Maritza McAulay

Maritza McAulay

Running paved the way to a university education for Maritza McAulay, and when you hear the case manager and Army wife tell you to keep going despite facing hardship, believe her.

Because of all the things I’ve been through and have been able to accomplish, I want to give back. I try to encourage young kids, or anyone in general, to do whatever they want to do, because you can do it. It’s going to be hard, but you can do it.


Today McAulay and her husband live in North Carolina near her husband’s Army base. She runs 70 miles a week as she focuses on training for half marathons.

That’s a long way from where she got her start, in junior high school in Southern California. My PE teacher noticed I was running around the baseball field. He said I should look into joining the cross-country team and track team in high school. I enjoyed it. I ended up going to junior college in Los Angeles, and I ran on their track team.

How about the pressure?

I wanted to go to college, but there was no way to pay for it except running. I had to get a scholarship. I trained really hard. That’s how I paid for university at Cal State, Los Angeles.

Sometimes I look back and don’t know how I did that. It was really hard. I had been living on my own since I was 17 or 18. It was hard having to work on the side, cleaning or cooking to be able to live. I didn’t have the resources that others had. I just kept going. I didn’t really have a choice. And I had a great mentor, my teacher at junior college. She encouraged me to move forward.

Training and going to school to get my degree, that was pressure, but it was great. I majored in the field of social work. Things worked out for me. It was not easy. I was just persistent at it. There is always a positive side to everything; that’s how I like to live my life.

I ran cross country and, for track, the 5,000 and 10,000, then indoors the 5,000 and 3,000.I liked best the 10K in track. I don’t know why. It actually is really boring to watch, but when you’re in the race, you just zone out and you’re somewhere else, and it’s different. Twenty-five laps.

About wearing compression

I used to have cheap compression socks. Then I got a pair of CEP from a friend and loved them. I get a lot of knots in my calves because of the training I do. The compression really helps with my recovery process.

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