Where to start with the incredible Leah Goldstein? The 52-year-old Canadian has lived a remarkable life. A world champion kickboxer at 17, she was the first female elite commando instructor in the Israeli Defence Force, a Krav Maga specialist, and an undercover Special Forces terrorism and violent crime officer… and that’s before all of her endurance sports accolades!
After leaving the army, Leah enjoyed an impressive professional cycling career for more than a decade until a near-death crash in 2005 saw her hospitalised for several months. Doctors told her she would never race again, but, incredibly, she proved them wrong.
Earlier this year, Leah became the first woman in history to take the outright solo win at Race Across America (RAAM), a 3000-mile, single-stage cycle race from America’s west to east coast, dubbed the toughest bike race in the world. She completed it in 11 days, 3 hours and 3 minutes, enduring searing temperatures of up to 50°C and accumulating 175,000ft of elevation. The second-place rider crossed the line almost 16 hours later.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Leah, who is also a motivational speaker and the author of No Limits (which documents her incredible life and career) at the start of August. Our phone conversation focused on her historic RAAM win, her preparation, her sleep schedule, and everything it took to cross the line as 2021’s outright winner. Enjoy!