Carrie started running when she was 35 after she tore her supraspinatus at Masters Nationals doing the final backstroke flip turn (they no longer use that type of flip turn due to shoulder injuries!).  

My ortho doc felt I didn’t need surgery but wanted me to not swim for a year…”

He told Carrie to take up triathlons and he would let her swim just for the event. 

So, I had to take up running and biking.”

Meet Carrie Franchi

Carrie told us that she loved running because you can do it anywhere and see so much beautiful scenery.  

“Running became my way to de-stress and gain peace.”

Carrie’s Recent Achievements

She ran the Light At The End Of The Tunnel Marathon recently to try to qualify for the Boston Marathon…


“I’m competing in Boston in 2023 at 70 years old!  YAY!”

Carrie managed to qualify 17 minutes under her qualifying standard!

Here’s what she posted on the Coach Parry forum.

Just wanted to give a big shout-out to this program. I ran the Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon Sunday in North Bend, Washington state to try and qualify for the Boston Marathon. The course is a -2% grade on a gravel trail. You run through a pitch-black tunnel for 2.5 miles. There had been a lot of rain so the erosion and potholes made it difficult for me and I hadn’t trained on this type of terrain but I BQd by just under 17 minutes under my qualifying standard. The amazing thing is I ran very slow in the tunnel due to fear of falling and when I came out my Garmin wasn’t working so the pace band I used for a time was worthless. Because I had learned to run by how I felt in my long runs in this program I was able to accomplish this goal.”

What’s so incredible is that 5 years ago she BQd in a marathon with a time of 4:32:59 on a course in Mesa AZ. 

In this recent race, her time was 4:33:07, only 8 seconds slower for a 5-year age increase!

“So I’m really pleased. I started this program late so I know if I can continue with it I’ll get faster. My BQ qualifying standard (4:50:00) is for women 70-74!”

Another recent achievement that Carrie told us about is that she followed Coach Parry’s advice to not race in her long runs but to use them as training.  

Even with that, she completed a 10K in 58:14 and Half-Marathon in 2:06:00.  

In these runs, I continued to run further to get in the mileage.”

Becoming A Coach Parry Member

Carrie has been a Coach Parry member for approximately 11 weeks now.

She loved the 50+ runner information that she watched and it made sense to her.  Carrie previously had a coach that caused a medial tibial stress fracture and so she knew she couldn’t be trained the way a 20-year-old trained.

Strong female runner

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Biggest Contributor To Carrie’s Success

She told us that she has never trained to run slow.  Long slow distance runs were just her usual faster pace.  

In this program, I learned that you need to run LSD runs slower paced. This taught me to “feel” pace when running and this contributed to my marathon accomplishment because I lost Garmin watch information 1 mile in and therefore couldn’t use my pace band.  I had the pace band set for a 4:40 goal.”

Carrie says that running by feel helped her finish with a 4:33:07. To her, that is amazing and she swears that she never could have done this without this program!!!

What’s Next?

Carrie has an Ironman 70.3 Oregon race on July 10th…” yep, only 3.5 weeks away with no training other than running.”

She says that her best leg is the swim so she doesn’t need to train for that… “So I’ll just start hitting the bike and try and do my best”

Another goal, of course, is running the 2023 Boston Marathon.

Struggles Along The Way…

Carrie’s stress fracture from earlier this year sometimes causes a few niggles so she needs to ice and rest more than she would like.

Running Long Slow Distance Runs at a slower pace was also quite a challenge for her in the beginning.

After a while, it kicked in and I gained a “feel” for the pace and could run it consistently!”

Carrie, you’re competing in Boston in 2023 at 70 years old! 
This is such a fantastic achievement. You really are an inspiration to A LOT of runners out there! 🙂

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