Training together helps couple stay happy.
From the beginning, Springfield’s Dan and Alix Payton raced together. The first time they ran a marathon, in Columbus in 2001, they did it together. In April 2010, they competed in their first triathlon — together. In November, they will tackle their first Ironman — together.
In two weeks, they take their swimming, biking and running talents to the USA Triathlon Age Group Championships in Burlington, Vt. Racing together — be it in triathlons, running races or biking events — and training together is one of the big reasons they like the multisport competitions.
“That’s been huge,” said Dan Payton, 40, a 1989 Kenton Ridge High School graduate. “We had our kids pretty young. She was 19. I was 20. We didn’t have that time together as a couple. What fitness has done, through either cycling or running or triathlons, has been great for our marriage.”
The Paytons are one of the top married triathlon duos in Springfield. They won’t be competing at the Great Buckeye Challenge triathlon because they will be racing in Vermont, but they have been all over Ohio this summer competing.
Dan finished first in his age group (40-44) at the Giant Eagle Triathlon in downtown Columbus on July 31. His time of 2 hours, 8 minutes in the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10K run event was just six minutes behind the slowest professional racer. There were 18 male pros in the race.
Both the Paytons qualified for nationals with their performances at the Ohio University Triathlon on May 7. Alix, 39, finished first in her age group (35-39), and so did Dan — not bad for two triathletes who are still newcomers to the sport. Both still struggle with the swim.
Read more: Springfield News-Sun