When I first met Maggie, I had no idea that she was a runner. In fact, I’m not sure if SHE even knew that she was a runner. Or at least, she had no idea what she was capable of. We met in January 2012 when she hired me as a part time dietitian in the metro Detroit area. At that time I had dabbled in running… I started training for a 5k in 2008, ran 3 of them, and then didn’t race again until May 2012.
The first time I remember Maggie talking about her running was when she told me and another coworker that she almost died running a marathon. My first thought was “Why would anyone want to run a race that almost kills them?!” and my second thought was “This woman is a badass!”
It wasn’t until the fall of 2012 that I really started to get to know Maggie. Some unfortunate circumstances led to her and I working together almost daily, which was not unfortunate for us at all. In October 2012, Maggie got her redemption when she ran the Grand Rapids marathon and qualified for the 2014 Boston Marathon.
We worked together on April 15, 2013, the day of the Boston Marathon. Only a few days before Maggie had run another marathon… Martian Marathon in Dearborn… and she had WON it. We had been chatting about it all morning, and I just couldn’t believe that my coworker, my friend, had WON a freakin’ marathon! As I was walking to the front office of the building we worked in later that day, I saw on TV that there had been bombs set off at the Boston Marathon. I rushed back to the office Maggie and I shared to tell her. At first she misheard me, and then it was a panic to connect with her friends that were both running and spectating. Fortunately everyone was okay. We both ran the next day in the rain, in honor and memory of those who were injured or killed in the bombings.
Only a few days after Boston that year, we ran in a race together. She was running the half marathon distance and I was running a 5k. At that time, I had never run a race without walking. I told Maggie that I wanted to run this whole race. She simply said, “Just don’t stop then.” The whole race all I heard in my head was “Just don’t stop. Don’t stop.” in Maggie’s voice. And I didn’t – I ran the whole race!
When I finally decided to run a marathon, Maggie was elated. She was excited for me – she even offered to run me in when she knew the race would be the toughest. A few days before the Detroit Marathon in 2016, Maggie sent me a multiple page long text, telling me all about the marathon and how proud she was of me. Typing this now I’m tearing up – this woman, this incredibly amazing Boston Marathon qualifying, Ironman running athlete was proud of ME. Little ole 6+ hour marathon running me. And it meant the world.
I have “watched” Maggie every year that she has run the Boston Marathon. This year was no exception. I tracked her pace and saw that she was on track to get not only her best time at Boston, but a PR. I told myself not to get too excited though because all I was hearing from others was how awful the conditions were. I wasn’t able to actually watch any coverage because I was at work but fortunately I had friends giving me the play by play. However, Maggie kept it up. She kept fighting. Through torrential downpour and almost freezing temperatures, Maggie kept running. She didn’t stop. Although she didn’t hit that PR, she was less than a minute from it. She ran her second fastest marathon. She ran her best Boston. And I couldn’t be more proud of her.
While running is still one of Maggie’s great passions, I believe her greatest passion is now multisport – the triathlon. She continues to strive to get to Kona, and I know that she will. She also is great a peer pressuring others into trying it out, including me. She was there when I completed my first sprint triathlon last year on my 30th birthday and treated me to the “purple treatment” with yummy food, compression sleeves, and comfy chairs after the race. Although I’m not sure if I will ever try another tri, I’m so glad Maggie got me to do my first.
Now here I sit, less than 48 hours away from the start of my third marathon. 48 hours from now hopefully I will be more than a 5k into the race. And I know Maggie is going to be cheering me on. She knows I’m capable of more than I think I am. Not only does she support and mentor me as my supervisor at work, but she inspires me as a runner and as a person. Maggie is a beast, she’s “Ironmag”, and I am so lucky to know her.