Beyond Vassar

Fast and World Class

By Jessica Winum

For Shelley Farmer ’92, simply “going out for a jog” means running eight to twelve miles. A former Vassar swimmer and rugby player, Farmer is a world-class triathlete. This past April she competed against more than 400 women as a member of Team USA at the International Triathlon Union World Championships in Perth, Australia, and emerged as one of the top ten fastest amateur women triathletes in the world.

Her trip to Perth was just the latest in Farmer’s triathlon career, which began in 1992 when she entered a small event in Seattle, Washington. “From then on I was hooked,” she said.

Since then, she has been maintaining a rigorous schedule of training (20 to 25 hours per week) and traveling all over the country for competitions, as well as working as an art dealer at Hirschl and Adler Galleries in New York City.

Last year, Farmer ran the New York City Marathon in three hours and one minute—the fifth fastest American woman in the race. In Perth, Farmer finished in ninth place running a 10K, cycling a 40K, and swimming a 1.5K in two hours, fourteen minutes, and fifty seconds.

Why does she do it all? She enjoys meeting other athletes, being outside, and being healthy. And, she said, “I think it’s a challenge to train for three sports and maintain a career, and I like that challenge.”