Teen takes time to race for fun

Teen takes time to race for fun

Meghan Farrell is one busy teenager. Between graduating high school, checking out colleges and wrapping up her final season with Scarborough’s swim team, it’s a wonder she’s found the time and dedication to do much else.

But, like most busy people, she finds time to do more. On July 31, she’ll be among the women competing in the Tri for a Cure.

This will be Farrell’s third year competing, but the first time she will be participating in the whole triathlon instead of doing only the swimming relay.

Farrell, 18, has been on the swim team all through high school, making her well prepared to take on the ocean in past triathlons. She has recently been practicing distance on her new bike, and says she’ll definitely enjoy that part of the competition. Farrell says her weakness is running, but she’s working on that, too. She smiled as she emphasized her trainer’s words, that daily practice is “highly recommended.”

It shouldn’t be too hard for Farrell to compete in every arena. The swim team spent the season weightlifting and “dry land” exercising every night, so she’s in good shape. In fact, it was realizing her athletic ability that pushed Farrell to sign up for the entire triathlon.

After swimming the relay last year, she was watching the running section with her mother, impressed to see women of all ages participating. Her mother looked at a woman whose age tag read “71” and said, “You’re 17. If she can do it, so can you.” And Farrell thought, “Yeah, I could do this.”

The first year she took part in the triathlon, Farrell found comfort in doing it with a group of friends. Though her friends were not interested in competing the following year, Farrell stuck around, heartened by the women around her.

Her favorite part of the event is watching as people cross the finish line.

“You see all these women who have just completed something they’ve trained so hard for, and they’re so happy and proud. It’s really inspiring,” she said.

Julie Marchese, one of the triathlon organizers and trainers, says that Farrell is reaching the goals she’s set for herself and doing the best that she can. “Megan is working hard and having a great time training. She is committed to the Tri,” said Marchese.

Some of the tri-athletes are cancer survivors, some are doing it in honor of family and friends, and others, like Farrell, are there to raise money for a good cause and break a sweat while doing it.

“It’s not all about the competition,” she said. “A lot of people are there to have fun, not to race.”

Farrell is used to competing on the swim team, and feels that having an event made up of women makes things more comfortable.

“If guys were there I would feel so intimidated by them flying by me,” she said.

She enjoys that a lot of people don’t set a time for themselves in the Tri – “they just aim to finish” – and like Farrell, they have good time doing it.

Swimmer Meghan Farrell, 18, is competing in the full Tri for a
Cure this year. The event, she says, “is really inspiring.”

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