GU Vice President of Research, Development and Innovation Magdalena Boulet won the 2016 Western States Endurance Run in spectacular fashion in her very first 100-mile race with a time of 19:05:21, and Rob Krar, a GU-sponsored athlete, won his second consecutive title with a time of 14:48:59.
Boulet used her many years of marathon and long-distance training, as well as a finely-honed nutrition strategy, to overcome the soaring heat of the Western States course, which begins in Squaw Valley and ends in Auburn, California. She also had to overcome a wrong turn mid-way through the race, running two miles off-course and giving up two spots to competitors.
“The last 20 miles were the toughest miles I’ve ever run,” noted Boulet, who pulled away in middle of the race and survived a strong closing kick by runner-up Kaci Lickteig to win by 15 minutes.
The former Olympian said, “My training for States has been very humbling. I have spent the last six months exploring new trails and covering more vertical distance than ever before. Despite logging fewer miles on weekly basis than what I used to run leading up to a competitive marathon, I spent about the same time on my feet, because the routes I run now have a lot more vertical distance. I have always been a big fan of hill work, so in my training for Western States I added longer hill repeats to gain confidence tackling some of the brutal canyons on the course.”
On a day that featured temperatures of over 90 degrees for much of the course and that led to a significant number of DNFs, fueling and hydration strategies were paramount, as Boulet explained, “My nutrition strategy built on what I have already practiced at the two 100k race this year. I raced on mostly GU Roctane Drink.”
Boulet added, “Each 21-ounce serving of Roctane Drink has about 60 grams of carbohydrates and almost two grams of amino acids. 100 miles is asking a lot of your body so I needed to minimize muscle breakdown and to consume carbohydrate to delay fatigue.”
Both Krar and Boulet hold down full-time jobs, which add a complicating factor to their training and lifestyle, and Boulet is the mother of a nine-year-old. But the 41-year-old Boulet, who finished 20th overall, noted that the ultra lifestyle is no just sustainable, but profound, “Running is a lifestyle for me, so it doesn’t cause any life disruptions. If anything, it enhances the quality of my life. Training for trail ultras is a new challenge for me that I take seriously, but at the same time it keeps reminding me daily why I love running so much.”
The Western States performances of Krar and Boulet come on the heels of another epic endurance win by a GU employee, Yuri Hauswald, who won the 200-mile Dirty Kanza earlier in the month by a single second. Like Krar, Boulet and Hauswald, another GU athlete, Rinnie Carfrae, used a come-from-behind surge last October to win another prestigious endurance event: the Ironman World Championships. In all, it has been a singularly distinctive and successful year of racing for the Berkeley-based company, which has been fueling endurance athletes since 1993.
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