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17-year-old qualifies for Boston Marathon

By: Megan Wood The Press Tribune
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Utter the words running and 26.2-mile marathon and most people head for the hills. Not so for Andy Farris. The 17-year-old Roseville resident and Jesuit High School student ran from Folsom to Sacramento in the California International Marathon Sunday finishing first in his division, which qualifies him for the Boston Marathon. How long have you been running? I’ve been running cross country for two years at Jesuit and thought the marathon would be a good challenge to really stretch my limits. I’m already trained for long distance running but nothing like this. I’ve been training since July for cross country but I only really trained for the marathon for about a week. I did a few 20-mile runs, 10-mile runs and smaller ones with resting in between. What did you eat the night before to get ready for the race? Dinner was salmon and baked potatoes and I drank a bunch of water. After the race we went to BJ’s for lunch and I ate this huge chili burger thing. It was pretty extreme but I was starving. What hardest part of marathon? Miles 17 to 20 were the hardest for me. They wouldn’t let you take an Ipod if you were trying to be a divisional winner so I worked at keeping my mind on track and staying on pace. When you’re running that long you just take it mile by mile and it’s a contest with your mind to see how far you can push yourself. I kept saying one more mile, one more mile and tried not to concentrate on how tired I was. I took some energy goo at the 20-mile mark and that gave me a boost. I don’t know if it was a placebo affect or what but it seemed to help. Did you set out to qualify for the Boston Marathon? Yes this marathon was my personal challenge to see how far I could stretch myself and see if I could qualify for the next step. For me the next big step is the Boston Marathon. You need a qualifying time of three hours, 10 minutes for Boston and I beat it by five minutes. I felt like I raced my hardest and that and achieving what I had set out to do makes me really proud of myself. I haven’t decided if I’ll do Boston yet, I’ll have to wait until next year because you have to be 18 to race and my birthday’s not until April. What are your other hobbies besides running? I like to go biking, mountaineering and rock climbing. I’m also really interested in environmental issues and I occasionally play video games. I really like running though because it’s challenging and high endurance, which is perfect for someone like me.