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Farrell looks to run down another IMLP title

July 19, 2017
By LOU REUTER - Senior Sports Writer ( , Lake Placid News

TUPPER LAKE - If anyone could be considered a legend on the local triathlon front, Amy Farrell has to be pretty close.

On Sunday, the Tupper Lake triathlete will not only attempt to defend the women's overall title she captured in 2015 at the Ironman Lake Placid, she'll be looking to keep a little win streak going. After turning 40 in May, Farrell said she's feeling stronger than two years ago when she was the first female to cross the finish line in the grueling 140.6-mile race through a good chunk of the Adirondack Park.

In addition to capturing the championship here in 2015 and also winning her age group crown in Hawaii at the 2014 Ironman World Championships, Farrell enters Sunday's race with two more recent victories on her resume. She topped the women's field in Syracuse's 70.3 half Ironman triathlon in June on a day when temperatures were nearing triple digits. Her race before that, she beat out the competition again, claiming the women's crown last October at Ironman North Carolina, a race that saw the bike leg cut in half due to weather conditions.

Article Photos

Amy Farrell slaps hands with her daughter Ruby after transitioning to the marathon run during the Ironman Lake Placid race in 2015. Farrell was the first woman to cross the finish line in the event that year.
(News photo — Lou Reuter)

Throw in a second-straight year of running a sub-three hour result at the Boston Marathon this past April, and it's been a nice little run that Farrell hopes to continue. However, experience tells the teacher and cross country coach at Tupper Lake High School that when it comes to the Ironman distance, anything can happen.

"You always want to do your best, but there are some really strong athletes in the field," Farrell said. "A couple of girls who are coming here have been on the podium. I know it's going to be a really good race.

"When I won here last time, I was kind of exhausted that year. I'm just feeling better, fresher this time, and at age 40, I just want to see what I can get out of this old frame."

Reaching the finish line on Sunday will mark the halfway point of Farrell's Ironman schedule this year. After Lake Placid, she has two world championships on tap, starting with the 70.3 event in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Sept. 10, the same day the Olympic Village hosts its first Half Ironman race.

"I'd love to be there for the first one," she said. "I'd really love to hammer those single laps of my home Ironman course, but unfortunately, not this year."

Farrell will then look to complete her slate in October with her fifth appearance at the Kona World Championships in Hawaii. She qualified for that race with her strong showing in North Carolina.

Farrell sat out the 2016 Ironman Lake Placid as the women's pro field returned to the race after a one-year hiatus. The men's and women's pro races have alternated years since 2015.

"I was there watching, but it was hard to watch the race knowing that I was capable of doing it," she said, adding that was inspiration enough to jump into the field this time around.

Farrell was an up-and-coming pro in her 20s, but took time off to raise her daughter Ruby before returning to the sport. And racing with her daughter's name on her outfits, Farrell has been one of triahlon's most successful age-group competitors ever since.

Admitting that she's not getting any younger, Farrell is relying on experience these days instead of youth. Farrell said she is most interested in seeing how her marathon run unfolds on Sunday.

"I haven't put in as many long rides this year, but I feel that the bike thing is all about durability and patience," she said. "Experience is a factor when it comes to handling the bike leg. I really want to see what I can do with the run.

"It's been kind of interesting comparing myself now to when I was in my 20s," she added. "These days, I rely heavily on experience."

Although Farrell probably doesn't need many fans on the sidelines to succeed - a title in Hawaii is proof of that - she'll have that added boost of family members present and the incredible energy that's always generated in the Ironman race held just a few miles away from her home in Tupper Lake.

"It's my hometown race," she said. "A lot of my family will be there, just like two years ago, and that's good. All that energy in town, all those people, I just feed off that. It's going to be hard, but I'm looking forward to a great day. I'll just be happy if I can go out there and do my best."



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