In 1991, Micah Adams, a 23-year-old junior studying exercise physiology, was born in Wytheville, Virginia, where he would take off running for passion, purpose and life.
When he was 2 years old, his family moved to Pullman, Washington, where he would one day leave his mark on his peers and the community.
In 2014, Adams created a personal goal to train for the 2016 Olympic Trials.
Adams said his family grew up loving soccer, a sport he said was the universal sport within the family.
But Adams never played soccer. He decided to play his own sport.
He attended Pullman High School, where he participated in cross-country and track.
Adams said he became a runner because his mother urged him to run on the high school cross-country team.
Adams said from his sophomore through senior year of high school, he consistently finished in the top three at each cross-country event.
Because of his results, he qualified for state each year, which turned him into the school’s No. 1 ranked runner.
Adams said he was consistent with his results throughout high school, yet his consistency did not mount to a college scholarship to run at the next level.
He said because the number of students at his high school was so large, it hurt his chances at getting a scholarship.
Adams said he did not run for three years after he graduated high school.
Adams said after high school, he decided to serve a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was called to serve in Tucson, Arizona.
He said when he returned from his mission, his passion for running had disappeared.
Adams said it wasn’t until 2014, when he came to Rexburg for school, that he tied his laces back up.
“A roomie asked me to run the Teton Dam Half-Marathon with him,” Adams said.
Adams said the race was scheduled for six weeks after his roommates’ offer, and he had never before run 13 miles.
Adams finished the Teton Dam Half-Marathon with a time of 1 hour, 16 minutes, 15 seconds, making him the second runner to cross the finish line.
According to ChronoTrack’s website, Adams’ time is the fourth fastest in the last five years of the event.
Adams said the half marathon ignited a flame within him. He said he felt he had something to prove, since no colleges wanted him after high school.
In September 2014, his father was diagnosed with cancer.
“Once my dad was diagnosed, the goal I have took on a new meaning,” Adams said.
He said his family then created the “Adams Bracelet,” similar to the Livestrong wristband, to wear as a way to unify the family during a tough time.
Adams said the bracelet became his motivation to put his personal best on the line everyday.
He said he decided to turn to the people with whom he had made connections during his high school cross-country days to help him in his preparation for the 2016 Olympic Trials.
He traveled to Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington to train for the trials and to prepare for a marathon at the end of 2015.
Adams’ roommate, Hyrum Webb, a junior studying communication, said that Adams usually runs in the early morning hours, around 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. four days a week and also runs in place in a pool two days week.
Adams said the pool running helps to relieve stress on his knees and increase his endurance.
He said it is a change from his daily routine that works important muscles that are used for running.
Adams said he ran his first full-length marathon in 2 hours, 38 minutes, making him the overall winner.
To qualify for the 2016 Olympic Trials, males must run the marathon in 2 hours, 18 minutes according to the USA Track and Field Web page.
Adams said to be sponsored, he has to run the distance in 2 hours, 15 minutes.
Adams said he has until January 2016 to get to the 2 hours, 18 minutes mark, and he plans to run a marathon in December with hopes of reaching a time of 2 hours, 25 minutes—seven minutes below the required qualifying pace.
Adams said when he told his peers of his Olympic dreams,they told him that it was an unreachable goal and that he was crazy.
He said that this was difficult and made him contemplate whether he should give up on his Olympic dream.
He said he has received a great deal of support from many people as well.
Webb said he thinks Adams is respected because he is true to himself and does not let others negatively influence him.
Adams said he does not believe sympathy for his father’s health makes the difference in how he is perceived.
“It is the attitude of trying my best everyday by being my best each day,” Adams said.