Colorado Athletes in Kona: Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson


I train alone and coach myself – I am the owner/head coach of Dark Horse Triathlon (5 Kona athletes in 2016!)

I got involved in triathlon after just missing the US Rowing National Team as a lightweight rower in the early 2000s. At the urging of my girlfriend at the time, I entered my first Olympic distance and went on to win my AG after almost DNFing in the swim.

My road to Kona was paved first by competing for Team USA at ITU AG World Champs in Honolulu, Lausanne, Hamburg and Gold Coast, Australia, where I won a silver at the sprint distance in 2009. I also won gold at the sprint distance at ’15 ITU AG World Champs in Chicago in the M35-39 AG.

This will be my 7th time in Kona, having come in 3rd and 5th in my AG on the Big Island in ’11 and ’12 respectively. I had no expectations of going to Kona this year – I signed up for IM Boulder two days before the race with the intention of simply trying a few new things to see how it went. I wore hydration packs on both the bike and run and walked every aid station on the run…all as experiments to see how it affected my race as a whole. Needless to say, it all worked out well and I won my AG with a 9:05.

Having just turned 40 this year and with my most recent trip to Kona in ’13 not going so well, I decided that this would be my Kona swan song. I’m simply going to race without any expectations of performance and leave the island and race in my rear view mirror at peace with however the race ends up going.

The most important goal I have for Kona this year is being there to help with the athletes I have racing. Two of my five athletes are returning this year after having been on the podium of their respective age groups in 2015 – we’re looking to improve on those performances!


Steve’s athletes racing this year are:

Jim Barron

Colleen Capper (5th in AG at Kona last year)

Natalie Grabow (2nd in AG at Kona last year)

Chris Martin





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