Johnson was allowed to race but shortly after the race finish officials decided to disqualify her.
After a discussion on the subject commenced on its reader forum
Slowtwitch reached out to Sportstats, the official timer of all Ironman and Ironman 70.3 races in North America, which confirmed that the basic framework of the narrative did happen.
Kristen Johnson is listed in the results as a DQ, and Ironman's head of officiating Jim Riccitello confirmed to Slowtwitch that she was disqualified and that the DQ was for disturbing or handling a bike in transition that was not her own.
Riccitello did acknowledge that he spoke to Ms. Johnson, but the contents of that conversation were not shared with Slowtwitch either by Riccitello or by Ms. Johnson. Slowtwitch reached out to Ms. Johnson several times with questions about that race morning, but Johnson only stated, "This is not true."
Slowtwitch asked Schmidt-Mongrain if she knew Johnson and if they had a previous encounter or conversation. "No, I've never spoken to the other competitor even on Sunday," she replied. "I don't recognize her name—not that I remember everyone—as someone I've even ever raced against."