One of the country’s top ultra runners walks through the parking lot of a Panera Bread in Louisville, Kentucky on a Thursday afternoon. She has a faded tattoo around one ankle, sunbleached hair, the type of tan one gets from spending hours outdoors, and most of her toenails, at least for now.
Traci Falbo is well-known in the ultra-running scene, but can have lunch at this restaurant completely undetected, despite the fact she’s earned a place on four U.S. national teams. Traci, 44, specializes in races of 100km (about 62 miles) and up. On Nov. 27, she was part of the bronze-medal winning women’s 100km road race World Championship team, comprised entirely of master’s women. In 2017, she’ll be representing the U.S. at the 24-hour World Championships in July.
You might think she was always a gifted athlete, and that a long list of athletic achievements started during her childhood. But Traci, like several of our Saltines including myself, is an “adult-onset” runner, and her story is an inspiration.