TUPPER LAKE - Amy Farrell had been out of the sport of triathlon since 2002.
In 2001, she was unable to finish at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii and after completing Ironman Lake Placid in 2002 she walked away from the sport and let her professional license lapse to devote more time to raising her daughter Ruby.
But memories of that ill-fated Ironman in Hawaii lingered in back recesses of her mind.
In June, those memories suddenly took center stage as she decided that she had to make it back to Hawaii, in October, and do the Ironman World Championships one more time.
Her methodology to return was as extreme as the Ironman distances.
I went down to Weschester with Wendy Pavlus who was running a steeplechase at a meet there. I met with Julio German, who had coached me in my last marathon, and asked him if he could get me ready to compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas in a month, says the 35 year-old Farrell who has taught physical education and coached cross country and track-field at Tupper Lake Central School for several years.
He is an incredible coach and he has me doing things that I would never do on my own.
The first step toward competing in the Ironman 70.3, which is a half-ironman, Worlds on Sept. 9 was qualifying for the prestigious event. Farrell accomplished that with emphasis at the Providence, RI Ironman 70.3 where she finished as the top female amateur.
She also picked up top female amateur honors at an Olympic distance (.9 mile swim, 24.9 mile bike and 10K run) triathlon in Westchester.
Farrell, a former Ogdensburg Free Academy track-field and swimming standout who went on to become an All-American distance runner at St. Lawrence University, showed that she was on schedule to return to triathlons Big Dance-On-The-Big Island. She took fourth in the 35-39 age group in a time of 5:07:37 at the Ironman 70.3 Worlds by fashioning a 32:57 1.2-mile swim, a 2:51.11 56-mile bike ride and a 1:38.59 13.1-mile run. Parys Edwards of Germany led the Female 35-39 division in 4:51:39.
I really felt good at Las Vegas. My run was fast and my swim has come back really quick, said Farrell. I am not going pro again, I am sticking with the age groupers and doing the Ironman 70.3s is very manageable. You can do it and still have a real life. But I have to get back to Ironman World Championships one more time. I still have some unfinished business in Hawaii.
Farrell will attempt to qualify for Ironman World Championships in June at an Ironman Maryland.