Running has played an influential role in Mackenzie Lobby Havey’s life even before her earliest memories. At six month’s old, she watched her father run part of the inaugural Twin Cities Marathon. Warmed by coffee and hot chocolate, watching the Twin Cities Marathon became an annual tradition she shared with her father. “Running was in the back of my mind as something I wanted to do even as a kid. Those races showed me early on how inspiring running could be. I couldn’t wait to get out there and do it myself,” Lobby Havey says.
She ran track and cross country from 7th-12th grade. In her senior year in college, she ran the Twin Cities Marathon for the first time. She’s entered the race almost every year since.
Over the last 9 years Lobby Havey has worked as an assistant track coach at Edina High School working with distance runners. “I hope to proselytize the power that running can have in your life. When you have a healthy relationship with exercise, it can be like an old friend you can go back to,” she says. “As a coach it’s really neat to see kids discovering the power of running for the first time and watching them continue to run beyond college and have running be important for them too.”
Running has influenced her friendships, career path, and even her love life. While earning a masters in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota, Lobby Havey worked at Marathon Sports, a local running store. This is where she met her husband, Jason Havey.
Working as a freelance journalist covering running, fitness, and endurance sports, Lobby Havey often puts in long hours. “Running offers an important sense of balance by getting outside in the fresh air,” she says.
The discipline she’s gained from running translates to her professional life. “One of the biggest benefits I’ve learned from running is the idea of delayed gratification and working hard over time. As you get fitter the runs get more satisfying. But to get to that point you have to be disciplined and get out the door each day. Even on days when you feel like sleeping in or being lazy,” she says. “Since my freelance life is so self-directed I have learned that self-discipline from running can help you put your head down and push through the work even when you don’t feel like it. The end result is better because you are willing to put in the work each day.”
Lobby Havey runs almost every day, even through the cold, snowy winters of Minneapolis. Running offers her a quiet place to think, reflect and recharge.“My approach to running is similar to the way people describe the significance of yoga or meditation in their lives. Running makes me feel happy, vibrant, focused and balanced,” she says.
Her competitive resume includes 14 marathons and many more shorter distance races. “I’m also driven by more concrete goals. I enjoy running every day, whether I have a race on the calendar or not. But a looming competitive goal like a race encourages me to pursue more dynamic training and workouts,” she says. “I do find value in signing up for races. That makes me push myself past the point I would if I was just running for exercise.”
Living in a city blessed with a variety of running trails, Lobby Havey takes advantage of the woods at Theodore Wirth and Hyland Lake Park Reserve. “There’s something peaceful on the trails compared to the road. Being in the woods, running allows my mind to wander in a different way than when I’m running on the roads,” she says. “There is something instinctual about being out in nature running. I feel like I can more easily achieve that flow that sports psychologist’s talk about. There’s definitely something spiritual when you are out running on trails.”
Running is intertwined with every part of Lobby Havey’s life. Her coaching, training, career, and family life all benefit from her passion for running. She feels lucky to be married to someone she can share that passion with. And she knows how gratifying and rewarding the running lifestyle has been for her... even those runs that she really didn't want to go on.