Twenty-four years since his first XTERRA, Alabama's Casey Fannin is still Runnin' Wild!
XTERRA Athlete Profile: Casey Fannin
Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama
Occupation: “Hustling Scrap” … For 30 years Fannin has been buying and selling catalytic converters. “Basically I buy used Catalytic Converters off Salvage Cars or Muffler Shops. They are then recycled for their content of Precious Metals.”
Racing Division: 60-64
Credentials: 3x XTERRA World Champion (2012, 2009, 2005), 2012 ITU Cross Tri World Champion, 11x XTERRA Southeast Region Champ, 2002 & 2007 Double Survivor (Ironman Worlds+XTERRA Worlds), and 2010 Mr. XTERRA Award Winner. He did his first XTERRA in 1998!
QnA, from April 1, 2021:
XTERRA: Tell me about the Tornado that rocked Shelby County, AL on March 25, were you impacted?
Casey Fannin: We were in the track, under the gun, so were watching the news and ya know, now with the radar they can show you pretty pinpoint accurate where the debris field is moving. They had it spot-on, so it missed us here in Hoover/Birmingham, but Shelby got it good. One of my friends’ – Danny, he’s going to race XTERRA, his house in Old Town Helena was totaled. He had a couple 100-year-old trees surrounding his 103-year-old house and those trees feel right down through the middle of the house, a complete loss.
XT: We heard the XTERA Oak Mountain course trails and expo area is alright?
CF: Yea, the XTERRA side of the park is good, the trouble was on the back side, those back lakes. The rest of trail is in really good shape - rocky and rooty as it's ever been and should be super fun. BUMP is even doing a face-lift on Johnson's Mountain so that'll be fun to see too. In fact, I’m going to rally some people to pre-ride with me on April 17.
XT: Tell us about the Saturday, April 17 Pre-Ride
CF: The plan is to do the full course bike loop. I haven’t set a time yet, but I’m thinking 10am so it’s not too early or too late. It’ll be three weeks before the race so a good time for everyone to figure their tire selection and dial their bikes in. If the weather is good, we can hit some of the run too.
XT: How can I join the ride?
CF: Hit me up on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/casey.fannin.16
XT: How’s the COVID situation in Birmingham?
CF: It’s looking up. We’ve still got the mask mandate and social distancing cues, but the vaccine roll-out is going well here. I got my first dose and the second one is coming up.
XT: XTERRA Oak Mountain is a little earlier this year, May 8, what do you think water temp in Double Oak Lake will be?
CF: It’ll be in the low-70s I’d guess, but hard to say, depends on how many warm days we have in the next month. We didn’t have a super cold winter, so if we get some 80-degree days that can warm the water up pretty quick because the lake isn’t that deep. Still, I would guess a wetsuit swim, so best to bring it.
XT: What else should people bring to XTERRA Oak Mountain?
CF: Whatever you need for your bike, because the bike shops are going nuts, they’re selling everything they can get – tires, tubes, parts, it’s insane how crazy busy the bike business is right now.
XT: Best BBQ Spot in Town?
CF: C’mon man, you know I can’t answer that. Dreamland, Saw’s, Jim ’N Nick’s, Full Moon – they’re all great and have their own flavor and style. Try ‘em all is my advice.
XT: First XTERRA memory?
CF: Well, I remember ’97 Ruston but I didn’t race that year. I was tuning up for a Gulf Coast road tri. But in ’98 it was Nashville. That’s when I first met Dave weed-wacking a bunch of poison ivy with shorts on. Race day was one of the hottest days on record, like 103, and people were falling everywhere. It was brutal, and I was hooked. So much better than road tris, had the grassroots old school vibe and I was good at it because I could mountain bike, and back then a lot of mountain bikers couldn’t swim so, man, it was fun.
XT: You’re a young buck in the 60-64 ranks, what’s the goal this year?
CF: Ah, I just want to race and have a good time. I’m not getting into the serious competition training like I once did. Honestly, I’m just glad y’all are coming down. XTERRA is BACK! And I think it’s going to blow up, people are hungry to get out and do something, and XTERRA is perfect … do the 5K or the full off-road tri, come mountain bike, swim in the lake. It’s outdoors, all kinds of room to social distance and enjoy the park and the people. I can’t wait.