The 20th annual Triple Threat Triathlon kicked off Saturday with sunshine and 61-degree water.
The first of three triathlons organized by Joint Base Lewis-McChord FMWR saw familiar faces lead the pack across the finish line at Shoreline Park. Nick Johnson, last years Triple Threat Crown male winner, finished the 750- meter swim, 15-mile bike ride and 3-mile run first overall in a personal best 1 hour, 5 minutes, 8 seconds. The 25-year-old shaved nearly two minutes off his normal time.
I had a good race, Johnson said. Ive been training in the winter for a big race next weekend that Ive been kind of resting up for. Im definitely well prepared this year.
Johnson, along with second place overall finisher, Dane Ballou, will compete in the Iron Man Coeur dAlene this weekend. Ballou, 18, crossed the finish line with a time of 1:09:01 and packed up his gear to race north to Silverdale, where he graduated from Klahowya Secondary School later Saturday. This year marks Ballous third time competing in the annual JBLM triathlon, where he has collected three third-place finishes, one first-place finish and now a second-place finish.
It was a great race to shake off the dust, Ballou said.
Jacqueline Bolt also has competed in previous Triple Threat Triathlons, but last Saturday marked her first victory with her time of 1:20:24. Like Ballou, Bolt rushed out of Shoreline Park after the triathlon to get to work on time at the McChord Pool, where she is a lifeguard.
Im always out here to have fun and get a good workout, Bolt said.
Among the familiar faces were also first-time competitors. Brandon Shroyer, a C-17 instructor pilot at JBLM, and his wife Katherine made their triathlon debuts. Brandon played water polo at the Air Force Academy while Katherine played water polo at the University of California at Davis. Katherine dominated the swim and maintained a lead until the run when Brandon caught her. The couple enjoyed the new challenge of the competition.
Now we know the parts were bad at, Brandon said. For me, the swim, the bike and run. And for (Katherine) the bike and run.
The couple had just returned from a two-week trip to Florida the week of the triathlon.
Besides walking around Disney World we havent done any physical activity, Katherine said.
The Shroyers plan to return for the second race of the series July 21 to improve their marks.
The popular event attracted 94 triathletes this year. Competitors chose to start the race with either the 250- or 750-meter swim at American Lake. Once out of the water, wet suits gave way to bicycle clothing, goggles were replaced with sunglasses and swim caps were changed out for helmets as competitors took off for a 7 1/2 mile ride through Lewis North, then turned around for a 7 1/2 mile return for another transition. Johnson cycled in and transitioned to his running shoes and was back out on the course for a couple minutes before anyone followed.
The final leg of the race was a 1 1/2 mile run toward Russell Landing and back to cross the finish line. While competitors raced in and out of the transition area, the band Backlash provided live musical entertainment for the spectators.
Prizes were awarded to first, second and third-place finishers in each age group and elite divisions.