Jimmie Johnson takes a wrong turn, loses track position in first half-triathlon

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Jimmie Johnson knows how to get around racetracks. But when it comes to a half-triathlon, he could use a map or GPS to keep him pointed in the right direction.

The six-time Sprint Cup champion took part in a half-triathlon on Saturday in Naples, Florida. Also competing were fellow NASCAR drivers Josh Wise and Landon Cassill.

While Wise and Cassill kept it on the straight and narrow, such was not the case for Johnson.

He made a wrong turn and got lost for a short while.

Oh boy, did he ever get lost.

Things went well in the swimming (1.2 miles) and the 13.1-mile running competition for Johnson.

But when it came to the 56-mile bike ride, Johnson went off-course – missing the first turn, no less, and then pedaled over a mile in the wrong direction (and then had to retrace his steps for yet another mile-plus) – to the tune of an extra 2.3 miles.

All told, Johnson covered the entire 70 miles – well, in his case, 72.3 miles – in four hours, 42 minutes.

“I was hoping to do 4 (hours), 30 (minutes),” Johnson told the Naples (Fla.) News. “Without those extra couple of miles, I think I would have been there.”

To his credit, even with the extra mileage he tacked on, Johnson still finished 15th among all the male competitors. It was the first half-triathlon that Johnson has ever completed.

How’s Johnson feeling today, one day later?

As for Wise, he won his age group at 4:26.34, also good for sixth overall. Cassill was first in his age group at 4:30.13, and ninth overall.

Johnson, who hopes to eventually run a full triathlon in the future, was asked what the overall experience was like.

“It was a long and lonely 70 miles,” Johnson told the Naples News.

Well, 72.3 miles, to be precise.

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