Photos and video by Myke Hermsmeyer
Focus. And smiles. That’s how Magda Boulet’s face looked when we saw her throughout the 20 hours and 18 minutes of her winning run at the 2019 Leadville Trail 100 Run. Soon after the predawn start, Magda established her lead which she kept throughout the day. As close as six-minutes at the halfway point in Winfield, her lead eventually grew over an hour at one point in the race… eventually narrowing back to 27 minutes.
It was a banner day with temperatures in the low 70s at lower elevations and cooler up high. The 100-mile course is an out-and-back that climbs 15,600 feet and tops out at 12,600 feet – earning it’s nickname the “Race Across the Sky.” High-alpine weather can change quickly, but the sky stayed mostly clear for the racers.
Runners climb steep, rocky trails to the high point on Hope Pass twice – first at mile 43.5 and again at mile 56.5. Even when a race is on the line, it’s hard not to stop and celebrate the view. On Magda’s return trip over the pass, her pacer Alice Baker was so excited to see the view, she dropped her hat and didn’t notice… even though it was Magda’s race, her motherly instincts kicked in and she jogged back to retrieve the dropped hat.
Magda would be the first to admit it takes a team to run 100 miles – and she has a rockstar team: her husband Richie – always calm and organized, her son Owen bringing the smiles and high fives, and her co-worker Roxanne Vogel, sports nutritionist extraordinaire keeping her nutrition plan dialed.