“our office Triathlete can beat your office triathlete”
Sept 1st for most people was a relaxing labour day, milking the last leisurely days out of Summer. For Robert “RJ” Johnson, a developer at Pointstreak’s Vancouver office, it was literally a day of labour. He was busy in Edmonton at the International Triathlon Union Grand Final where he competed in and won his age group for the Standard Distance amateur triathlon, burning through a 1500 swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run in a winning time of 01:56:23. This put him first overall in the male 30 to 34 category and third overall in the entire race.
It must have been the ‘warm up’ Sprint Distance he completed the Friday before. There he captured bronze.
Needless to say, victories like this don’t come overnight. They begin a long time before that with countless hours of training, extremely – and I mean mind-bogglingly – early morning swims before work or on weekends and other sacrifices. Robert gives some insight into the mind of a champion in an excerpt from his blog.
“There was a moment before Monday’s ITU World Championships Standard Distance 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. It was dark, it was early and it was cold. But I’d been here before. Many times in fact. I thought about all those mornings the alarm went off before 5am. I thought about all those days swimming outside in the cold, the dark (I’ve never missed one.. not one morning did that alarm go off and I shut it off). The morning I swam alone at the UBC Outdoor pool because the heater was broken and I was the only one who would get in. The days I pushed myself through one more interval to try to match Ryan or Steph or Martina. I thought about all those days riding my bike in the rain, the wind. Pushing myself harder to stay with Jeff or Clarke or Rob or Dylan. I thought about those training camps in Whistler. The year I was in so much pain due to yet another stress fracture that I couldn’t so much as walk. But I kept pushing. I thought about waking in the middle of the night in pain and taking tylenol-3’s to fall back asleep and the endless rehab it took to get stronger. I thought about all of that and I knew.. that no matter what, I’d done everything I could to get to this point and I was ready. 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.”
Robert first got introduced to triathlon back in 2008, when Vancouver colleagues Dominik, Matt and Andrej decided to participate in a try-a-tri. Robert, however, took things to the next level. One of Pointstreak’s core values is passion. And guys like Robert embody this value completely. Congratulations RJ!