At 49 years of age, Judy Maguire recently broke her personal and age group record in a hard-won first-place finish at the inaugural 50K Mammoth Ultramarathon, racing through a complete whiteout and finishing this rugged 31-mile-plus course in a blistering six hours and six seconds.
Judy’s unique story shows what determination and a heartfelt passion for the sport of running can achieve no matter one’s age.
Not much of an athlete for the first 16 years of her life, Judy found an intense appeal for cross-country running at the tail end of high school, fell in love with the sport and never looked back.
“There was just something very comfortable about it,” she says. “It was its stabilizing and extroverting influence that got me through the final years of high school and college. Running became a permanent part of my life, as natural as breathing.”
“Even when I had to fly back home from college when my father was dying from a brain tumor, I made it a point to run every day. Running somehow kept me focused and in some way helped me be more spiritually there for my father. That was the only request I made of my family. They thought I was crazy,” she says, as she recalls the moment.
Judy is from Minnesota, where temperatures during the hard winter average an inhuman 16º F. “I would run in below-zero temperatures, come back from my daily, one-hour run with ice on my eyelids and frost melting across my face.”
It might have been these severe training conditions at the onset of her athletic career that forged a discipline and persistence that has lead her to successfully compete in 30 marathons and 3 ultramarathons, including the Saddleback Marathon, billed as the toughest marathon in California, and the Big Bear Marathon, where she was the 1st place female runner for the 2008 race.
As she puts it “winning the Big Bear Marathon was not exactly a cakewalk, racing at a 7,000 foot altitude through cool, pristine, thin mountain air, but beautiful and exhilarating running to the nth degree.”
Asked about the wear and tear on her body a marathon and ultramarathon race can exact and how she keeps it from locking up on her, she says, “I have been taking magnesium and calcium supplements almost daily for the last 9 to 10 years now, and I cannot recall having any major cramps or physical problems that have stopped me.”
Judy uses the Natural Vitality sports formula Natural Calm® Plus Calcium. Recognized as vital for athletic performance, magnesium is one of the most important minerals a body needs, involved in more than 350 different processes, including energy production, digestion, bone formation, muscle function, activation of B vitamins, creation of new cells, relaxation of muscles and the proper functioning of your heart, brain, kidneys, as well as the nervous system.
Magnesium naturally relaxes muscles and counterbalances and controls muscle contraction while also regulating the conversion of carbohydrates to energy. It has also been discovered to be a key element in sustaining intense athletic performance by facilitating oxygen delivery to working muscle tissue—a fact that is doubly important in high-altitude training and competition.
Judy is currently training for her first 50-mile ultramarathon—the Catalina Island, Avalon Benefit 50-mile run, which will be held later this month on January 16. We wish her all the best!