CLEVELAND — The heat index soared into the 90s and played with Michelle Farr’s will at Sunday’s 35th annual Rite Aid Marathon.
The 39-year-old Wadsworth High track and cross country coach struggled but didn’t quit as she finished the marathon in a personal-record 3 hours, 19 minutes and 53 seconds.
“There are four times I wanted to stop and quit,” said Farr. “That’s a no-no. You never do that, but I didn’t care. I had no desire today. I spoke with Ray Szabat, Paige’s dad, right before the race. He said this isn’t our bread and butter. We just do it for fun.”
Sunday’s was Farr’s fifth career marathon, but her first in two years and first since the birth of her second son.
“I didn’t feel good at all at any point,” said Farr. “I lost the 3:10 pace group at mile No. 10. I stopped caring. That’s the earliest I’ve ever faded. I’m just glad I got it over. I was able to maintain a little and pick it back up. I’m just glad it’s done.”
Farr is a mother of two boys, Logan, age 5, and Grayson, 15 months.
“I just have to take what I learned from this round of training,” said Farr, a 1990 Buckeye graduate. “This is the first time I ever trained for anything without a team. I’ve always run with the kids I’ve coached. I didn’t pay attention to details. I wasn’t stretching like I should have working on my agility, all those little details.
“When you’re a mom it’s hard because you go for a run, but as soon as you come back the kids are all over you. I just never took the time to stretch and things like that. It’s hard.”
Farr finished 13th overall in the women’s field and fourth for the 35-39 age category. Her outlook seemed to brighten a bit as her accomplishment sunk in a bit.
“I’m excited,” said Farr. “I know better how to train for this. I’m going to try to train for Columbus in the fall, use what I learned and run with the girls over the summer. It’s a PR so I have to be thankful for that.”
Cleveland resident and former Highland standout cross country runner Kelly Staruch was seventh in 3:10.44.
Medina’s Robert Porkoney was the county’s top male finisher in 3:07:58. He finished 81st in 3:07:58.
Contact Paul Heyse at firstname.lastname@example.org.