Father Remembers His ‘Superstar’ Son Who Collapsed at Dam to DSM Race


Chase Flack

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JEFFERSON, Iowa -- “Things that he could do, at times he was my hero, my superstar. He was just good at everything,” Craig Flack, Chase’s father said.

A Jefferson father is trying to figure out how his son could scale Mount Everest last month but this weekend die before he crossed the finished line of a race in Des Moines.

Flack describes his son, Chase, as active, healthy and adventurous. Chase and his brother, Clint, ran the 12.4-mile Dam to DSM race Saturday morning, but Chase died before he could finish that race.

“Months down the road when you’re sitting there alone, that’s when it’s going to be hard,” said Flack. He says there wasn't much his son couldn't do.

“You could strap some skis on him or rollerblades, it didn’t matter what. He was really handy, he really could do anything, bike, snowmobiles, any kind of extreme sport. If it wasn`t extreme, he'd make it,” Flack said.

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Growing up on hundreds of acres, jumping off ramps and zipping through trails on dirt bikes was an almost every day activity.

“Chase lived his life with no regrets and the throttle wide open,” Flack said.

That's why it was no surprise to Flack when Chase decided to climb Mount Everest just two weeks ago, but still the father worried during Chase’s dangerous hike.

“When he got home, I was like, ‘dodged a bullet there, thank gosh. I don't have to worry now,’ you know, so you never know,” Flack said. “I didn't tell him not to go to Everest so I can't really tell him not to go run Dam to DSM.”

Running with his younger brother side by side, Chase was near the finish line when he collapsed.

“Stronger than heck and just bulletproof,” Flack said. “That’s what I thought. I thought, ‘if they get them going, he’s bulletproof, he’ll make it, he’ll get it.” But Chase never made it out of the hospital.

“If he didn’t feel quite right at the five mile mark, he would’ve kept going, because chase didn’t know quit. I mean he had he had a heart of a lion, he didn’t know quit,” Flack said.

Right now the family doesn't have any answers to what caused Chase to die Saturday. All they have is memories of the son who not only is the winning-est wrestler in Greene County High School history, but also a great man, with a great personality.

“You know he could just disarm anybody with a smile,” Flack said.

That smile is just one of the things his whole family is going to remember about the son and brother taken too soon.

“We’re just gonna have to give each other support because I know what it's like to lose a brother, and he’s going to need it, just like we all will,” Flack said.

Chase also has two younger sisters, one of which was also running in the Dam to DSM race.

Flack said it was hard talking about his son's death just 24 hours after he collapsed, but with all the outpouring support from not only the running community, but all of Iowa, he wanted everyone to know who Chase was.

Flack has a big event planned June 22 at his River Farm Recreation business in Jefferson that he is now going to put on in remembrance of his son.


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