Casey Boren is a Boise native and a regular at TriTown who qualified for the 2015 Kona Ironman, and just so happens to have Type 1 Diabetes.
Casey’s Ironman journey began ten years ago when he decided to register for the 2005 Ironman Coeur d’Alene with the goal of simply finishing the race. “Being fairly new to endurance sports, I didn’t really know what to expect,” expressed Casey. While training for this race, Casey lost 25 pounds (over a year) and experienced what he thought was “bonking” during some of my longer training efforts; complete energy loss to the point of confusion and vomiting. Casey rationalized these occurrences as normal for extensive Ironman training. He finished his first Ironman in Coeur d’Alene with an incredible time of 13:07 and was completely hooked on the sport. After taking a couple of months of down time, Casey had ramped up his training after registering for the 2006 Ironman Canada. Again, the previous symptoms of bonking, extreme fatigue, leg cramping and excessive thirst returned and he knew there was something wrong. At that point, Casey decided to consult a physician.
“At 34 years old, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes,” said Boren. While this news came as a shock, it explained many of the symptoms he had been experiencing during his training in the past year. Shortly after, Casey started insulin therapy and was able to lower his blood sugar level and noticed immediate improvements. “Since that time, I have completed 13 Ironman races, shaving off over three hours since my diagnosis,” stated Boren. Casey’s experience with diabetes over the last ten years has inspired him to take a far more active role in connecting with other diabetics and helping them lead a healthier lifestyle.
Casey is now the proud co-founder of the Diabetes Sports Project (DSP). DSP is comprised of elite diabetic athlete ambassadors who educate and inspire the diabetes community to achieve their goals and aspirations. The athlete ambassadors demonstrate that through proper diet, exercise, a positive outlook and effective diabetes management, dreams can be achieved. Casey will be racing this October in Kona along with his good friend and DSP athlete, Ben Semeyn, who qualified at IM Arizona after placing 2nd in the 30-34 age group.
If you’ve ever competed in an Ironman before, you know that Ironman is a sport of planning, nutrition, determination and execution. “During the upcoming race in Kona, I will need to closely monitor my blood sugar level, consume nearly 4,000 calories and adjust my insulin through My Animas Vibe insulin pump I wear,” said Boren.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that currently an estimated 29.1 million Americans suffer with diabetes. In 2014, diabetes was seventh highest cause of death in the United States. “I feel that recognizing DSP and its athletes in Kona will increase awareness of these staggering statistics and the seriousness of living with diabetes.” emphasized Boren. Casey and the DSP organization hope to inspire diabetics – and anyone – to recognize their potential, and see that any goal is achievable. Let us also help Casey achieve one of his greatest goals, by having DSP become the number one Sports and Diabetes resource!
Casey is an inspiration to us at TriTown, and will continue to be for athletes worldwide; his encouragement and story will be the key to helping athletes reach and accomplish the goals of their hearts. It has been a sincere pleasure getting to know Casey and we are wishing him and Ben Semeyn all the best at Kona this year; as well as at Ironman 70.3 Worlds in Mooloolaba, Queensland after qualifying at Racine 70.3. If you have any questions about DSP or Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, please don’t hesitate to contact Casey at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find more information about the Diabetes Sports Project, along with training and nutritional tips for diabetic athletes at http://www.diabetessportsproject.com/ starting October 10.