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GOLDEN GATE TRIATHLON CLUB
 ///  AMBASSADOR TEAM
 


MISSION STATEMENT
A member of the Golden Gate Triathlon Club Ambassador Team is someone who embodies the competitive spirit of triathlon, displays leadership, integrity, club spirit, and positively influences athletes for the betterment of the membership, the community and the sport.
TEAM EXPECTATIONS
The Golden Gate Triathlon Club Ambassador Team is a group of selected club members who have established themselves as role models both inside the club and within the triathlon community. They have distinguished themselves through leadership, volunteerism, club spirit, successful race results and representation of Golden Gate Triathlon Club on the podium. As members of the Ambassador Team they act as a resource for club members and support the club’s training programs.
  • Volunteer at events each year. This can be at races or at GGTC sponsored events such as WFTW, Social Events, Bike Clinic, etc. Group efforts are encouraged.
  • Commit to racing in the Team races that GGTC will be focusing on in 2015. These races include: HITS Napa, USAP Silicon Valley Triathlon, Wildflower, Escape from Alcatraz, Vineman Triathlons (Monte Rio,Vineman 70.3, Full Vineman, Barb’s Race), Oakland Triathlon, Big Kahuna, Santa Cruz Olympic, Lake Tahoe Ironman/70.3.
  • Wear provided custom designed ambassador gear at ALL official GGTC functions, races, and on the podium during team races.
  • Participate and lead team/club workouts.
  • Stay competitive. Have fun! 
 
 
WHAT THE AMBASSADOR TEAM PROVIDES
  • Fun
  • Leadership
  • A presence on the podium both locally and nationally
  • Resource for questions and shared knowledge of the sport and races
  • Opportunity to work closely with club sponsors, with special team discounts, race discounts, gear, etc.
 
2015 AMBASSADOR TEAM MEMBERS

 
JEFF WONG /// Ambassador Team Manager
I started doing triathlons about 6 years ago. I ran the SF Marathon and a co-worker said, “you should do a triathlon!” I said, “a couple problems here, #1 I can’t swim that far, #2 I don’t have a bike.” Well, she helped me with my swim and I borrowed my uncle’s road bike, raced Wildflower that year and I’ve been hooked ever since. My favorite races thus far are Ironman Honu 70.3, Big Kahuna (the half ironman distance down in Santa Cruz), Escape from Alcatraz, and Vineman Monte Rio. Watching endurance athletes and being able to race with people who push beyond limits and overcome their personal challenges inspire and amazes me. I've been a member of GGTC for 5 years and a 3 time previous member of the month. I look forward to a more focused training schedule, being challenged by my fellow A Team members, and giving back to the club and sport that provides me an outlet and balance to my crazy life. Bike is my strongest discipline, and in the off season, I like to run and target Northface Endurance Challenge as my end of the year race. I was a part of the 2014 Ambassador Team and I had a couple podiums in my age group (2nd, 3rd, 2nd- men’s relay team, and 3rd at Northface) and I recently received notice that I qualified for the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships for 2015 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I’m married, with two awesome kids, Jared (6), and Hudson (3), and can’t wait for them to kick my butt in triathlons when they get older! (If they want to do them of course) ;) My favorite junk food is french fries and I can work a dance floor!
 
KRISTA GAGER /// Ambassador Team Captain
In early 2009 my husband and I found ourselves in need of a hobby so we decided to “train for a triathlon.” Little did we know, it would become our passion. We moved to SF in 2011 and joined GGTC before we even finished unpacking. Over the past four years I’ve become very involved in the club and served on the Board of Directors in 2013. The swim is my strongest discipline and in my first race I was second out of the water… and then proceeded to be passed by nearly every single person between the bike and the run. I finished fourth to last. Despite this, I was hooked. I've worked hard on my bike and run since then. I have finished dozens of races ranging from sprints to my Ironman (Lake Tahoe and Cozumel). Outside of triathlon, I am a Nurse Practitioner at the San Francisco VA, love to travel and enjoy getting lost in a good book. I've enjoyed being a part of the Ambassador Team to help newbies and promote the things I enjoy most about GGTC – friendship, fun and a little competition too.
 
MICHAEL SPIEGEL
My first exposure to triathlon was about 10 years ago. It was a silly sprint involving a speedo channeling my inner Faris Al-Sultan (who I was unaware of at the time). I raced here, raced there, did the typical leap into Ironman with moderate success primarily due to my long career as a competitive swimmer. Only until recently has what it takes to become successful really started to click. 2014 was a very promising year that I'm looking forward to building on in 2015. I have a few new exciting races on the schedule (Oceanside, Vineman, St. George) and will probably fill that up more so please join me. Look for me to hit an Ironman again in 2016, race TBD. Why do I like this stuff? It certainly taps my competitive spirit. It challenges me to be the best I can be; there's always something that can improve physically and mentally. I meet a lot of tremendous people with amazing stories, and ultimately I'm a small piece in a large triathlon community that is truly special. I don't think that hit me until I crossed the finish line at Ironman Lake Tahoe. And it especially resonates when you watch the Ironman World Championships on Ali'i Drive until the very last second. Once that happens, you're hooked and your goals shift dramatically. Aloha!
 
HOPE GELBACH
I was born and raised in Coronado, CA and went to college in San Luis Obispo. I moved (to work) in SF after school but took 2 1/2 years off to travel (46 countries) '94-'96. Besides a few 'fun' tri's... I really started this crazy sport in 2005... after having 2 kids who are now 11 and 16!  I did my first Olympic in 2006... on a mountain bike... first Half in 2007 (Thanks to my first Coach.. Duane!!)  I then checked off the bucket list by doing an Ironman in 2010. (Who would have thought!!?)  My first love was running, but I have come to appreciate cycling... and even swimming! (did I just say that?!)  I'm excited about being on the Ambassador Team for GGTC for the 3rd year. I enjoy being a positive, motivating role model and hope that I can accomplish that here?!  I always try to keep things in perspective... If I'm not having FUN participating in this sport... I need to rethink WHY are I'm doing it?!
 
ALEX SIGAL
I joined GGTC just as I started to realize that I was getting faster and my first 70.3 was 6 months away. After one season of track workouts under my belt, I must have shaved 2 minutes off of my mile race pace. My fitness got me so excited about GGTC, I ran for a position on the board and had the privilege of being run director in 2011. That was fun! I continued to PR at every race, feel stronger, and make more amazing friends. I was truly blown away by what my body was capable of. I finished the polar bear swim with the Dolphin Club and had a great time racing with my friends both on and off the course at Ironman Lake Tahoe. My goal this year is to get a little faster and lighter on my feet while living a balanced life indoors and out. Unfortunately, these 10 holiday pounds have not done a brother any good. When you're running with some jelly in your belly, and the police wont help...Call the A-Team!
 
STEPHANIE SCHMOTTER
I was dared to do my first triathlon when I was a junior in college.  I had never swam laps before in my life, didn’t really run, but loved to ride my bike! (I didn’t ride far or fast, just loved riding).  My first triathlon, an Olympic distance in Santa Barbara, was a complete disaster, but I had a blast!  I had no idea what I was doing, and had never swam in the ocean before, but I smiled the entire time and became hooked on the sport.  I eventually became president of the small triathlon club at Sonoma State University, did some more sprint and Olympic distance races, and did my first half ironman after I graduated in 2010. When I moved to the SF for grad school, I was introduced to GGTC and TriMore, and learned what this sport is really about!  I love the sport and the people and don’t plan on stopping any time soon!
 
GEOFF FARRELL
My first tri was a Bud Light Sprint back in '82 when I was a skinny Cross Country runner. My second Pac Grove in 1998 -- I've been an active triathlete for 16 years, and a distance runner for 39 years. Athletics gives me health and adventure, but I mostly treasure the wide-range of wonderful friends I've gained over the decades. I love the great outdoors and music, both of which I weave into my workouts.
 
CHRIS DOUGLAS
I am just a guy that likes to swim, bike and run a lot! Racing in triathlon for 5 years, I always seek to challenge myself with new distances and difficult courses. A self-proclaimed endurance junky, I'm an avid mountain runner with several overall wins and podiums at different races and in 2014 completed the California Triple Crown (riding three double century bike rides in a calendar year) with several other GGTC members. In 2015 I will be doing more of the same as 2014, including: running a couple of marathons (Puerto Rico Marathon and the SF Marathon), one double century ride (Alta Aplina Double), an ultra marathon (Lake Sonoma 50 Miler), 2-3 70.3 triathlons (IM Puerto Rico, IM Vineman, and maybe IM St. George), and one 140.6 (IM Lake Tahoe). Join me for a workout at some of his favorite spots: Aquatic Park for some open water swimming and Hawk Hill for some bike (or run) hill repeats.
 
KARI WHITE
I grew up playing any and every sport, but swore off any event in high school track that required you to go more than one lap around the track. Endurance sports were a foreign concept to me. Through a random series of events I found myself signed up for the Marin County Sprint Tri back in 2011, could barely swim (John Dahlz is working on fixing that!), borrowed a bike, and haven’t looked back since. Shortly after I found myself signing up for my first 70.3 before I had even completed an Olympic. I feel like triathlon has become more of a lifestyle than a hobby for me, and love how it’s allowed me to accomplish things I never thought I could (or would want) to do, as well as introduced me to amazing people that are there to support me every step of the way.
 
DANNY DVINOV
Growing up (in USSR/Russia) I did a bunch of sailing, played soccer, drank beer, and hated running for longer than like 5 minutes. I was a 50 yard dash sprinter my senior year in High School (Marblehead, MA). Having read Born to Run in late 2010, I've challenged myself to run a marathon. I ran myself to an injury getting ready for the marathon, and decided to teach myself how to swim while I couldn't run. During that time, flipping TV channels I stumbled upon the NBC coverage of Kona finish line. These people looked HAPPY, and Ironman had a marathon in it, so I resolved to do that instead of just 26.2. Ironman went well, and I got addicted much like everyone else who tries. In 2015 I'm focusing on IM Canada, and hopefully overcoming my fears and finally doing something shorter than 70.3 (going long is much easier for me than going fast...)
 
JESSE EDELSBERG
I was born and raised in New York, and was a lifetime athlete until my hiatus in college. By the time I graduated, I had gained a substantial amount of weight, and turned to triathlon as a way to restore order in my life. After shedding some pounds, I proceeded to register for my first sprint triathlon in 2008 where I placed dead last; my triathlon career could only go one way from there! I moved to SF in 2011 and dove in headfirst - literally: I raced Escape from Alcatraz soon after unpacking my boxes; I've been hooked ever since. I've raced triathlons from sprint to Full Ironman distance along with numerous road and trail races ranging from 5k to 50 miles. My specialty is racing in Wine Country where I've made good on my last place finish at my first triathlon: I've found myself on the podium at the Napa Wine Country Trail Marathon, Napa Sprint Triathlon, Vineman Monte Rio and Vineman Full Aquabike. When I'm not training or racing, I love to ski, and I co-write a blog that chronicles my endurance sports exploits: singletrackedmind.com.
 
KATIE DODDS
Raised in the Bay Area, I began swimming competitively starting at age 5. I even coached a few summers for the neighborhood swim team I grew up on. The team was a like a family to me and instilled so much. I swam my way through high school and eventually burnt out on the sport. It wasn't until the Spring of 2013 when I jumped in the pool again to do a structured workout. I also started running more, which I swore I'd never run more than 3 miles and I was convinced I could swim faster than I could run. Eventually in August of 2013, a good friend of mine and I decided to sign-up for our first triathlon. I showed up to that race owning my road bike for only two weeks, and had never even watched a triathlon previously. Needless to say, it was a fantastic experience and really brought back that competitive spirit that had been bottled up for so many years. So although the sport is relatively new for me, with the support of GGTC I seemed to have thrown myself in head first. In one year's time I've raced a handful of Olympics and running races of various distances, completed my first half ironman and century ride, and now onto trail running. It's been a life changing experience, and I am so excited to see what the year ahead brings for GGTC and all our outstanding members.
 
JEFF LAM
After over 13 years of orthopedic experience of both acute and chronic injuries, I now provides quality care at MoveWell Physical Therapy. I'm an Ivy League trained physical therapist but my roots will always remain from personal experiences as an athlete. As an undergraduate, I was the recipient of an NCAA athletic scholarship in the sport of cross country at the Division I Level. In my post graduate endeavors, I extended my love for running to triathlons...even won a few outright but definitely finished all of them. I've has reached sponsorship levels and in 2015, and will be an ambassador for GGTC, Timex, SunRype, Eternal Spring Water, X-1 Audio & Cobb Cycling.  Racing experience include Ironman Oceanside & Vineman 70.3, California International Marathon, Wildflower, NCAA Cross Country Western Regionals, and Escape from Alcatraz. His PR at Olympic and Half Ironman distances are 2:05.03 and 4:58.51 respectively. I will attempt to improve on these times on an annual basis prior to reaching the age of 50 and maybe beyond, because I really wouldn't know what to do with myself without the sport.