For most, a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich is just plain ol’ kid stuff. But substitute the jelly with syrup, and you’ve got yourself a snack that’ll go the distance, says Olin “Buck” Farrior.
Farrior should know.
That’s because Farrior, county Extension coordinator for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System in Escambia County, fuels up with a peanut butter-and-syrup sandwich before every marathon he runs.”Running like this demands a big energy requirement and you have to keep the muscles fed,” Farrior said. “Based on my knowledge of nutrition, peanut butter and milk just seemed to fit my needs. Before every run, I eat a peanut butter-and-syrup sandwich and drink a glass of milk with it. It’s light enough, but filling at the same time.”Farrior started his peanut butter-and-syrup sandwich strategy after his first marathon. Now, he gobbles one down before every marathon and every 20-mile practice run.It obviously works well for Farrior. So well, in fact, that he wore a T-shirt emblazoned “Powered by Alabama Peanuts & Peanut Butter” last April when he competed in the famed Boston Marathon, finishing the 26.2-mile run in 3 hours and 57 minutes.His desire to run the Boston Marathon began in 2004, when his son moved to Boston.”In the fall of 2004, my son, Fields, entered dental school in Boston and during orientation someone mentioned the Boston Marathon,” Farrior explained. “The dental school actually has a team that runs in the marathon each year. I mentioned I’d like to run in the marathon, kinda on a whim, and that’s when my daughter started questioning what would be the requirements (for me to run in the Boston Marathon).”Farrior learned that, to qualify, runners in his age bracket (50-54) must run a qualifying time of 3 hours and 35 minutes at an approved marathon event. “I started with a beginner training schedule, then an intermediate schedule followed by a very intense schedule that a runner is on several weeks before a race, which includes running a total of 50 miles per week,” Farrior said.”Three weeks before the race, you start to step down your training in order to give your muscles a chance to recover,” he said.In February, Farrior ran in the Pensacola (Fla.,) Marathon and earned his place in the Boston Marathon with a time of 3 hours and 35 minutes.Just two months later, Farrior was in Boston, hundreds of miles from peanut fields, and among 20,000 other marathon runners.
“It was great,” he said. “It was a lot of fun and although it was quite a battle getting in shape for it, it was well worth it. And for those wondering if I stuck to my nutrition plan before the marathon … you’d better believe it! The author is an information specialist with the Alabama Peanut Producers Association.