Male Triathlete of the Year – Charlie JohnsonPresented by Jason Hand January 15, 2011
It is my honor tonight to present the award for Gulf Winds Track Club Male Triathlete of the Year. This triathlete has been competing in triathlons for just over two years. He worked hard and had a very successful rookie season in 2009. Picking up where he left off, in 2010, he became one of the top triathletes in his age group in the nation. He is currently ranked third in his age-group in Florida by USA Triathlon — earning him all-American honors. You must excel to become a USAT all-American, and our male triathlete of the year has done that and more.
During the past season, he raced in all four major triathlon distance categories – Sprint, Olympic, Half-Ironman, and Ironman. He opened the 2010 season by winning his age-group at Red Hills Sprint Triathlon in April. Then, seeking a major challenge, he entered his first Ironman event. He jumped into the deep end and went for one of the toughest Ironman races in America – Ironman St. George. In this grueling, mountainous race, he finished 15TH in his age-group with a time of 10:59.
He subsequently returned to Florida and the Maderia Beach Sprint Triathlon, finishing 10th in the Elite Division, competing against the pros and top amateurs. He followed that up by winning his age-group in the Morton Plant Mease Sprint Triathlon in June.
He saved his best races for the fall, winning the Beach Blast Olympic Triathlon in 1:55. At Ironman Augusta 70.3, he finished 7th in his age-group in 4:23, qualifying for the Half-Ironman World Championships. For his second Ironman race for the year — Ironman Florida – he finished in 9:41, 14th in his age-group. One week later – one week after Ironman Florida — he capped-off his season with the Foster Grant Half-Ironman World Championships in Clearwater Beach, finishing 37th in his age-group in 4:25.
When Gulf Winds Triathletes and our primary sponsor, K-Swiss, sought a male ambassador to step-in for the injured Tony Guillen, tonight’s recipient was selected for this honor. He has carried the club banner high at all times. He just won the Gulf Winds Triathletes Grand Prix competition for his age-group and the Top Gun award for fastest time in an Olympic triathlon.
Not only is he a great competitor, but he is one of the nicest and humblest persons you will ever meet. No matter who you are or what level you may be at in the sport, he always provides encouragement and a helping hand when needed. Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s all give a big round of applause to the Gulf Winds Track Club Male Triathlete of the Year — Charlie Johnson!