Meet Maggie Jackson, professional engineer, wife, mother, and now Ironman. As if earning her Professional Engineer license in 2015 wasn't enough, or raising four children, current ages 12 through 4, Maggie decided she wanted another title under her belt…..the Ironman title.
"When the pandemic hit, I was faced with holding a full-time job from home, helping my older two children with their schoolwork, watching my younger preschool children, and meeting all other needs that come with having four children. I felt stuck and needed an outlet. I signed up for the Ironman 70.3, bought a bike and went for it," said Jackson.
(Most people would watch Netflix or write in a journal.)
In 2021, Jackson signed up for the Ironman 70.3, which is a half Ironman. This was held in Cambridge, Maryland. After completing the half Ironman, she signed up for the Ironman Lake Placid, a full Ironman, which she completed on July 24 of this year.
The Ironman Lake Placid event requires participants to complete a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bicycle ride, and a 26.2-mile run, in that order, within 17 hours. Jackson entered the water at 6:40 AM and completed the Ironman at 11:34 PM, leaving 6 minutes to spare.
"The most important thing I've learned from this experience is that I am capable of doing big things when I put my mind to it," said Jackson. "Training for the Ironman took a lot of time, commitment, self-motivation, and scheduling with many mornings starting at 4:00 AM. During the Ironman, there were more times than I can count that I had to overcome thoughts that I couldn't do it, that I wanted to stop or that I wouldn't make the cut off times. My husband and daughter were a huge motivation that helped push me through the race."
Jackson began her career at PennDOT in 2009 after graduating from the Pennsylvania College of Technology. She currently serves as the Bridge Design Squad Leader in District 3's Bridge Unit. Her love for bridges began at a young age when her family would travel over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Maggie and her husband, Justin, have four children, Molly, Gregory, Jillian and Jett.
Congratulations, Maggie, on your accomplishments!