Dot McMahan - McKirdy Trained
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Dot McMahan

My youth was spent playing basketball, volleyball and running track. I learned what it meant to compete at a very young age and for that I’m very thankful. In High School, I developed a passion for running by winning. As bizarre as it sounds I focused very little on race times, as long as I won the race. Winning made running fun.


I went on to compete at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Cross Country and Track. I mostly raced the shorter distance events like the half-mile and came close to breaking the school record in both indoor and outdoor track.  Whittling down my race times was how I measured my success. It also became a driving force in my decision to continuing competing. I knew I could be faster and I just needed more time to improve.

Post-collegiately I continued racing on the track while also working full-time. And although I was getting faster in the shorter events I felt pulled to the longer races. I hit the road racing scene during the summers and found success. I simply fell in love with the pavement. So when an opportunity presented itself in 2005 to quit my ‘real job’ and pursue a professional distance-running career, I jumped at it. Thankfully I haven’t looked back with any regrets.


As a professional I’ve run 3 Olympic Marathon Trials (2008, 2012, 2016), placing 8th, 9th and 34th respectively. I’ve run Boston, NYC, and Chicago and was even honored to represent the U.S. at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Russia. I placed 18th on a dangerously hot day.

It wasn’t all roses though. Like many runners I’ve battled injuries. Plantar fasciitis, torn hamstring, sciatica, and bone fractures left me on the sidelines.  I also took an extended break from running to have my daughter – now 8 years old. I had more bad days than good days when I started training again but through perseverance and patience I clawed my way back to achieve PR’s from 5k-marathon.


Now I’m a master’s runner having just turned 40 last year. But I still love going out every day for a run (or two). My daughter once asked me why I love running. Simply put, the answer is that I like seeing what I can accomplish with my mind and body. I think that it’s possible to keep running fast and even keep improving if you have guidance and support through personalized coaching. I would like to see my years of experience transition to assisting others along their journey to successful and joyful running.

As a coach with McKirdy Trained, my goal is to help runners see what they can do with their mind and body.  Sharing what I’ve learned, from middle-distance runner to elite marathoner, I will strive to motivate and help YOU achieve YOUR running goals though custom workouts, feedback and mental tips.


14th and 6th American 2017 Boston marathon, 2:36:28

3rd, 2014 Gary Bjorkland Half Marathon, 1:11:48

1st, 2013 USA 25k National Championships, 1:25:52

9th and 2nd American 2012 Chicago marathon, 2:32:11

3rd, 2011 Grandma’s Marathon 2:31:48

5th, 2008 USA 20k National Championships, 1:09:32

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