Member Spotlight: Cassady Allen

24 Mar 2019 5:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     In June of 2017, Cassady Allen, now 28 years old, toed the line for her first ever triathlon in the JAX Triathlon Series #1. Her journey to the starting line began in high school where she specialized in freestyle distance and individual medley swimming.  Her coach, an Ironman athlete, who would jump in the water to do her workouts after she finished coaching her athletes, inspired her.  An Ironman was added to Cassady’s bucket list. But life would derail those dreams in the short term.  At 22 years of age, she was told that she would never be a successful runner due to new onset asthma, a condition she has never had before.  However, her physician did not know how stubborn Cassady can be. 

     Cassady set out to become a runner.  At first, she could get no farther than a quarter mile without sitting on the curb with her inhaler.  She persisted.  She signed up for a 5K and with the couch-to-5K program, she was able to finish.  A few years later, with her dogged determination, she extended her distances to 10K, half marathons, marathon, and then ultimately an ultra marathon, the first ever Gate2Gate 50K in 2016 which she would complete in 7:24:34.

     Over the time in which she transformed herself into a long distance runner, it would be leg injuries, not asthma that would ultimately slow her down.  First it was a knee, then a hip, then a foot, and finally the other knee. Her orthopedic team warned that further damage could end up in major surgery.  She was now limited to 20 miles a week of pounding the pavement. However, she was told she could swim and bike as much as she wanted.  So in the fall of 2016, already knowing many G3 members through running clubs and events, the decision to join G3 was made as she new she would need support, encouragement, and friendship while embarking upon this new adventure.  Cassady notes that this was one of the easiest decisions she has ever made.

     Cassady would finish that Jacksonville race in 1:25:00 and she was hooked.  She loved swimming in the ocean and feeling the breeze while riding her bike, which she described as peaceful.  She loved the atmosphere at the finish line.

     Cassady lists the Great Clermont Sprint Triathlon in March of 2019 as her best ever race as she was the 3rdoverall female finisher, a truly amazing accomplishment for someone with less than two years of racing under her belt.  She hasn’t been a huge fan of the biking, but has slowly learned to enjoy it.  She had her best bike ever that day on a very difficult bike course averaging 20.5 mph.  But Cassady finds that just being able to cross the finish line still amazes her that her body is able to carry her through the completion of each race.

     While Cassady has no triathlons that she’s like to forget, she does regret running the Disney Wine and Dine half marathon while battling a major knee injury.  She wasn’t medically cleared yet and was in terrible pain by the second mile. Maybe the worst pain was telling her physical therapist what she had done!

     Cassady has a couple of pre race routines she follows.  She packs and repacks her gear numerous times before loading her car, just to make sure she has everything she needs.  On race day, she lays out her transition spot in a similar fashion to ensure everything is just right.  Right before the race starts, she likes to sip on a Red Bull as she notes it gives her a little extra jolt of “go-get-it” right before the swim.

For people thinking about getting involved in triathlon, she advises, “Just got for it!”  She notes that it is okay to be excited, scared, nervous, etc. Everyone has a first experience with triathlons and felt the multitude of emotions that comes with it. Triathlons can be overwhelming but it helps to have a strong support system like G3!  And if you ever have questions, just ask!  If someone doesn’t know the answer, they probably know someone who does!

     Cassady is a Binder Lab Manager for the FL Dept of Transportation.  In layman’s terms, she is an asphalt chemist who “hides away in a lab all day and works on research projects for the State.”

     Outside of becoming faster, Cassady hopes to fulfill the Ironman dream that first inspired her in high school.  She plans on tackling that task at Ironman Maryland in 2019!  

G3 - Gainesville Tri-Club
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