Magda Boulet, 47, and Cat Bradley, 27, are both professional ultrarunners who compete with each other race after race. They chase each other down and exchange top podium spots in some of the biggest 100-mile events in the world. One of them has a problem, however: she has to make sure her workouts don’t interfere with her 14-year-old son’s schedule.
“It hit me just the other day that I’m racing women who are 20 years younger than me,” Boulet says from her home in San Francisco. “I didn’t even know what ultrarunning was when I was 27.”
Boulet grew up in Jastrzebie-Zdroj, Poland, and immigrated with her parents to the U.S. when she was in high school, becoming a citizen in 2001. She ran track at the University of California at Berkley, focusing on the 1,500-to-5,000-meter events, but switched to marathons after college. Working with legendary distance coach Jack Daniels, she came to dominate the distance, racing for the U.S. in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. After almost a decade running the marathon, Boulet started to become restless. “I felt I was getting the most out of my mind and body that I could in the marathon distance,” Boulet says. “I got invited to a local half marathon trail race, and it was captivating. I ended up walking for the first time in a race—I could not run up a certain hill. Instead of being discouraged by it, I suddenly realized there was so much I still had to learn. Recognizing that there’s room for improvement is a beautiful thing.” In 2013, Boulet transitioned again, this time to ultramarathons.
Know more about her story over at Outside.
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