Friday, July 10, 2020

New Adventure Every Day: Interview with Utah Pro Nick Chase

Year to date Utah's only open water tri has been The Doughboy, three weeks ago in Beaver. Would you have guessed that the winner of this friendly, grassroots event was on the pro podium of Ironman Chattanooga last year?

Us neither, but hey, you race where you can in a pandemic! We had the chance to meet Nick Chase at said Doughboy, and this St. George-based pro graciously accepted our interview request.

You can learn more about Nick thru his website ( and other links at the end of the interview. Thanks for the time Nick!

What’s your athletic background and how did you get into triathlon? What/where was your first race?

Athletic background… well, I mowed lawns when I was 14-18 and worked at a pizza place! I never played anything but some light soccer in middle school. I raced a lot of 4-wheelers, snowboarded, powerlifted and kiteboarded… then one day, I was 22 and ran my first marathon. WOW, that was painful and the next year, I ran again… but that was really it.

I joined the US Air Force around 19 years of age and excelled in running for physical training but never really thought I could do something with it. My first race was way back in 2011, a sprint triathlon called Escape from Ft. Desoto in St. Petersburg, Florida.

When did it occur to you that you had the chops to become a pro triathlete and how/where did you actually qualify to make it happen?

I would say after I started winning races in 2012 and then on a national level, earning top 5 placement in 70.3 events. I qualified for my elite license in 2012 and waited until 2014 to accept!

What do you like most about the pro triathlete lifestyle?

I live a new adventure every single day. Not only that, but I am able to explore my mind and body via endurance sports. We all want to find out how far we can push ourselves… or how much we can suffer.

Where are you from originally and what attracted you to St. George? How long have you been in Utah now?

I’m originally from Grand Blanc, Michigan. I spent 13 years in the Air Force but mostly lived in Florida. After racing here in St. George over the last 3 years and spending a lot of time on the west coast, my wife and I knew we needed a place to grow and explore. Now, we couldn’t imagine NOT being here in Utah.

What’s your favorite/most memorable race performance of your triathlon career thus far?

Last year I finally made the podium at Ironman Chattanooga after a hard fought day in over 100 degree heat. I had TV cameras on me for most of the race and found my epic state of flow! That was honestly something I had dreams of for so long… finally validating all of my hard work over the years.

Theoretically what’s on your schedule for 2020 and are you optimistic that some will get the green light? Which races do you feel have a better chance of running than others?

Right now I’m hoping Ironman St. George will be the kick-off… if not, there might be more in October. Maybe Shanghai, Cabo, Cozumel or Patagonman XTRI. In the mean time I will look to knock out my first 100k trail race in the Tushar Mountains… because, why not. Maybe I will try for the Yuba Half as well here in Utah!

EDITOR'S NOTE: sadly it was just announced that local races Yuba (8/22) as well as Jordanelle (8/8) have bitten the dust... 

Top 20 from St. George 70.3 2019

What are your thoughts on the Ironman St. George venue & course?

It’s why we moved here. It’s one of the toughest 70.3 distance races and is still one of the toughest 140.6 courses around. Of course, I want to live where I can race! We are a product of our environment!

Where were you stationed throughout your time in the Air Force, and how has your Air Force career helped you as a triathlete?

I was mainly in Florida but was deployed to Iraq a few times. My business sense has been incredibly boosted via Air Force experience. I am more of an entrepreneur than I ever knew I was, building new sponsor relationships, running a podcast and creating fun and meaningful content. Also, the Air Force allowed me an opportunity to manage huge projects and manage people…so as a coach I certainly thrive.

Who are some of your friendly rivals on the pro circuit, who do you find yourself battling a lot on race day? What 3-5 pros make up your dream list of beating one day?

I want to beat my best pal Jackson Laundry, but mostly so we could laugh about it! I also would love to race toe to toe with Sebastian Kienle and be able to hold my own. A few others would be Justin Metzler and Lionel Sanders on their best days.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’d like to offer some advice to athletes who dream for Kona as if it’s the only thing that matters. Kona is of course something to strive for if you want to compete with the best in the world, however there is SO much more to the triathlon journey. I’ve seen it time and time again… great experiences overshadowed by Kona. While I certainly respect the journey and end-goal, there are thousands of smaller goals that drive us… they may be even more valuable.

Performance can sometimes overshadow the experience because even if you make top 3 at a heavily contested race… it wasn’t Kona. Triathletes are big critics of themselves and I want to make sure all success stories are celebrated and given proper acknowledgement.

Focus on the best journey possible and strive to make each day count… and before you know it, maybe you’ll get there because you focused on the joy of competition. 

Chase Nick if you can!

2020 has been a mess... but "since
when are you the quitting kind?"




Sadly it's now clear there won't be enough events for a 2020 Series Championship, but don't give up!  We'll come back with a vengeance in 2021.


Below are links to all remaining potential races of the original 2020 Series:

Thinking about Lasik or have other eye health needs?
Dr. Brice Williams is offering some incredible
deals for fellow Utah Tri Buzz readers

Local triathlete Steve Monson has a stellar reputation
as one of Utah's finest financial advisors

We started a Patreon account (link below) with the hope of raising a few bucks towards awards & swag for athletes of all abilities in our tri community. We've given out a lot over the past 3 years, but would like to continue to expand our offerings & the volume we can do.

If you enjoy Utah Tri Buzz and would like to pitch in, any amount would be greatly appreciated... (there may be something in it for you as well!)

We're also always grateful for talented people who contribute in terms of time... let us know if you'd like to be part of the Utah Tri Buzz team.



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