Jason Case’s company website boasts that it’s the leader in snow removal. Recently, the Saint Anselm College business grad, owner of Case Snow Management in Attleboro, Mass., became the leader in something else: a reality TV game show viewed by 10 million people.Case and his girlfriend, Amy Diaz, ran across the finish line of “The Amazing Race” in Juneau, Alaska, holding hands. They had competed against 10 other couples and had six second-place finishes as they covered approximately 35,000 miles in the course of the contest.
Case and Diaz learned they had been selected for the cast of the 23rd season of “The Amazing Race” just after the Boston Marathon bombing last April. The competition ended in July, and the finale aired in December.
In nine countries, including Japan, Norway, and Indonesia, the couple shared such joys as eating cobra meat, rappelling down the side of a glacier, and jumping into a freezing fiord. They raced a Formula One car, built a robot, and boiled eggs in a hot spring. Their final challenge was to build a wall of totem poles using the first letter of the currency of all the countries in which they competed.
The competition, including some days off, took about eight weeks. After a day’s worth of competition, teams were allowed 12 hours for rest, but that time was often taken up with interviews, meals and laundry, so there was little time to sleep.
Both New Englanders, Case and Diaz say that the “Boston Strong” response to the marathon attack was a major factor in winning the $1 million prize. The two agree that the two toughest legs of the race were in Norway (125 miles inside the Arctic Circle) and Juneau.
“But we never gave up, and we thought of our New England sports teams along the way…teams who have done likewise for many years,” says Case, who describes himself as a big fan of the Red Sox, Patriots and Bruins. “They always keep fighting, so we kept fighting. We knew we could win. Coming in second only encouraged us to get better, like the Sox and the Patriots. ‘Boston Strong’ speaks volumes for us.”
“The Amazing Race” is ultimately a mental game, one where being mentally tough and preparing your mind for stressful situations is key,” says Case, noting that his Saint Anselm experience of balancing academics and athletics was a plus. “You can only battle physical toughness with mental toughness.”
Case displayed a fair share of toughness on the football field. In 32 games over four seasons—the first four after the school reinstated football as a varsity sport—he caught 56 passes for 752 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also had some experience with winning. During his four seasons, the Hawks went a combined 20-19.
In his day job, Jason Case is concerned with snow: pushing it, hauling it, and melting it. He is the president of Case Snow Management, which provides consultation and guidance to winter operations managers and contractors throughout New England. Under his leadership, the company has grown to more than six million in revenues and 300 locations.
He developed business management acumen at Saint Anselm, and later earned a certificate of professional achievement in construction project management at Northeastern University.
Michael McGuinness, a professor in the Department of Economics and Business, remembers him as being outgoing and having a good sense of humor. The professor jokes that he would like a little credit for Case’s success, too: “He must have learned in international business class about how to negotiate around those nine countries.”