Standup Journal caught up with the overall winner of this year’s 80-mile open ocean competitive stand up paddle race, the Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis, about her amazing capture of the overall win for a solo paddler. Kiernan says she had “the time of her life” out there and her WHY as well as her training plan brought her success across the finish line.
Skimboarding 2X World Champion Casey Kiernan Dominates at Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis
Casey Kiernan, at 27 years old, is no stranger to watersports. She is a 2-time Women’s World Champion in skimboarding. She grew up learning to surf on Lake Worth beach in Florida, site of the finish for this year’s Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis. Kiernan is a dietician from Palm Beach Gardens who learned how to paddle a year and a half ago.
Then, as so many tell it, she met Travis Suit, founder of the Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis event and driving force behind the Piper’s Angels Foundation non-profit, named for his daughter Piper who was diagnosed with CF at age four. In 2019, Kiernan became the counseling dietician for the Cystic Fibrosis community in Palm Beach, Florida. This put her in regular touch with Travis Suit’s powerful inspiration and motivational force. Kiernan says that between her career and skimboarding background, it all made sense for her to sign up for the 2021 Crossing event.
Training throughout 2020 on a Riviera pintail stand up raceboard, Kiernan became familiar with all types of ocean conditions while working the squirrely raceboard underfoot. When she joined the Jupiter, Florida paddling community, she met John Meskauskas of Flying Fish Board Co. and multiple mentors who helped her to train for the 2021 Crossing.
Nutrition & Hydration On Point for Crossing
Casey’s careful training, nutrition and hydration plans were the cornerstones of her success for this year’s Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis. She purposefully started her nutrition plan 3 months out from the June 2021 80-mile competitive crossing. Her hydration plan was equally well tuned for such an endurance paddle. Her mental game included her WHY of pushing through the discomfort of training and smarmy seas in order to raise awareness for and experience the arduous path of what true CF warriors have to go through every day in order to maintain their health. Casey’s close contact with that community made her purpose all the more poignant in every step of her preparations.
As she explains, “I wanted to make sure I was as prepared as possible. I was not going to lose by 2 minutes because I had had a drink in the week before the event or a slice of pizza when I knew I shouldn’t. I was as focused on my goal as I could be and I was not stopping until I was done.”
Casey’s stunning 1st place finish, in which she paused outside the final buoys to wait for her friend and training partner Ryan Burgess, is a testament to the sportsmanship by which she lives. Ultimately, she knew she had to cross the finish line alone and capture the win. She surfed her Flying Fish Board in to the beach, ran through the finish and broke down in tears. All the preparation, challenging moments of the crossing and awareness of what she had just completed for the CF community came flooding forth. In a moment where many athletes find triumph, Casey Kiernan found her grace.
Absolute Success: $600,000 Raised for Cystic Fibrosis
Congratulations to Casey and to ALL the paddlers from this year’s spectacular event. 140 paddlers launched from the beach in Bimini this year to raise over $600,000 for programs that directly support the Cystic Fibrosis community. For full results from this year’s paddle, click on:
For more information about the 2021 Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis, go to:
Stay tuned for more news and updates from this year’s Crossing at www.standupjournal.com.
Bravo to every paddler. We salute you. Aloha.