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Gouchers are off and running on parenthood

On the way to the hospital Saturday morning to deliver her first child, Kara Goucher texted her mother, Patty Wheeler in Duluth, saying she was in a bit of pain.

Kara Goucher and son
Kara Goucher and her son, Colton Mirko Goucher, who was born Saturday in Portland, Ore. He weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Grgas Wheeler)

On the way to the hospital Saturday morning to deliver her first child, Kara Goucher texted her mother, Patty Wheeler in Duluth, saying she was in a bit of pain.

Four hours later, in Portland, Ore., Goucher was all smiles while holding her son, Colton Mirko Goucher, who weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce and was 19ยฝ inches long.

There was no indication if the newborn was wearing running shorts. His parents are professional runners and United States Olympians in track -- Duluth native Kara Goucher, 32, competed at 5,000 and 10,000 meters in the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, China, while Adam Goucher, 35, ran at 5,000 meters in 2000 in Sydney, Australia.

"There was a huge sigh of relief from all of us when we knew the baby had arrived and was healthy," Wheeler said. "The birth was a challenge for her, because the baby was face up, but it sounded like Kara was strong during it all."

The birth was five days before Goucher's due date of Sept. 29 and was about two weeks after the Gouchers moved into a new home. Wheeler hopes to travel to Portland this week, while Kara's older sister, Kelly Grgas Wheeler, 34, of Duluth, expects to make a trip in three weeks.

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The third of three sisters, Kendall Schoolmeester, 28, of Portland, was with the new mother shortly after the birth, said Patty Wheeler.

"Kara and Adam were able to get into their new house and get unpacked and settled, so the baby arriving now was perfect timing," said Grgas Wheeler, a Minnesota Duluth assistant women's soccer coach. "Kara was ready."

The name Colton was a favorite of the parents, while Mirko is the first name of Kara Goucher's late father, Mirko Grgas, who died in 1982 at age 34. Patty Wheeler now has two grandchildren; the first was Schoolmeester's 2ยฝ-year-old daughter, Sophie.

Kara Goucher, America's top woman marathoner, hopes to make the United States team for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. She recently wrote on her Competitor.com blog that she expected to resume some training in November and be on a regular schedule in December, building to a volume of 70-plus miles per week.

Serious workouts would begin in January with the idea of running some low-key indoor track races. A half-marathon in March would be followed by a spring marathon, possibly the Boston Marathon on April 18.

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