Vernon super athlete wins solo category in toughest cycling race in the world

Goldstein makes history

UPDATE 8:16 p.m.

Leah Goldstein has made history.

The Vernon athlete is the first woman to ever win the Race Across America as a solo rider.

“Here she comes! Winner of the solo Race Across America! A historic day! An awe-inspiring story!! Leah You did it! Leah wins overall Solo @raceacrossamerica. First female in the 38 year history of RAAM TO WIN OVERALL!! Leah truly has #nolimits,” said a post on her Facebook page.

The RAAM is widely hailed as the most gruelling cycling endurance race in the world, spanning 4,800 km.

ORIGINAL 8:55 a.m.

Get out of the way Wonder Woman, here comes Leah Goldstein.

The Vernon-woman is nearing the end of one of the most gruelling long-distance cycling races on the planet and she is poised to be the first female overall winner since the Race Across America started in 1982.

A post on her Facebook page at 8 a.m. Saturday said she is “drawing closer to the finish of RAAM and she’s not dialling back, pushing hard each mile of this course. She’s set to be the first female overall winner for RAAM. She’ll clearly be beyond her personal best of 10 days, 19 hours, and 28 minutes set in 2019 if she maintains her very significant lead over the remaining solo competitors.”

By time the race is done, Goldstein will have pedalled 4,800 km.

She entered the race in the solo female category for the 50-59 age group.

Goldstein's first RAAM win came in 2011 when she came first in the women’s Under-50 category.

Goldstein does not shy away from a challenge. According to her website, by age 17, Goldstein was a World Kickboxing Champion.

Shortly after, she enlisted in the Israeli military and became one of the few female instructors of the elite commando division, specializing in Krav Maga. She then transitioned into a Special Forces unit, combating terrorism and violent crime. The extreme lifestyle of the secret police eventually took its toll, and she found her salvation on a bicycle.

She convinced Israel to release her, as she pursued a 10-year career as a professional cyclist in Europe and North America – and eventually to the longest single stage race in the world, Race Across America.

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