MADISON, Ind. (July 2004) At 64 degrees, the water temperature
last June 6 at Indiana Downs in Shelbyville was cold enough to induce
hypothermia. John Crawley and Stacy Hosmer of Madison, Ind., had come
prepared. Before getting in, they donned protective wetsuits. After
swimming a half mile, they each quickly changed from the suits and
mounted their bicycles for a 16-mile ride, followed by a three-mile
run. It was the couple's first triathlon.
by Ruth Wright
Crawley and Stacy Hosmer of Madison.
"I felt like that was the hardest thing that I had ever done
of my own free will," said Crawley, owner of Crawley Heating
"We didn't know what to expect," said Hosmer, who admitted
to being somewhat surprised to finish first in her age group with
a time of 1:37:51.6. Not bad for someone who just a few years ago
didn't even like to run. "She started running with me when we
met," said Crawley.
Crawley, 35, and Hosmer, 31, who are engaged to wed this summer, have
a lot in common. Both were high school athletes and both enjoy physical
fitness. Crawley is a native of Santa Claus, Ind., where he attended
Heritage Hills High School and competed in football and track throughout
his high school career. Hosmer, 31, attended Southwestern High School
in Hanover, where she competed in a variety of sports including softball,
swimming and track and field.
Last year the husband-and-wife-to-be competed in a total of three
triathlons, including a team event on June 21 in which Hosmer took
on the swimming and running legs of the race, while Crawley tackled
biking. They finished third in their division.
Although relatively new to triathlons, Crawley and Hosmer compete
regularly in long distance running events. That included this year
the Triple Crown of Running mini-marathon during the Kentucky Derby
Festival in Louisville. They also have competed in several local events,
including runs sponsored by the Madison State Hospital, the Madison
Regatta Festival and Girls Inc.
Hosmer transitions to bicycle at the Shelbyville Triathlon.
The triathlons in which they competed last year were part of the
Shelbyville Classic Triathlon Series coordinated by Tuxedo Brothers
Event Management of Zionsville, Ind. The company specializes in running,
walking and multi-sports events throughout the state.
It takes a lot of dedication to prepare for a triathlon. Crawley and
Hosmer had trained year-round to get in shape for last year's competition,
stepping up their normal workout routine. In the winter they swam
at Southwestern High School and in the summer at Hereford Lake.
"What we've learned is that you have to create your own training
preparation," said Hosmer. Crawley admitted that isn't always
easy, especially after working a 14-hour day. Sometimes, he gets up
at 5 a.m. to swim or run before heading off to work. In addition,
it takes at least a couple of weeks to recuperate from a triathlon,
according to Hosmer.
Crawley and Hosmer said during last year's competition they picked
up a few tricks of the trade by watching their competitors that will
help them in the future. One thing they learned was a faster way to
change shoes and clothes, a necessary but time-consuming step in between
events that is included in final times. "You're not just racing
when you're swimming, biking and running, but you're also racing to
change clothes in between," Crawley explained.
Hosmer and John Crawley after a recent competition.
Although they often compete alongside each other, both Crawley and
Hosmer said that the competition is always friendly. They even once
crossed the finish line holding hands. "I like to compete but
I don't compete as much against other people as I do to better myself,"
Both plan to enter triathlons on July 25 and Aug. 1 but will forego
the Firecracker 10K during the Madison Regatta Festival for something
more important their wedding day. The couple will marry
on July 3.