Casey Gage

Casey grew up in Michigan and went to college in Boston, but she did not start running until she moved to Houston. In 2011 she decided to start taking short jogs in her neighborhood in an attempt to lose weight. A few months later her husband Ron, who was already a runner, suggested she enter a race. He thought it would encourage her to train harder, and he was right. Casey says she caught the running bug and was hooked after that. A year later, she finished her first half marathon in 1-hour, 55-minutes. Ron was surprised at how fast she ran and insisted that she should be proud to have broken 2-hours in her first Half. Casey says she became more focused and started working to run faster with each new race. However, over time, she became discouraged because she did not see much improvement. She was frustrated and found herself not enjoying the sport. Then, a co-worker suggested she contact Al Lawrence. Casey says that when she spoke to him on the phone, she told him she was not very fast, but she loved running and wanted to get better. Within a couple months, she found herself thriving under Al’s leadership. Her attitude changed and she felt like a new person. In December 2015, 3-weeks before the Aramco Half Marathon, Al had included a 10-mile tempo run in Casey’s schedule. She says she was horrified when she saw the workout because she had never run anything that fast for that long. On the day of the dreaded workout, Casey came to Memorial Park, but it was raining terribly and she did not see another soul on the trail. Al knew her concerns, and he also showed up at the Park just before she started running. He sat in his car while she ran the first 3-laps. Every time she ran past his car, he would jump out and call out her split. Then, for the last mile, they both went to the quarter-mile track, and Al stood there in the pouring rain calling out her times. When she finally finished, she was crying because she was overwhelmed with fatigue and joy, but she was also thankful for her coach who gave her the confidence to succeed, even when she thought it was impossible.