Chilliwack triathlete wins world title

Chilliwack's Robert Johnson topped the field at the International Triathlon Union full-distance triathlon in Edmonton.

Chilliwack’s Robert Johnson is a world triathlon champion, winning last weekend’s International Triathlon Union World Grand Final in Edmonton.

Johnson competed in two races, starting with the sprint distance on Friday.

He placed third in his men’s 30-34 age group, covering the course in 1:02:55.

Johnson finished close behind American Matt Migonis (1:01:06) and Great Britain’s Paul Ryman (1:01:26), then exacted revenge in Sunday’s full-distance triathlon.

Johnson started strong in the 1500 metre open-water swim, clocking the seventh fastest time at 19 minutes and 55 seconds. Lightning quick in the first transition, he headed out on the 40 km bike stage, completing that in 57:34.

Johnson faced a deficit heading into the 10 km run, but with first place in sight, he recorded the second fastest time at 34:35.

The stretch run was epic, with Johnson surging ahead to beat American Mark Tripp by one minute and 13 seconds.

Johnson’s final time was 1:56:23.

Tripp’s was 1:57:10.

Ryman was third at 1:57:45.

“There was a moment before Monday’s race when I escaped from the chaos to a quiet hallway, closed my eyes and thought about all the days it took to get there,” he wrote in his online blog at “I thought about all those mornings the alarm went off before 5 a.m., all those days swimming outside in the cold, the dark. I thought about all those days riding my bike in the rain, the wind. I didn’t feel even a twinge of nervousness because in my mind, I had trained for years with the best and there was nothing that anyone could throw at me that I couldn’t handle.”

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