Six Weeks After ‘the Worst Day of My Life,’ Maggie Montoya Returns to the Starting Line

The pro runner and survivor of a mass shooting at a Boulder supermarket will compete twice in the next two weeks, aiming to increase her options at the Olympic Trials.

For more than a decade, the sound of a starting gun has meant one thing to Maggie Montoya—a cue to focus her body and mind on the race ahead.

That was before March 22. On that day, a man entered the Boulder, Colorado, grocery store where Montoya was working as a pharmacy technician and opened fire. Ten people died, including three store employees and a police officer.

For about an hour, Montoya huddled in a locked room, wondering if she’d escape alive. She made what she feared was a final phone call to her parents. Her coach, Richard Hansen, who usually guides her through repeats and race strategies, was instead texting her updates on SWAT team locations.

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