Case to race in Ironman competition
By Megan Smith
On August 28, 2011, Benjie Case will swim 2.4 miles, 1 of which will be upstream, in the Ohio River, bike 112 miles on a hot, hilly trail, and then run 26.2 miles in high-90’s heat and high-humidity.
This course sounds like a sort of torture chamber to most, but for Case it is a dream come true.
Case grew up in Adamsville. He attended Adamsville High School, where he played football and baseball.
Case then attended Union University where he played one year of college baseball.
He became interested in competing in triathlons primarily because of some health struggles his wife went through a few years ago.
Case said, “I’ve always been interested in athletic activities. God has given me the health and ability to do this.
“I got to see first hand what it’s like not to have health with her, and thankfully she is doing better. It just really snowballed from that point,” Case said.
“I like the structure of triathlons,” said Case, “because you can compete in age groups. You are actually competing against people your age.”
Case has been training for the Ironman competition since December.
“On average, I swim three to five miles per week, I bike 200 miles per week, and I run 20 to 30 miles per week,” stated Case.
Although the heat has been an obstacle this summer, Case has not let it slow him down.
“The most difficult thing to train for in the heat is running. I’ve got a track in my back yard. I was doing my long runs at Shiloh Park, but I’m having to move it to my back yard just for hydration,” stated Case.
While he is training, Case is careful to consume lots of carbohydrates and lots of protein for healing purposes.
“I take in around five thousand calories a day, probably more,” Case said.
Last year alone, Case competed in seven races. He qualified for the US Championship Half Ironman competition in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but he was unable to compete due to his work schedule.
Case competed in the Half Ironman in Augusta, Georgia.
“The best race that I had was in St. Louis, Missouri, and that’s where I qualified for the US Half Ironman championship,” Case stated.
“This year, I’ve been primarily focused on this one event,” said Case. The event he spoke of was the Ironman competition in Louisville,
Despite the fact that the intense preparation for the Ironman competition has consumed most of Case’s time, he also competed in the Tullahoma race plans to compete in a bike race in Memphis.
Case said, “I just haven’t been able to race as much as I would like to. It beats your body to death going those distances every week, trying to get ready for the Ironman.”
“This is my first full [Ironman], so it’s going to be mostly a learning experience for me. I think a lot of it will be just paying attention to nutrition and pacing and just overall battling the heat,” Case claimed.
Case stated, “Getting through that to the finish line is going to be difficult.”
Case has two sons and one daughter. Both of his sons enjoy playing baseball and watching their dad compete.
“It just runs in their blood to be competitors. Hopefully, someday triathlons will be something that they will get into,” Case said.
According to Case, one of the most amazing things about his experience with triathlon competitions is the way in which his involvement has affected those around him.
“My brother-in-law Jimmy Castles will also be competing with me. It’s been a neat experience to see how me getting into this has affected other people’s lives. It’s gotten a lot of people active,” Case stated.
Case said that his success in the races would have been impossible without the support of his friends and family.
“You’ve got to have a good support group to help you, to stand behind you training for this and the time that it takes to prepare for it. I’ve got really good friends and family that help me to prepare for this event,” Case stated.
“Without Joy, my wife, and what she sacrifices for me to train for this, I couldn’t do it. She’s been a huge blessing to me there, to help me prepare for this,” Case said.