Weekend Warrior: Construction exec Adam Weir wants to become the oldest person to complete an Ironman

The VP of Adera's construction division is already putting in the groundwork

As the vice-president of construction and customer service at Vancouver-based Adera Development, Adam Weir is responsible for the entire 33-person construction division of the real estate development company. He was also the impetus for an annual company-wide fitness challenge that started in 2011—long before he added titles like “25-time marathon competitor” and “five-time Ironman competitor” to his Strava profile.

“When I was younger, I was always into some sort of fitness,” says Weir, who grew up in London, U.K. “I was lifting weights or playing soccer or running here and there. When I immigrated [to Vancouver], by no means was I overweight—until maybe my mid-30s.”

Weir put on 90 pounds over 10 years, and though he wasn’t aware of it at the time, his deteriorating health inspired a co-worker to start the Adera Fitness Challenge (now the Adera Wellness Challenge), where employees track calories through an app and the person to burn the most wins. In 2011, there was also a side bet (aptly and very originally called The Biggest Loser), in which participants pooled $400 as a prize. It was just the motivation Weir needed. “I remember telling my wife, I’m gonna win that and buy a new set of golf clubs,” he says.

Weir started going on walks, which turned into “run for a song, walk for a song,” and so on until, in the end, he burned more calories than anyone else. But his gains (and losses, if you will) went beyond new golf clubs. He started qualifying for major marathons (his first being Boston in 2015), followed by shorter-distance triathlons, and, eventually, half-Ironmans.

Ironman competitor Adam Weir

“I don’t think there’s a harder one-day sport than Ironman,” says Weir. That’s a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.22-mile run, in that order, for a whopping 140.6 miles to conquer altogether. “At the peak of training, you’re hitting about 25 hours a week,” he adds.

To do that, the real estate exec started waking up before 5 a.m., biking into work from Coquitlam, swimming or running during lunch, biking back home (at elevation) and then doing strength training.

By the time Ironman Whistler came around in 2014, Weir was ready. “Everything was perfect,” he says, referring to the weather, course and crowd. He placed 56th out of 219 in the 45-49 age division and found himself getting emotional about it: “I couldn’t believe how far I had come, and I wanted more.”

But the following year in Whistler was the worst. “It was super cold,” he recalls. “I remember riding on the bike thinking, I’m pretty sure I’ve got hypothermia here. I was just shivering uncontrollably.” But with friends and family watching, he pushed to the finish line, and then some.

Ironman competitor and construction exec Adam Weir

Over the next few years, Weir completed four out of the six World Marathon Majors (with Tokyo and Berlin still on the horizon), and three more Ironmans.

His favourite was Austria in 2017. “The bike ride was through the foothills of the Alps,” he says. “Lots of trees, snow-capped mountains with sharp peaks. I don’t think I’ve swum in such clear, natural water since. And the support was spectacular; it felt, in stages, like you were doing the Tour de France, where people lined up by the side of you, cheering you on from verandas and bars.” He ranked 71st out of 338 in the 50-54 division, and 902nd out of 2,869 overall.

It’s hard, but “you get a huge buzz out of it,” he contends. With three grown kids and a grandchild, Weir is determined to stay fit—and he hopes to one day hold the record for the oldest person to ever complete an Ironman. “I want to be around for as long as possible, and I want to be as healthy as long as possible,” he says. “If it wasn’t for the Adera  challenge, God knows where my health would be right now.”

Warrior Spotlight

Founded in 1969, Adera Development is a Vancouver-based real-estate development company with 68 staff on board. Adam Weir joined as a carpenter 32 years ago and now, as vice-president of construction and customer service, he oversees projects from start to finish. The company specializes in mass timber and has developed more than 11,500 homes, townhomes and condos, plus four million square feet of commercial space.