MARYSVILLE — Born with severe asthma and crooked knees, a Marysville Getchell junior runs to live. Zachary Arcaro-Frazier runs cross country for MG. As the school’s top-runner he’s on a steady upswing, setting records for himself, which is at the right time with the Twilight Invitational coming up where runners will have to endure a 5k — a “championship-level” run. “It would be a really good test,” said his coach, Randy Edens. Edens has enjoyed watching Arcaro-Frazier steadily improve, first as an “awkward freshman” to a maturing runner, especially when he started breaking his plateaus around the league and district championships last season.
“He’s really been a fun story for our program,” Edens said. “It’s been fun to see him blossom.” Arcaro-Frazier has a lot to owe to running more so than athletic achievements. He started running as a seventh-grader, and hasn’t had an asthma attack in three years. “Now I barely have asthma,” he said, adding he doesn’t even need an inhaler. “It has helped me overcome situations.”
His stepmom is an avid runner and got Arcaro-Frazier into running with her and encouraged him to run long distance. He got hooked, and the rest is history. “I just want to show people who aren’t healthy to get out and work out,” he said. “I want people to come out and see running is not a weak sport.” He has met a lot of people through cross country and the running community. It’s the kind of story Edens likes to see in his program. “We want it to be a lifelong thing,” Edens said. Arcaro-Frazier placed third at a two-and-half-mile course at Jackson High School Sept. 22 with a time of 13 minutes, four seconds.
Arcaro-Frazier hadn’t ran that distance before, but he knows based on a similar distance he ran as a freshman, that he may have cut his time by a minute or so. Arcaro-Frazier wants to set a personal record for himself at the Twilight Invitational at Cedarcrest Golf Course Oct. 1. His best time in the 5K is is 17:23.09. His goal is anything under 16:30. Form, posture and running tall are cues any runner works on, but Arcaro-Frazier’s biggest struggles are internal. “The biggest problem I have is that I go out too fast, and don’t have enough faith,” he said. “They’ve worked with me thinking positively.”
“He’s a really aggressive runner but we have to get him to dial back,” Edens said. “If he can scale it back he can then focus on the middle.”
Arcaro-Frazier clings to the phrase “Running is useless unless there is pain effort and difficulty.” He’s not sure where he heard it from, but so far it has been working for him, he said. The MG junior would like to keep running as long as he can, but also study. He has interest in criminal justice and takes bio-med courses seeing if he can tie it into forensic science as a career.