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Tupper Lake’s Amy Farrell wins again at Ironman

July 24, 2017
By LOU REUTER - Senior Sports Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Experience tells Amy Farrell that it's never a good idea to predict you're going to win when it comes to the sport of triathlon. Especially when you're competing in the Ironman's anything-can-happen distance of 140.6 miles.

Recently, instead of saying she's going to win, Farrell just goes out and does exactly that.

On Sunday, the 40-year-old from Tupper Lake repeated the performance she turned in two years ago, topping the women's field in the 19th annual Ironman Lake Placid. This time however, Farrell was even faster - much faster.

Article Photos

Tupper Lake’s Amy Farrell smiles while riding her bike on the way to defending her women’s amateur title at the 19th annual Ironman Lake Placid triathlon Sunday.
(News photo — Lou Reuter)

Farrell didn't race a year ago when the Ironman Lake Placid featured a women's professional field. The 2015 version of Lake Placid's Ironman, however, included strictly age-group racers, and Farrell was the fastest female, winning in 10 hours, 13 minutes and 19 seconds.

Two years older from her last appearance in the Olympic Village, Farrell took the title Sunday in 9:46.

"Forty is not so bad," Farrell said with her usual wide grin shortly after crossing the finish line. "I had two secret goals today: I wanted to win, and I wanted to break 10 hours. Both those goals I think I hit, and I'm really pleased."

Not only did Sunday's triumph give Farrell back-to-back (albeit two years apart) Ironman victories in Lake Placid, it kept her on a little triathlon roll. She also took first place for women overall in her most recent race before Sunday, the 70.3 Ironman Syracuse triathlon in June. Before that, she topped the women's field last October in the Ironman North Carolina, the event that qualified her for the 2018 Ironman World Championships taking place in Kona, Hawaii, in October.

Farrell said one inspiration that led her to compete in this year's Ironman Lake Placid was to bring her family together. Much of the time, Farrell's daughter Ruby is present at races cheering her mother on, but a host of other family members were scattered about the course on Sunday, as well as her coach and some teammates from Couer racing who were competing.

"My whole family came up. My sisters were here, nieces and nephews, my parents," Farrell said. "Part of me was a little nervous because I signed up for the race just to have a little family vacation in Lake Placid. My coach was out there, I have eight teammates racing, two athletes that I coach were racing, and they went out there happy and positive, so I'm pretty psyched.

Farrell explained that one of the best parts of her day racing in Lake Placid is coming back into the village after the Ironman's two 56-mile bike legs that include rides through Keene, Upper Jay, Jay and Wilmington.

"I always get excited to come into town and see my family. My parents were hiding in different places and Ruby was hiding in different places," she said.

In this year's race, Farrell took the victory by coming from behind in the race's 26.2-mile marathon run. She stood in second place after a strong 112-mile bike leg and then entered the run with a head of steam. In fact, the high school teacher and cross country coach at Tupper Lake thought she might have even jumped out too quickly in each leg of the race, but ultimately, it didn't appear to hamper her performance.

"Every loop kind of surprised me because everything was better than I thought it would be," Farrell said. "My first lap in the swim was fast so I just went with it, and then I came through on the bike really fast and got a little nervous. But my power was looking good, my heart rate was good, so I just went with it, and then I was excited to hand the bike off and start running.

"I went out way too fast on the run, but I kind of took my time that last 4 miles," she continued. "I get excited going down Mill Hill. That first part is downhill. I think I ran the first 5k under 20 minutes."

Like many of the triathletes who come to compete in Lake Placid, Farrell feeds off the energy of its legendary crowd, but probably even more so since the race could be considered to be held in her own backyard.

"The conditions were great, the crowd is always awesome, the aid stations are super-helpful," she said. "It's just Lake Placid. Coming through town, there's tears in your eyes. It's as good as Kona."

Farrell has two more races on tap this year, and both are world championship events. The first is September's 70.3 race in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which will be followed by the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, an event where she won her age group back in 2014.

"We started training for Kona two weeks ago," Farrell said, adding that Sunday's Ironman was in a way, a tuneup for that race. "I'll take a couple weeks easy and then get back at it. I feel really good about Kona."



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