A lucky Altus Air Force Base mom wins the lottery, sending her to the New York City Marathon this weekend to compete on Sunday, Nov. 3, in NYC, New York. Meegan Mackay, age 44, won a public seat to the sold out 26.2 mile race for her age category. This year they expect 48,000 runners on a course uniting all five boroughs of NYC. Nearly 40 percent of them will be women.
Mackay was selected because she has a handful of USAT certified races under her feet. Running cross-country races since she was a kid, she is attempting to run in a certified race in all 50 U.S. states. Mackay has run five marathons, 11 half-marathons, and three triathlons in her certified career. The NYC Marathon makes this number 20.
“It’s an independent sport,” Mackay said. “What I love about big marathons is that everyone is individually struggling with this journey, but you are surrounded by others in the same boat and everyone cheers each other on. The race will start at Statue of Liberty with the singing of the Nation Anthem, and then to cross over all the bridges and run though Brooklyn and Manhattan, and the other boroughs, this is going to be a fun race.”
Mackay and her husband Maj. Jonathan Mackay, a C-17 Instructor Pilot at AAFB, moved to Altus a year ago with their 3-year-old daughter who has often cruised along in a stroller while Meegan races to the finish in various 5-ks. “Our daughter does a lot of races in the stroller,” Mackay said.
After working 20 years in Corporate Finance, Mackay became a stay at home mom and has focus on her passion for running by training all year round. “When I train for a full marathon, it’s a 10 week training. I only run three days a week while each week increasing significant mileage. Mackay adds cross training to her program including swimming and biking two times a week, as well as doing P-90X resistance training two to three times a week.
Mackay is also excited to tackle what she called “her biggest endeavor,” when she competes in her first Half-Iron Man in June 2014 at the age of 44. “Anybody can do it, its just the time and discipline,” she said.
Attributing her high-school cross county coach, Mackay reminds herself of three simple goals: finish the race, have fun and enjoy the journey and the sites and surroundings, and beat your best time.
This Sunday however, Mackay will be running through the “Big Apple” to just enjoy every step of the journey. “I’m not going for ‘best time’ this weekend, but going to have fun and enjoy the adventure and the people in the race.”