McKinney, Texas -- Husband and wife triathletes, Tyler and Ashley Johnson, of Dallas, won individual champions crowns yesterday in the 10th Annual Stonebridge Ranch Triathlon.
He felt the heat
Despite the cool morning temperatures, Tyler, 31-years-old, felt the competition heating up during the run when his closest competitor, Richie Conry, 29-years-old of Garland, closed within a minute to catching Johnson on the run with less than two miles to the finish.
"On the run Richie was getting really close to me but I knew it was all uphill going out and downhill coming home, so I saved up for that last push home," said the multiple-time winner of the race.
Johnson was second out of the water, finishing the 1-mile course in 21 minutes, 45 seconds but closed the 30-second gap over Grayson Kepler, of Allen, TX, within just a couple of miles of the start of the 22-mile bike leg. Kepler would later be disqualified during the run for an undisclosed rule viloation.
Johnson was the first to start the 6.2-mile run and used a 6:23 per mile pace to hold off Conry and finish in 1:57:08.
Conry crossed the line second in 1:58:04, and Trent Tucker, 35-years-old of Dallas, finished third with a time of 2:03:17.
She schooled the field
Ashley put on a lesson on how to race. She lead the contest from wire-to-wire by posting race-day best times in each of the swim, bike, and run events.
"The swim was OK and my transition was aweful," she said about the tricky, slip-and-slide, grassy downhill path from the water to the transition area. "The run is so hard. Having to go uphill right after the bike is tough. Thankfully the second half is downhill."
Johnson raced the course once before, in 2009, finishing in second place. This year she was the first woman to break the tape in a time of 2:04:01 placing her fourth overall out of 334 male and female competitors.
Faith Cooke, 25-years-old of Tyler, TX, finished eight minutes later to win the silver medal and Georgia Steenberge, 28-years-old of Sandpoint, Idaho rounded out the podium in 2:16:58.
Complete results are found HERE.