After miraculous recovery, Minnesota woman prepares for Ironman World Championship

A Minnesota woman will compete in the World Ironman Competition after beating some incredible odds.

Some people are just born to run and Maggie Swanson is one of them. Eight years ago, she took her love for running to Spain while she studied abroad. That lasted ten days.

"I was crossing a busy highway when a bus going 37 miles per hour and hit me," she said. "Hit me, he ran a red light. So hit me, launched me 25 meters in the air It really only is thanks to God I survived."

Maggie had only just started to run competitively in the months before the accident. But in the days that followed it wasn’t about running, it was about surviving.

"Shattered pelvis, traumatic brain injury broken elbow, seven broken ribs, and I was rushed to the hospital right away," said Maggie.

"They told us the first four days would be crucial for her to live," said Maggie's father Tad Weiss. "That she needed to stay stable to not have any swelling on her brain during those four days."

She came through those first four days and ten days later a successful pelvic surgery allowed her family to hope for more. Incredibly she was cleared to walk in three months.

"Then he cleared me after four months to start running," she said. "Which was the fastest he had cleared anyone to run with an injury as severe as mine."

It wasn’t easy, but she never gave up, her dad running with her at times.

"We just needed to shift our goals," said Tad. "Where this isn’t about your time its for the ability to be out there and to give thanks that you can run."

Then as part of her healing, her dad suggested a triathlon, biking, swimming and running.

"It wasn’t a smooth race, it wasn’t the most polished race, but I ended up winning my age group," said Maggie.

Maggie was getting stronger and faster than she was even before the accident. She tried her first Ironman in 2021 and came in second in her division. In 2022, she did even better.

"I got first overall, first amateur female and along with that I also won my age division," said Maggie.

Now, Maggie is qualified to run in the 2023 World Ironman Competition in Hawaii. She’s endured the pain, the agony, but never defeat. She’s still inspired to try for more with friends, family and god with her every step of the way.

"You don’t fly 25 meters through the air and land without God’s protection," said Maggie.

Maggie's father wrote a book called "25 Meters to God", a story about Maggie’s survival and determination to keep striving for more.