiselle signed Olympian and pro runner Kara Goucher as a sponsored athlete for Oiselle - and that relationship continues today.
A lot has happened in those six years:
- The 23-year USATF-Nike agreement
- The #MeToo movement
- The #DreamMaternity and Mary Cain stories
- The arms race in shoe technology
- The USADA anti-doping rulings against Alberto Salazar and Dr. Brown
Not to mention Kara's reflections on her incredible career as one of the world's most successful - and sought after - pro athletes.
Below is a multi-part conversation about the state of the sport of running. At Oiselle, we know we've invested quite a bit, to have a seat at the table - and to help women athletes rise to the highest level. And for Kara, she's stayed true to her journey as an athlete, advocate, and whistle blower. But we both agree there are many miles to run, and there's so much more progress to be made, to make the sport as good as it can be for the next generation coming up -- especially for girls and women.
Please join us for a conversation I found honest, forthright, and thoughtful. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Head Up, Wings Out!
Conversation topics included in Part 1:
Story of Kara joining Oiselle, Kara’s impact on Oiselle as a business
Kara’s label as “emotional”
Oiselle’s experience as a new sponsor in the pro Track & Field world
USATF as sport governing body, power structures in the Track & Field system
The power of “belonging” and some pitfalls
How contracts can incentivize athletes to do the wrong thing for their body/ long-term success
Timeline of Kara’s pay suspension, contract stipulations, fight to be paid as a new mom
Reductions vs. suspension in pay and #dreammaternity
How rankings-based pay can punish clean athletes for not doping
The power and appeal of the pregnant/mom athlete
Real conversation around the nuance of being a paid pregnant athlete/ job description
The origin story of NOP, singlet design, the energy of a new group, Tour de France
Conversation topics included in Part 2:
Kara’s scrappy racing mindset
The coach as a “father figure”, potential pitfalls in coaching relationships
Strains on Kara’s marriage
How winning a Worlds medal changed the coach/athlete relationship for Kara
2009 Boston Marathon tactics, regrets, pressure, disappointment, and self-support
The USADA investigation begins, Pro-Publica report, salute to Adam Goucher
Joining a new training group in 2011, praise for Shalane Flanagan and Jerry Schumacher
2012 marathon Olympic Trials
Kara’s 2016 “emotional” post-race interview
Conversation topics included in Part 3:
2016 Marathon Olympic Trials – shoe controversy, IAAF equipment rules, grey areas in sport
Respecting competitors while also allowing for analytical thinking regarding rules
Technology innovation and guidelines
Sisterhood with Mary Cain, becoming more fearless, shame as a powerful suppressor
Culture change is possible, envisioning a better future for the sport
Different pathways to activism
Backlash against female voices
Advice for younger athletes: agents, coaches, how to ensure protections
Kara has your back!