Track coach eligible for Boston Marathon

Max Gualtieri

Let’s just say our Tiger runners learn from the best. Emily Farrar, a coach of the cross country and track teams, is quite the runner herself. She has run three marathons and recently qualified for a fourth: the Boston Marathon.

Farrar is a math and special education teacher who has been running since she was in 10th grade. Growing up near Seattle, Farrar played basketball in high school, but hated the weight training that came in the off-season. The only way she could avoid the daunting weight training was to play a fall sport, so Farrar chose cross country. As soon as she started, she knew that she had potential. There were also certain elements to running that particularly appealed to her. “Running is pretty individual, and you can get in your own headspace. So it was a nice break from basketball,” she said.

Farrar ran cross country throughout the remainder of high school and then in college at Washington State University. Since then, she has run in three marathons—twice in the Marine Corps Marathon and once in the Outer Banks Marathon.

Not just anyone can run in the Boston Marathon—a runner must qualify. For Farrar’s age group,
runners must have run an official marathon time of under three hours and 35 minutes. Farrar qualified for the 2020 Boston Marathon after completing her most recent Marine Corps Marathon in three hours and 21 minutes.

A great deal of training and preparation is necessary to run at that pace. Farrar uses a 16-to-20-week training cycle to prepare for marathons. She runs to and from Wilson, as well as with the cross country team to get in her miles. Every week in the training cycle, Farrar goes on several shorter runs and one long run which can be anywhere from 15 to 22 miles.

Farrar also eats healthy to be in good shape, planning her meals every week and taking tips from Shalane Flanagan’s book, “Run Fast. Eat Slow: Nourishing Recipes for Athletes.” All of this hard work paid off in the form of amazing marathon times. She wants future runners to know that to be successful, a runner needs to pick a plan and stick to it—commitment is the key