A lifelong runner, Laura Paulsen, MBA ’16, knew from an early age that she wanted to “break a seven-minute mile.” She trained hard—playing tag at recess—and ran a mile in 6 minutes 59 seconds. Or so her teachers told her. She was six. Paulsen, now 25, never stopped running. On Dec. 7, 2014, she ran the California International Marathon in Sacramento and qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials with a time of 2:39:54. It was her first marathon. The time elevated Paulsen into the stratosphere of elite female runners like Shalane Flanagan, who won the bronze medal in the women’s 10,000-meter race at the 2008 Olympic games. Flanagan’s best marathon time is 2:21:14.
Paulsen ran cross-country and track and field in high school, college, and graduate school. She was a four-time All-American and three-time Centennial Conference Runner of the Year while she attended Johns Hopkins University, where she received a bachelor’s in biomedical engineering. She earned a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from Duke University, where she also competed in indoor track and field. Today, she runs with the Greater Boston Track Club. Continue reading on MIT Sloan.