Dan Casey has had many memorable moments during his athletic career. None, though, compares to the one that occurred when he was just 8 years old.
“My brother and I used to set up the Casey family triathlon,” he says. “It was 30 laps in the pool, 10 times around the block on a bike and one time around the block running. My brother is two years older and he beat me every time except once. One time he had a flat tire and I ended up beating him. My mom always made homemade ribbons for us. I’ve got a picture from that time and I’m all smiles and my brother has the biggest frown on his face.”
Sibling rivalry apparently has its rewards. It also helped create Casey’s current passion—competing in real triathlons, those grueling endurance races that involve swimming, biking and running a full marathon.
“I think it requires a certain type of athlete to do all three disciplines,” says the 1998 graduate. “When you put all three together, it’s a lot different than each discipline by itself. When I compete, I’m able to push my body and mind to see what I’m made of. It shows what kind of heart you have. To be able to compete and finish at a high level is rewarding.”
And he’s doing quite well. Last year, he finished second overall in the Rock & Roll Triathlon in Cleveland and first in the 25-29 age bracket. That level of competition is something he’s familiar with, though. Casey swam for the University’s swim team, and still owns four school records. He won two bronze medals in the South American Games swimming for his native Ecuador and placed sixth in the medley relay in the Pan-Am Games. He returned to the States, though, and now does Internet marketing for the Cintas Corp.
But he couldn’t get the need to compete out of his blood, so he followed in the tracks of his dad, who finished the Hawaiian Ironman triathlon in 1991, 1992 and 2000.
“I’m not a sit-on-the-couch kind of person,” he says. “If I could go pro, I’d do it in a second. But I’m happy to compete as an amateur and do the best I can.”