Marissa Farago

[An athlete is a person who looks at the rain falling and says, “good day for a run (or game).” An athlete is a person who sees an injury or illness as a temporary distraction. Only. Marissa is a senior at Triton High School. She has an athlete’s soul.]

GTD: Marissa, how many summers have you trained in Coach Braz’s program? What got you started doing it?
Marissa: I have trained at Coach Braz’s camp for two years now. I had seen a flyer for the camp at one of my cross country meets my sophomore year of running (my first year). I did some extended research to gain an understanding as to what the program offered and entailed - and then decided to sign up!

GTD: During the 90 to 120 minutes of each onsite session, were there parts you looked forward to doing?
Marissa: My favorite part of the camp is definitely the different running combinations that are done on the field with everyone as a group. I enjoy the challenge that it gives me - both psychologically and athletically when I am pushed by other runners.

GTD: The last phase of each training session was devoted to core work, flexibility, and strength. Tell us about it. What did you like and didn’t like?
Marissa: In the last part of each session, we usually will do a lot of hurdle mobility, core strengthening, plyometrics, and medicine ball work. I really enjoy this part of each practice because it gives runners a chance to focus on certain things that many may tend to exclude in their regular season workouts.

My personal favorite is hurdle mobility because it's a great way to not only get a good stretch, but it has also helped to strengthen my hip flexors. Before I came to Coach Braz’s camp, I had many hip issues while running but once I was introduced to hurdles, I started to use them more regularly during the season and was successful in making the pain go away. Furthermore, during this part of the session, I tended to struggle mostly with plyometrics. This was, unquestionably, my least favorite. But despite my feelings, I have continued to work toward getting stronger in this area as it had been very difficult for me when it was first introduced as a part of the exercise regime at camp.

GTD: When you’re doing the “running” parts of the program, do you ever “visualize” a xc race?
Marissa: During many of the workouts, usually tempo and hill workouts, I have visualized myself in a cross country race at Coach Braz’s camp. I think the workouts that are provided at this camp make it very easy to have this mindset because they are very geared towards the physical and psychological struggles that a runner faces during a race.

GTD: When you race, do you have routines that you always do to prepare, leading right up to the start?
Marissa: On the day of my race, I usually wear my “lucky” shirt and socks. I also listen to a playlist that I have on my phone to get myself pumped up and will take some time to stretch out to give myself the time to focus and what it is that I want to personally achieve from my race.

GTD: Sometimes when it’s over, runners think about those moments in a race where they lost focus (and time). Did you have any of those “lost moments” in Braz camp? Perhaps when you may have just gone through the motions during a core session, other times?
Marissa: There have been times when I have lost focus during the camp, mostly during my first year, but I think that as I improved through the support of Coach Braz and the other coaches at the camp. I became a stronger runner, psychologically. I had struggled very much with this aspect of running before I enrolled in the summer camp but throughout the many weeks of the camp, I became more confident in myself as a runner and was able to make a significant amount of improvement throughout the cross country season.

GTD: How do you handle nutrition during your racing seasons. What about race day? With xc camp starting at 8am in the heat of summer, what did you do for food/drink BEFORE 8am?
Marissa: During the season I tend to avoid sugary foods and most pre-packaged items. I think that nutrition is the key to running and when I eat healthier, I feel better about myself and as a result, I have better performances. Before practices in the morning, I would usually eat either a granola bar or a small bowl of cereal and try to drink at least sixteen ounces of water to fuel and hydrate myself for the workout.

GTD: Tell us about your fall xc season.
Marissa: This past fall season I experienced quite a bit of hardship and missed the majority of the season. I was diagnosed with mononucleosis and a heart defect that impacted my ability to run. Despite the setback from the very start of the season due to recovery time and subsequent diagnostic procedures completed under a cardiologist’s care, I was determined to run again when medically cleared to do so.

This happened toward the end of the regular season with the reality being that I would very well not achieve what I had set out to accomplish from the beginning of the fall season. Although I wasn’t as physically fit as I had been coming into the season, I still managed to accomplish my goals by placing seventh at the league meet, placing ninth at states and qualifying as an individual for the All-State Championship.

It was definitely a stressful season, but I was glad to be able to come back at the end for some of the larger meets and finish off my high school cross country career on a high note.

GTD: Tell us what you’re doing for running this spring.
Marissa: For the spring, I am planning to focus on both the mile and the two mile races. Since this is my last season of running at a high school level, I would really love to achieve “personal bests” in these two events.

GTD: College plans?
Marissa: Next year, I will be attending Franklin Pierce University pursuing a degree in Physical Therapy while running at a collegiate level. I will be competing as a three season athlete on the cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams. I am very excited and thankful to have this experience. Being able to run on a college team has always been my dream and to make this become a reality is really awesome!

XC Edge Athletes

Interview Home

Michaela Staniec, Central Catholic HS, Sep. 2022
Sarah DiVasta, Peabody HS, Sep. 2022
Mike Brown, Andover HS/UMass-Amherst, Aug. 2022
Molly Kiley, Andover HS, Aug. 2022
Ellis Iurilli-Hough, Melrose HS, Aug. 2022
Colin Kirn, Andover HS, Aug. 2021
Victoria Lombardi, Stonehill College, Oct. 2020
Adam Abdulghani, Peabody HS, Oct. 2020
Shannon Bresnahan, Bishop Fenwick HS, Oct. 2020
Summer 2020 - click here
- Caroline Johnson, Marblehead HS, Sep. 2020
- Shannon O'Connell, Colby-Sawyer College, Sep. 2020
- Victoria Lombardi, Stonehill College, Sep. 2020
- Emily Ernst, Essex North Shore Tech, Sep. 2020
- Rachel Brennan, Gordon College, Sep. 2020
Sean Kay, Arlington Catholic, Oct. 2019
Shannon O'Connell, Colby-Sawyer College, Oct. 2019
Riley Dowd, Stonehill College, Sep. 2018
Kate Mitchell, Boston Collge, Aug. 2018
Nadja Ueckert-LaPlante, Ipswich HS, Dec. 2017
Marissa Farago, Triton HS, Apr. 2017
Anthony Pizzo, AIC, Dec. 2016
Matt Loehle, UConn, Dec. 2016
Emily DeMarco, Ipswich HS, Apr. 2016
Sarah Oliver, Marblehead HS, Jan. 2016
AJ Ernst, Marblehead HS, Dec. 2015
Abby Walsh, Beverly HS, Dec. 2015
Sydney Packard, Bishop Fenwick HS, Dec. 2015
Griffin Barriss, Melrose HS, Dec. 2015
Tia Patterson, Boston College, Dec. 2015
Thomas Mackin, Lynn Classical HS, Dec. 2015
Riley Dowd, Stonehill College, Nov. 2015
Emily Weigand, American University, Nov. 2015
Connor Wolff, Stonehill College, Nov. 2015
Lexi Buonfiglio, Stonehill College, Nov. 2015
Victoria Holleran, St John, Peabody, Mar. 2015
Abby Walsh, Beverly HS, Dec. 2014
Riley Dowd, Peabody HS, Dec. 2014
Sarah Oliver, Marblehead HS, Dec. 2014
Tia Patterson, Lynnfield HS, Nov. 2014
Emily Horgan, Univ. of Vermont, Nov. 2014
Arianna Maida, Bishop Fenwick HS, Sep. 2014