Friday, September 25, 2020

Wyoming's Fastest! Get to know Casey Adams

Casey Adams was the 1st female and 2nd overall at the Bear Lake Brawl - Full (140.6) last Saturday, throwing down a time of 10:53 on a tough weather day to boot. We had the chance to briefly meet her pre-race and wanted to learn more about this fast Wyoming girl.

Thanks for the time, Casey!

What's your athletic background and how did you get into triathlon? Where/when was your first race?

I was on school swim and track teams growing up in Pinedale, Wyoming. I have absolutely no hand-eye coordination, so those were the only sports I had any chance in. Later, during a summer internship during college, I ended up subbing in at the last minute in a cycling relay in Alaska and Canada. I knew absolutely nothing about cycling—I didn't even know cycling shorts existed. I had a blast on the borrowed bike and didn't even ruin the team's outcome despite my inexperience.

That's when I realized I had all the pieces to try this "triathlon" thing. I went back to classes that fall and my first tri was a little sprint in Raleigh, North Carolina. I loved all of it, but what surprised me was the community. I came out of the water early, and then was handed a whooping on the bike. But almost every athlete who went by me on my rented road bike offered support as they cruised by. That sealed the deal.

Based on seeing another fast "Adams" from Lander, WY in the results, gonna go out on a limb and guess that's your husband? You've got to be Wyoming's fastest couple, right?

Yeah, I returned to Wyoming after college and landed in Lander because of a boy. He's now my husband and my racing buddy, in-house gear consultant. We often come in at the top of the list, yes, but that's usually the result of alphabetical order, not speed.

In all seriousness, Lonnie is a hell of a competitor and earns spots on a lot of podiums, including the men's overall win at the Bear Lake Brawl Olympic this weekend. We approach training and racing quite differently, and we both learn and grow from one another as a result. It's always special to share a race day out there together--I get so excited to cross paths mid-race!

Is there a tri community near you and/or races or do you tend to travel in order to compete? What are some "local" races you've traveled to in addition to the Bear Lake Brawl? Side note: the Utah Triathlon Championship Series is open to people from all states, just have to race a minimum of 3 races in the series

There isn't much of a tri community in Lander, but I also enjoy solo training time, so that suits me just fine. When I need a buddy, Lonnie or our dog, Duke, are happy to let me try to keep up. I also get a lot of camaraderie, jokes, and tips as a member of the Cupcake Cartel Triathlon Team.

Lonnie and I do travel quite a bit—most often to Utah and Colorado—to race. I actually like it: races are a unique and exciting way to travel and get to know new places. I had never been to Bear Lake before I raced there years ago. Same with Jordanelle and Echo reservoirs and their communities. The Brineman swim blew our minds a couple years ago, so we'll be back!

I do have "insider knowledge" of an effort to revive the Lander Sprint Triathlon, so stay tuned!

What Ironman-branded races have you done, and how would you rank them from favorite to least favorite?

1) Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2014
2) Ironman 70.3 Boulder 2019
3) Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2015 (aka Ironman Hades)
4) Ironman and Ironman 70.3 COVID d'Cancelation 2020 

How has 2020 training gone for you given the craziness and do you have any other races theoretically planned for this year? Prelim race plans for 2021?

2020 was a great exercise in pursuing a vision, even when the opportunity to execute it was just a mirage all year. I had decided last year that I wanted to see what I was capable of at the full distance, but with cancelation after cancelation, it was difficult to maintain focus and positivity at times. But it was good for me to push myself to stay committed, to learn to keep chasing my best, even if there wasn't a starting line in sight.

When Ironman St. George, my last possible race of the year, was canceled, I indulged in more than a little wine, tears, swearing, and comfort food. But then Lonnie discovered the Bear Lake Brawl had a full option, and the fire in my belly sparked back up!

It's tough to say what 2021 will hold, but hopefully St. George 70.3, IM Coeur d'Alene, and some fun short races in Utah as part of the Utah Triathlon Championship series!

         well, this is what the 4th annual UTCS was originally looking like... hopefully we get another crack at it in 2021

We met briefly before the Bear Lake Brawl and you were assuring people that you'd been taking a deep dive into the weather forecast and it really wasn't supposed to rain very much... sometime after my extremities lost their feeling this famous scene popped into my head. How was the weather from your perspective doing the full 140.6?

Yeah, I definitely put my solid-ice-numb foot in my mouth. I remembered that conversation when I was about my coldest, maybe mile 40 or so, and sent out a mental apology to all of you whose hopes I had very mistakenly gotten up.

I'm not sure if it was wishful thinking or the fact that I only checked weather for St. Charles instead of looking at how the storm would hit the full perimeter of the lake, but I had it wrong! It was much more rainy and cold—for longer—than I anticipated. I was on the verge of not warm enough for a second lap.

But I had dry pants in my gear bag, and then 15 miles later the sun came out! That would probably have been at about noon? I wasn't looking at the overall running time because I needed to focus on one challenge at a time and not get ahead of myself.

The majority of the second lap on the bike was beautiful, albeit a bit windy. The run conditions were stellar... until that late afternoon squall came in like a wrecking ball. I was fortunate to just have a handful of miles left, so the tailwind and a little lightning-induced fear pushed me in, but the full athletes heading out or back out at that time had a downright evil headwind. Huge kudos to them for overcoming that on top of all the day had already thrown at them!

What else can you tell us about your race on Sat, how did it play out for you?

First, I have an amazing support system. After Lonnie finished (won) the Oly, he got back out there to cheer me on all day, then took the 4-9 p.m. volunteer shift at the run turnaround aid station. His mother, the best mom-in-law a gal could ask for was there the whole time, including the aid station shift. So was my mom, the tiniest billy badass you'll ever meet. My little sister and her fiance kept the hype up and were real troopers on a tough day for their first time spectating 140.6. We couldn't do this without friends and family.

Second, how cool was it to see the pros out there at a local race?

Third, props to Joe Coles and his whole On Hill Events team for making this thing happen. It ended up being a very 2020 race, but he's the only one who gave me a shot to test myself at 140.6 this year.

As for the way the race played out, I honestly am thrilled. I set out to find out what I was made of, and the weather made it a real test. I'm happy with what I pulled out and excited to see what's possible going forward from here.

Anything else you'd like to share?

I've already written a novel here, sorry!




Sadly the 2020 Series Championship couldn't get off the ground, but have no fear!  We'll come back with a vengeance in 2021. 

Thinking about Lasik or have other eye health needs?
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