Feb 18, 2020

Running a Business: Megan Lacy's Story of Entrepreneurship and Endurance

By Camryn Williams

For Megan Lacy, mixing running and business is a winning formula.

Lacy, 25, is the chief design officer and co-founder of Lumineye, a Boise, Idaho, company that makes wall-penetrating radar devices to help first responders. In between creating a business, she’s somehow found the time to train and qualify for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta. 

In June 2019, Lacy competed in her first career marathon at Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota. After five years of not running a personal best, Lacy ran a 2:39:08 as her qualifying time.

It’s the latest chapter of a running career that began at 8 years old. 

“I did softball when I was seven, and I just wanted to run around the bases so my mom said that maybe we should try track for the next year,” Lacy said. 

She took to it right away and showed potential during her first year of running. However, Lacy became so concerned with succeeding in her races that she began having stress-induced stomach ulcers.

“I was a master of stressing myself out when I was little,” Lacy said.

A dedicated team member, Lacy once ran a race in the 10th grade after suffering from swine flu, according to her mother Margaret. 

Her determination paid off as Lacy won two state titles in 2010 and 2011 and earned a scholarship to Stanford. After a successful freshman outdoor and indoor seasons, Lacy began to suffer from sacral stress fractures in her back.

“0.1% of stress fractures are sacral and those are tough because they have a really long recovery time,” Lacy said. “My junior and senior years of college I was sidelined, and I didn’t really think I’d run seriously anymore after college.”

Lacy graduated from Stanford in 2016 with a degree in mechanical engineering. In 2017, she transferred to Boise State to use her final season of eligibility, but discontinued her graduate degree to focus on starting up Lumineye.

During the early stages of Lumineye, running took a backseat in Lacy’s life. However, the sport that once caused her stress resurfaced to give her life a break from work. Over the past two years, running has been an outlet for Lacy as she manages her start-up.

“It’s a lot of work to be a start-up founder and to be training at such a high level, but for me it provides me a level of balance,” Lacy said.

With the support of her mother, who didn’t miss a single race of Lacy’s until her sophomore year of college, Lacy continues to train while balancing work.

“She’s so deserving, she’s worked hard for it, she had a lot of injuries in college so it’s nice to see her healthy and enjoying running,” Margaret Lacy said.

Leading up to the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon, Atlanta Track Club partnered with the Grady Sports Media program at the University of Georgia to profile some of the competitors in the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. The authors of these stories are undergraduate students enrolled in the program and have been lightly edited by the Club. See all of the stories at https://www.atlanta2020trials.com/news/uga-trials-project.