Ryan Brown got all the incentive he needed a few minutes into the 10.6 kilometre run portion of the Capital Subaru St. John's Triathlon when he found out 10-time defending champion Steve Dyke was basically out of the picture.
Brown, a 24-year-old St. John’s native, said he had a brief chat with fellow competitor George Colbert about two minutes into the run.
“As I caught up to George I asked where Dyke was because I didn’t remember passing him and George said ‘way back,’ which really surprised me,” said Brown.
“Steve is quite a competitor and he’s a tough guy to beat,” said Ryan. “It was quite a shock when I found out I was in the lead.”
As it turned out, Dyke did not finish the run.
The 25th annual event included a one-kilometre swim in Healy’s Pond, two loops around Windsor Lake for 46 km on bike and the run through the Sunshine Camp trails and along Bennett’s Road.
“It’s a really good feeling… excellent,” said Brown about his first St. John’s triathlon victory.
“I had a good feeling before the race and I felt like I was getting stronger and stronger during the bike. It was tough mentally and physically because of the weather but by the run, I felt I could do it. It was just a good day.”
Brown, who was fourth out of the swim and seventh after the 46km bike ride, said conditions were miserable. Competitors had to put up with cold temperatures and a steady drizzle and rain.
“It was about 10 degrees. The water was very rough with breaking waves crashing in your face. It was a high wind on the highway… very rough… very cold,” said Brown.
“You try not to think about the weather,” he added. “You try to keep focused and try to stick to your strategy.”
Tyler Cole placed second followed by George Colbert, Shawn Miller and Nicholas Colbert.
The ladies race went to Michelle Young of Goulds in 2:38:44. She was followed by defending champion Caroline McIlroy and Kristy Hynes in third. Abigail Steel of Outer Cove was fourth and Stephanie Porter of St. John’s placed fifth.
The Sprint Distance race, half the standard distance event, was won by Jordan Baird in 1:04:57 followed by Shawn Stratton and Marty Whelan. Emily McIlroy was first in the ladies sprint in 1:26:51 with Sherry Grewal taking second and Joanne Hunt claiming third.
A total 133 competitors showed up for the 8 a.m. start which was delayed 20 minutes as organizers scrambled to secure the swim buoys which were blowing around the pond.
Brown, who didn’t compete in last year’s event due to a knee injury, was third in 2009.
He said he has no plans to compete in any more triathlons this season in this province, but he anticipates taking part in a half iron man event in Miami in October.