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2017 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 2017. These races include:
    • Kaiser Permanente SF Half Marathon* (February 5, 2017)
    • HITS Napa Valley* (April 8-9, 2017)
    • Half Moon Bay Triathlon* (April 23, 2017)
    • IM Santa Rosa 70.3* (May 13, 2017)
    • Bay to Breakers (May 21, 2017)
    • Vineman Monte Rio (June 4, 2017)
    • California Triathlons* (June 25, 2017)
    • Trans-Tahoe Relay (July 21-22, 2017)
    • San Francisco Marathon* (July 23, 2017)
    • IM Santa Rosa 140.6* (July 29, 2017)
    • Marin Century Ride (August 2017)
    • Tri Santa Cruz Triathlon (August 13, 2017)
    • Oakland Triathlon Festival* (August 27, 2017)
    • IM Santa Cruz 70.3* (September 10, 2017)
    • Marin County Triathlon & Duathlon* (October 28-29, 2017)
    • North Face Endurance Challenge (December 2017)
    • Lake Merced Christmas Relays (December 2017)
  • 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.

2017 Ambassador Team

Jeff Wong | Ambassador Team Manager

I started doing triathlons about 8 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 (half ironman in Santa Cruz), Escape from Alcatraz, and Vineman Monte Rio. Watching endurance athletes and being able to race with people who push beyond their limits and overcome personal challenges inspire and amazes me.


I've been a member of GGTC for 7 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 the Northface Endurance Challenge as my end of the year race. With the support of the club, friends, and family, I have had a couple podiums in my age group (2nd, 3rd, 2nd- men’s relay team, and 3rd and 2nd at Northface) qualified for the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships in 2015 and 2016 and finished 11th male overall in the 2015 Tri Club Championship Series competition. My favorite junk food is french fries and I can work a dance floor!

Jill Macari | Team Captain

I first became involved in triathlon more than 6 years ago when a few friends persuaded me to sign up for a half ironman distance triathlon. My excitement got the best of me in this first outing as I attempted to head out of T1 and mount my bike with my wetsuit still on. Thankfully, my T1 performance has improved and my enthusiasm for racing has only grown.


Over the years I've completed several Half Ironman and Olympic distance races as well as Ironman Coure d'Alane in 2012. I've done all this with a big goofy smile on my face, constantly surprised by the challenges I can overcome and the amazing people I can meet through this amazing sport. I am looking forward to a 2017 season full of fun, sweat and shenanigans!

Alex SIgal | Team Captain

This will be my fourth year as a GGTC ambassador and I am more excited than ever! When I joined this club 6 years ago, I had no idea just how well the friendships and skills I've acquired would serve me.


I gained so much by just being an active member who loves GGTC. I look forward to helping you achieve your fitness goals in what will surely be an accepting and fun 2017 season. Get out there, dive right in, make friends, and soak up all of what GGTC has to offer. If you need help, call in some reinforcements from the Ambassador Team!

Meghan Earley

I swam in my first swim meet at age 7 and fell in love with the sport. When I finished my college career in 2013 I felt like a lost puppy—swimming was always a massive part of my life and suddenly, it ended. Luckily I found triathlons! My first exposure to the sport was at Escape from Alcatraz in 2014, where I was competing in the swim leg of a corporate relay. I was completely blown away by the event. The excitement, support, athleticism: I felt like I was back at the pool!


Since then, I dove right into the sport and have loved every minute of it. I'm so stoked to be a member of the Ambassador Team again and can't wait to kick off 2017! This year I plan to race HITS Napa Valley, Vineman Monte Rio, National Age Group Championships and Morro Bay. I'm also participating in AIDS/LifeCyle, which I'm incredibly excited about. Cheers to another fantastic season!

Mark Bollozos

I have served as GGTC Social Director for 2014 and 201 and lead the planning of our monthly Thirsty Thursdays, Wildflower Training Weekend, Kick-Off Parties, End of Year Party, Ironman Viewing Party and 25th Anniversary Party. I would like to continue to be active with the club through the Ambassador Team.

Sandrine Micoleau

I did my first triathlon in my home state of maine in 2007 and moved to the bay area (and joined the ggtc) the following year. Triathlon soon became my community of friends and an outlet to live a healthy lifestyle. I have raced everything from sprint to Ironman and currently enjoy doing half IM and IM.

 

I live in Marin and feel lucky that I am able to ride and run on some of the most beautiful trails and roads in the area and train with some very talented people and coaches. I love the challenge that triathlon gives me and the opportunity to always try and improve upon something. I love to help others so please feel free to reach out.

Mike Norris

A native of Pacific Grove, my triathlon career began there when I was in high school. I came from a swimming and bike racing background, so triathlon seemed like a natural fit, and I continued an ambitious race schedule throughout my college years and beyond. By my early twenties, I represented the dictionary definition of burnout…and I left the sport, for a much longer period than I hoped or intended. When I finally came back in 2013, I sought something I had completely neglected in my early years…a community. It didn’t take me long to find a home within GGTC.

 

This incredible group of people quickly showed me what I’d been missing by going it alone all those years ago. As a member of the Ambassador Team, I look forward to helping newcomers conquer the bike course and open water, and I want to enlist the help of my peers to improve my running, which has always been (and will always be) my nemesis. Most of all, I hope to show everyone that there is much more to this sport than finish lines and medals…it’s the people that make it special.

Camille Gulick

January 2014 I was invited to GGTC’s kickoff meeting. Within two hours, I was convinced that I needed to race Wildflower. Because I had never done a triathlon, or ridden a bike in years, I decided a training group might be a good plan. That night I went home, joined the club, and the very next week was signed up for Wildflower Olympic training program! Since that first meeting, I have completed races at the sprint, olympic, and half-Iron distances as well as multiple aqua-bike, relay, and swim events.

 

Golden Gate Triathlon Club is an amazing community of athletes and coaches who have provided me with the knowledge and motivation needed to become a successful triathlete. As a GGTC Ambassador, my goal is to help members enjoy the club and the sport of triathlon as much as I do.

Jeff Lam

After over 15 years of orthopedic experience of both acute and chronic injuries, he now finds himself partnering with Body Mechanix Fitness Cooperative in the heart of South Beach & Rise Above Performance Training in the peninsula. Jeff received his degree in physical therapy from Columbia University in New York City and holds a bachelor of science in Exercise & Sport Science from the University of San Francisco. He has studied extensively with experts in manual therapy from the United States and abroad from Australia. As an undergraduate, he was the recipient of an NCAA athletic scholarship in the sport of cross country at the Division I Level. In his post graduate endeavors, he participated in triathlons and reached sponsorship levels with Team Aquaphor and Amino Vital. Jeff's main sponsors for 2017 will be GGTC, Timex, Wattie Ink/GQ-6, & Cobb Cycling. Racing experience include Ironman Oceanside & Vineman 70.3, Folsom Half Ironman, Wildflower, Treasure Island, and Escape from Alcatraz triathlons. He has also been selected to be part of Golden Gate Triathlon Club's 2016 A-Team and is a Rapha Cycling Club founder member for the San Francisco chapter .

 

He currently holds a certification through the NSCA for strength and conditioning and is seeking a pilates instructor certification through Stott Pilates. Jeff has also worked at UCSF Bakar Fitness Center in Mission Bay where he has collaborated with the UCSF sponsored Be Smart About Safety programs and fitness members from all walks of life. His coached run club in affiliation with Body Mechanix has been an ongoing success on Saturday mornings and is working to establish a similar program for students at the Academy of Art University. In years past, he served on the Triathlete Magazine Reader Advisory Board, the Alonzo King Lines Ballet sports medicine team, sponsored MMA fighter Dominique Robinson, and was a mentoring Ivy League students as part of the Columbia University Internship Network.

Molli Simpson

I grew up swimming, and had never done much running or biking. I took up triathlon in college on the University of Michigan club tri team and immediately fell in love with tris. I love to race, but also can't get enough of the team camaraderie surronding the sport. I'm not sure what it is that makes triathletes want to wake up at 4 am to race in cold water, but I wouldn't trade race mornings with teammates for the world!

 

I recently moved out to San Francisco and checked out GGTC in hopes of finding some people to workout with. I joined the OLY program to train for Santa Cruz and the practices quickly became my favorite part of the week. I was blown away by GGTC and what the club had to offer. My hope is that everyone joining GGTC can have a similar positive experience. I will be racing sprints and olympics in 2017 and I can't wait for the season to get rolling so we can get back to training and partying hard as a team!

Peter Clauter

It all started a sweaty 6 years ago. Like any good quitter does, I wanted to quit running after high school because I used to think a 5k was most grueling thing a person could do to themselves, I was grossly mistaken. Intrigued by adding two more sports to something I didn't want to do anymore, I knew I irrationally made the right decision. I did a triathlon. I thought I literally was going to drown during the 400m swim -- I'm pretty sure you could touch the bottom of the lake the entire time to but it was all muddy like ew gross. I somehow struggled to shore and thanked every major and minor deity while running to my bike with a lackluster shuffle only a real first-timer triathlete can manage. After fumbling through transition and hopping on my bike before the mount line (thanks for not DQ'ing me), I jammed my down tube shifters into go mode. This mostly meant my chain fell off and I stuck my fingers in my front wheel, we can't win them all. After fixing that little mishap, I started passing people and things started to look up. After a nice relaxing 12 miles on the bike -- you bet I took my time, it was a beautiful day out -- I brought my steel framed 1970's Fuji back to transition and put on my running shoes. This is where I passed hoards of people. I was shocked at how many people were ahead of me but in retrospect I shouldn't have been because I came out of the water last and would continue to do so for the next year until I went from my organized drowning technique to something that more resembles front crawl. Anyways, I actually ended up winning my age-group and that's what really got me hooked. Who cares if there was nobody else in my age-group that day, I showed up and that's what mattered...that's what I tell myself anyways.

 

I ended up sticking with it and raced the collegiate circuit in Florida for 4 years going to Collegiate Nationals every year. In 2014 I ended up ranking 3rd overall collegiate in the state. Heck, I loved it so much I was even president of the triathlon club and led the team to win our conference in 2012. After college was over I became sad and looked for new opportunities by qualifying and racing the 2015 Age Group Sprint World Championships in Chicago. That came and went and now my eye is on the 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga for 2017 so I'm going to race HITS Napa, 70.3 Santa Rosa, and 70.3 CDA to try and qualify. I joined GGTC immediately after moving to SF and have absolutely loved the community aspect. This can be best expressed by how loudly I cheered in my penguin onesie volunteering at the North Face Endurance Challenge. After racing for 6 years I have an immense amount of knowledge and want to make myself an available resource for the club from first-timers to those looking to race at the elite level.

Christine Schulz

In the 5th grade I quit soccer because I didn't like to run. Fast forward 15 years I decided to cross an item off my bucket list and train for a half marathon. I hated every minute of the training and couldn't wait for the race to be over and to never run again. Half way through the race I was completely hooked and never looked back. Since that day in 2010 I have competed in dozens of half marathons, a few triathlons and 2 full marathons (with hopes to make it to Boston someday!). Over a few glasses of wine one night, my friends convinced me that since I grew up a swimmer, owned a bike and could run that I should try triathlon.

 

I knew I needed some support getting myself into Aquatic Park on a regular basis so I joined GGTC in 2014 and it has been one of my best decisions to date! The friendships and accomplishments (with the help of the club) that I have made have truly impacted my life for the better and I cannot wait to see what the future holds both on and off the race course! When I am not in spandex I enjoy traveling, cooking, reading and spending time with my family and friends!

Jarrett Herold

I kicked off my career in triathlon in 2012, immediately after graduating college. I was ill-prepared, nervous yet excited, and I immediately had a taste for more. My first few marathons progressed into my first sprint, the Timberman Tri on Lake Winnepesake in New Hampshire. Since then, I've raced dozens of other races, as I traveled in for my first job, racing in Kansas City, Austria, and China. I was addicted to not only the challenge to get better, but the community around it. I was so excited about this experience, and thought to myself "I could do this.. I could do this better".

 

Sure enough, in 2014 I completed my race director certification and organized my very own race on my hometown lake - The Wally Man Tri. 2016 marked our third year and registrations surpassed the 300 mark. Its a pretty phenomenal feeling to take an experience you love and build upon it to share with other new and seasoned athletes. Since moving out to SF, from Philadelphia, I've taken full advantage of the GGTC community and recently realized the beauty of having a year-round triathlon season. This past year I completed my first Ironman - the Vineman full, which was an all new high. I can't wait to become even more of a familiar face within the GGTC community.

Wendi Kruger

After completing my third marathon in 2008, I realized that it was time to transition to triathlons. I decided to get my feet wet and join Team in Training while leaving in NYC. I remember telling my coach Scott, I'm a runner, I'm not a swimmer. I finally crossed my first triathlon finish line in 2009 when I completed the Westchester Triathlon. When I realized that I didn't drown in the ocean, I suddenly got hooked on the sport.

 

I faced my fear and swam in the Hudson River while competing three NYC Triathlons. Fast forward to 2013, I decided to finally complete my first half ironman. Syracuse, New York is not exactly the flat and easy course that I was hoping for, but I was able to cross the finish line after a brutal race. Next year I look forward to completing my second half ironman. I plan on enjoying every single minute of my training and will embrace the journey!

David Schach

I took to the water at a young age, and started competing in Nashville at 12. After swimming Division I in college, I took some time away from sports to go to grad school and to gain weight. Coming to San Francisco in 2009, I fell in love with the area and discovered a much more health-conscious community than I had known before. I was getting winded going up stairs and could hardly run a mile. At the end of 2014, I trained for my first triathlon, Half Moon Bay olympic, and fell in love with the sport.

 

I joined GGTC in May of 2015 to do an Alcatraz swim and came to my first bike ride in January 2016. Wow, were people fast! It was then that I knew that this was the club for me: Cool people who didn't take themselves too seriously, and who definitely were much faster than me. Room to grow with awesome teammates? Yes, please! Since then I've done the OLY program for Wildflower, the HIT program for Santa Cruz 70.3, and more. This season, I'm focusing on becoming a better runner and have some 70.3s on my calendar, as well as Escape from Alcatraz. I love having fun doing this sport (these sports?) and love it even more that I can do it with some of my favorite people!

Jennifer Lee

This will be my fourth year as a GGTC ambassador and I am more excited than ever! When I joined this club 6 years ago, I had no idea just how well the friendships and skills I've acquired would serve me. I gained so much by just being an active member who loves GGTC.

 

I look forward to helping you achieve your fitness goals in what will surely be an accepting and fun 2017 season. Get out there, dive right in, make friends, and soak up all of what GGTC has to offer. If you need help, call in some reinforcements from the Ambassador Team!

Jelle Vanhorenbeke

I have a background in martial arts, competing till my first two years in college. An injury, workload and occasional beers kept me away from it. Years later (and a couple pounds) I started running to get back in shape. After finishing my first marathon, some of my friends talked me into signing up for my first half Ironman, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I joined GGTC shortly after I moved to SF and it’s been a great journey so far.

Lisa Newton

Growing up in Perth, Australia I've always been around water. After swimming competitively for 14+ years I took a little break but couldn't stay away from the pool for too long. I moved to San Francisco in 2011 and although I had a blast learning what this flip cup was it didn't quite have the athletic edge I was after. I wanted to meet people who also loved to workout and that's where I found GGTC. In 2015 I went to what I thought was a very formal happy hour with a sign in sheet, only to find that I had signed away the next ten weekends with the Tag Oly program. I went shopping for my first road bike the following day.

 

Since then I've fallen in love with the sport, the friends I've made and all the beautiful spots to train in the bay area. In two years I've learnt to clip in, count in miles and complete my first Olympic triathlon and three half Ironmans. I've signed up for my first Ironman- Coeur d'lane in 2017 and I can't wait for all the training to begin! When I'm not training I love to bake delicious things and most of the time bring them into work at UCSF where I'm a nurse :).

Justin Biddle

In early 2016 I joined GGTC on a whim after becoming increasingly disillusioned by my sedentary lifestyle over the prior years. As a prior casual runner I showed up to the first track workout of the year and struggled...but the amazing people I met on that first night and the kickoff party at Kezar pub had me hooked. The fact that I barely knew how to swim and hadn't ridden a bike over 5 miles at a time in years would work itself out had me seriously worried but everyone was so nice that I figured that stuff would work itself out.

 

I joined the OLY to Wildflower training program and before I knew it I completed my first Sprint (HITS Napa) and Olympic (Wildflower) triathlons. I've been hooked ever since and have also raced the Oakland Triathlon and Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz. I look forward to training and racing with everyone in 2017 and plan on focusing on the 70.3 distance before moving up to a full Ironman the following year.

Judith Boschini

I like to believe that balance is the key to success and decided that triathlon will be perfect for me. Except that I didn't know how to swim free-style, my longest bike ride was under 20 miles and I don't particularly like running! I joined the GGTC in January and by September I raced my first 70.3. For each races my goals have been to finish with a smile and I nailed it every time :-)

 

I don't/can't take myself very seriously but might definitely have the best attendance record for both Oly and Hit programs. Simply because I love training with the club. When not training, I run a French immersion preschool. I also love to cook, build random things, dance salsa, travel or watch bad TV shows.

Jacob Shepard

I grew up in Marin County and absolutely love it up here but I have also lived all over since I originally left for college and am now back in SF. I grew up swimming and biking a lot whether it was mt biking on tam or riding bmx. I quit competitively swimming in middle school but have always been passionate about and continued to partake in open water swim events as a great way to train for surfing. I had dabbled in a few tri's after college and recently got back into them and couldn't be happier. I love the community, challenge and camaraderie.

 

Bronwyn van Vugt

I was never a serious runner. Or cyclist. Or swimmer. In high school I was a somewhat serious downhill ski racer. I'm Canadian though (raised in Vancouver, BC), so that comes with the territory. In my twenties I ran a smidgen but was certainly no "serious athlete." I knew some "serious athletes." They were competitive triathletes; you know, crazy people. Then, at age 31, I got this notion that I should do a triathlon. So, I did: Ironman Muskoka 70.3 (2013) a couple months later. I really didn't think I could get addicted from just one race ... Next it was a marathon, then an ultra, then more triathlons, then faster times, and ... In summer, 2014, my family and I moved to San Francisco. The following April I was running Boston and I recall this distinct moment in the final miles when, looking around me at all those "serious runners," it occurred to me, "Hold-up. Am *I* a 'serious runner'?! Am I one of those crazy people?!" Unable to escape the possibility, I was compelled to find some crazy company.

 

When I joined Golden Gate Triathlon Club I was overjoyed by the camaraderie and sense of belonging offered by this group of "serious athletes." Turns out "serious," "athlete," "competitive," and "triathlete," are but arbitrary words. They are whatever you make them. Do you like to move? Do you have goals? Do you have a notion that swimming, biking, and running in the same day might be rewarding? You're at risk of being a serious, competitive triathlete. Welcome to the club. I can't wait to meet you, train with you, and help contribute to the awesomeness of this group of crazy people. In my less crazy moments, I like back-country camping, making a fool of myself on a dance floor (or in the kitchen in front of my husband and two kids), and drinking IPA.

Ian Crawford

In business school my favorite pastime was brewing (and consuming) beer and I spent very little time exercising. A few years ago a friend talked me into signing up for Ironman Canada. Starting in January of that year I had a crash course in all things triathlon. There were plenty of memorables in those first few races, including an Escape from Alcatraz swim that was 90% heads-up breast stroke. GGTC was a huge help in preparing me the entire way - and ultimately I crossed the finish line at Ironman Canada with a positive experience.

 

Since then I've had a lot of fun refining my training approach and becoming more competitive. The bike is my favorite discipline - and I'm always plotting my next long ride in Marin, Sonoma, or Tahoe. Beyond all of this however - what has really impressed me about the world of triathlon is the mental and physical benefits of keeping an active lifestyle.

 

I consider myself extremely lucky to be a part of GGTC. The club has built a great community around triathlon training and racing and I look forward to helping new members of the sport feel as prepared and confident as I did in that first Ironman.

Melissa DuChene

I started doing triathlons about two years ago. At the time, I had absolutely no clue how to swim. I had always been a runner and started cycling once I moved to the bay area. Both came relatively easy to me but I knew swimming would not. I decided I was going to learn to swim and overcome my fear of the water and do a triathlon. My first race was Monte Rio Olympic in 2015 and I fell in love with the sport and found GGTC. It's been amazing having a community to train and grow with. I can't wait for a great 2017 season!

Stephanie Johns

Growing up I was never very good at sports,I was even labeled the slowest sprinter on the team! Yet I still played and participated. After highschool I would run for fun, never running more than 5 miles. When I moved to San Francisco I joined Team in Training in order to meet people and began training for my first Half Marathon and the next 5 more and including 2 marathons...

 

I was hooked but I was still looking to challenge myself more, so I bought a bike and began training for my first Vineman 70.3. After doing a couple olympics that same year I began training for IM whistler 2015, and will continue that IM journey with Lake Placid in 2017. I joined GGTC to meet more people that also have the same interest and passion for Triathlons that I have. I have a love for anything outdoors, and I'm also always up for a good adventure!!