Laura Paulsen won the GMAA Labor Day 15k on Sunday, running 55:48 in her debut race for the GBTC. Paulsen, 25, had an 11 second gap on second place (Millennium Running’s Denise Sandahl). Speaking of Millennium, did you see that pack of runners they had up front? Sandahl, Shaw, Hagley, and Mortimer all took 2 through 5, respectively. Did Paulsen pull a Meb here? Almost have to wonder if they didn’t recognize Laura and let her go. But then again, Sandahl was the only one really close to her; it’s not like they were running in a Mighty Ducks-style ‘flying V’ formation for 15k.
As if that by itself didn’t make for an awesome enough day, Laura also won a bottle of Vermont maple syrup in the post race raffle. That gal is on a roll!
So she’s new in town, just won a race…you know what happens next…Paulsen is on the Level. Here’s our interview with the newly crowned 15k champion:
I hear you’re new in town. When did you arrive and where did you come from?
I moved to Boston on August 15th from Minneapolis, MN. I moved to Boston to start business school at MIT Sloan.
Were you on a team prior to moving to Boston?
Yup! I ran for the Twin Cities Track Club.
Winning your team debut is impressive. How has the rest of 2014 been for you?
Thanks! 2014 has been great! I was focused on running a half marathon on June 21st at Grandma’s Half Marathon in Duluth, MN. I PR’d by about a minute and ran a 1:17:15. This was my second race back (my first was at the end of July and was just a short 5k where I ran a new road 5k PR of 16:58). I’m still trying to figure out what to do next. New England has some great races as part of the USATF NE series, so I may hop in more of those, or I may also consider training for a full marathon. We’ll see!
It was you vs a pack of Millennium women. Do you think you caught them off guard, being an unknown entity?
Haha I’m not really sure what they were thinking. We were all just kind of running together and trying to avoid the wind. I was in the top 3 the whole race, so I don’t think there were any surprises that I was there during the race.
Did you have a certain strategy ahead of time? Did that go out the window once the gun went off?
My strategy was to try and run 5:50s, but that was prior to knowing about the wind and the hilly course. So that kind of went out the window almost right away and morphed into just trying to win the race.
What are you more eagerly anticipating: the last couple of races of the road series or the start of XC?
I’m definitely more into road racing than xc racing, so looking forward to those races. However, I do enjoy watching xc, so am looking forward to doing that this fall. I’m the Volunteer Assistant Coach for the MIT women’s team, so will be with them at a few xc meets around Massachusetts, which should be fun!