Rewind the clock 20 years, Megan Lacy was a 12-year-old running prodigy that had just been crowned National Champion. She dreamed of running at Stanford University and also representing her country on the largest stage. Due to her grit and talent, Megan realized both of her childhood dreams. However, her journey and relationship with running took many unexpected twists and turns. The weight of burnout, injuries, and entrepreneurial demands has been undeniable over the years. But nowadays, the pristine mountain trails in Boise, Idaho provide the perfect antidote.
In a manner similar to runners everywhere, Megan's focus on specific distances and surfaces has evolved over time. This evolution is reflective of the "everyday runner" that isn't burdened with the blinders that professional runners must bear. As a professional runner, you're laser focused on making incremental gains within your one discipline – track, road, mountain – so you don't have the ability to "play the field."
The weight of burnout, injuries, and entrepreneurial demands is undeniable. But so is my love of running.
As a collegiate track runner at Stanford University, Megan focused on the indoor/outdoor 3,000 and 5,000 meter events along with Cross Country. After college, she decided to take a prolonged break from running as her relationship with performance was becoming unhealthy. This breathing room allowed her to stumble into trail running and feel an exuberance that was sorely missed.
With her newly revitalized love of running, Megan found herself inseparable from the mountain trails in Boise. Back in her happy place, the challenges of dirt trails and elevation gains & losses felt more exciting than daunting. Rediscovering her flow state propelled Megan forward and in 2021 she earned a spot on the USA Mountain Running Team. "Although my hiatus from running may have seemed like a step backwards, I knew it was the only way forward," Megan remarked.
While representing her country was admittedly a dream come true, Megan isn't dropping everything to chase Olympic gold. She doesn't have a crazy supplement regimen or a Supersapiens Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) attached to her triceps. At this point in her life, the significance and role of running has evolved. Sure, she still loves to log miles and chase runners high, but cultivating community through sport is where she finds the most fulfillment these days.
Megan illuminates how the running equation changes over time.
In August 2022, Megan will be at the start line of the 8th annual Boise Front Trail Run. Except this year, she'll be wearing the Race Director hat instead of hitting start on her Garmin watch. Megan and her partner, Alex, assumed the organizational responsibilities in early-2021 when the YMCA had to step away from the local tradition after 7 consecutive years. The race is a mainstay in Boise and the race proceeds are generously donated to a local charity that maintains the 190 miles of local running trails. Supporting this community project meant Megan would be sacrificing her own running, but as Megan has illuminated for us, the running equation changes over time.
In addition to rousing the local community, Megan is a member of the nationwide Tracksmith Amateur Support Program. This program supports individuals that are attempting to qualify for the USA Track & Field Championships or Olympic Marathon Trials. This diverse group of athletes are beacons of diversity and inclusion in their local communities and they receive product support from Tracksmith, Wahoo, Gelvio and a few others.
When Megan isn't running or consuming her hydration mix of choice, Nuun Hydration, she's busy leading Lumineye as the CEO co-founder. The entrepreneurial journey has been circuitous for Megan, as it usually is, but her experiences as an athlete helped prepare her for the bumpy road. Back in 2019, the Lumineye team was part of the prestigious Y-Combinator, which is a startup accelerator that helps to launch companies. Some notable graduates are Airbnb, Stripe, DoorDash, and Instacart.
During this time, several venture capitalists questioned Megan's startup chops because she was "spending too much time running," as they put it. As expected, these Silicon Valley attitudes didn't sit well with Megan, and it forced her to really own her identity and crystallize the belief that "running, in any form, makes me a better version of myself."
Running, in any form, makes me a better version of myself.
When the intensive 3-month program finished in the Summer of 2019, Megan walked out the door with two things in hand – money from investors AND an Olympic Trials Qualifying Time.