Local principal sets the pace — 26.2 miles at a time

Faye Britt is all smiles after qualifying for the Boston Marathon in 2023. (Photos courtesy of Faye Britt)

Faye Britt, the principal at Hazelwood Elementary School in Lynnwood, is a globetrotter. Or to be more precise, a globerunner.

On April 15, she finished her 16th Boston Marathon, one of the running world’s most iconic and prestigious races.

She began racing competitively in elementary school in South London. Now, a few decades later, Britt has completed over 100 marathons and Ironman Triathlons across the globe, in places like Honolulu, London, Cabo San Lucas, Coeur d’Alene, Chicago and New York.

After returning from Boston last week, she shared some insights about her lifelong passion.

When do you fit in your training sessions?

I am definitely not a morning runner! But I do run every day which ends up being 30 to 60 miles per week. I love trail running but usually because of my work hours I end up on the treadmill at home — sometimes at 10 p.m.!

Britt runs on her home turf in the London Marathon.

How does daily training help you in other aspects of your life?

It’s really helpful to have a balance in any job — meditation, yoga — something you do that gives you time just for yourself. I find that while I’m running I’m doing a lot of processing, problem-solving and forward planning — that’s why I rarely run while listening to music. It forces you to turn off and recharge.

Does Hazelwood Elementary offer any running opportunities to students?

Our school is one of the sites for Girls on the Run. It’s a really strong curriculum that empowers young girls to develop social, emotional and physical skills — in part through running. They meet on Mondays and Wednesdays after school. It’s a great program because it’s for all girls, not just the athletic ones.

And our PE teacher does running every morning for kids who are interested — they do laps around the campus.

What running goals do you have for yourself in the next few years?

Well, I’ve run in four of the six Marathon World Majors so I’d really like to do the remaining two — Berlin and Tokyo. They’re really hard to get into. You have to enter a lottery to get a place — and not everyone who qualifies gets in because so many runners want to compete.

Britt’s cousin (right) joined her from Vancouver, BC to run in this year’s Boston Marathon.

Got any advice for people who would like to pick up running?

Most people say they don’t like running because they start out going too fast and they think they have to run the entire time. They should slow down. They often get put off because they go out and run three miles and then they can’t walk for three days!

A lot of people don’t realize that most marathoners walk through the water stations during a race. If you don’t slow down and get the water, you’ll get dehydrated. It’s a myth that you have to run the entire time. It’s totally OK to alternate between running and walking.

Thank you for the inspiration, Faye!

— By Clare McLean

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