2022 ambassador Team
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, and representation of Golden Gate Triathlon Club in the sport.
As members of the Ambassador Team they act as a resource for club members and support the club’s training programs.
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.
What The Ambassador Team Provides
2022 team members
ROHAN BATRA (he/ him)
Hellooo there! I moved back to the Bay Area in 2020 after having lived in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles for college and grad school. I grew up in Walnut Creek at the base of Mt. Diablo and always enjoyed swimming, biking, and running – like any good Californian. My first triathlon was in Washington D.C. in 2016. I took a gap from tris while in grad school, and due to having fractured my arm biking on Mt. Diablo, but joining GGTC got me back into the sport and I recently completed my first 70.3 in Oceanside!
When not training for triathlons I enjoy skiing, hiking, and camping in scenic California. I find that cross-training can be the best training… and was somehow able to incorporate a day hike up Mt. Whitney into my 70.3 plan.
I’ve found GGTC to be a great group to train with over the past year and I am looking forward to meeting both new and returning members! If anyone is interested in planning / going on a bikepacking trip, let me know
MAURIZIO BONACINI (he/ him)
I was born in Italy and grew up there, in the Congo, then Belgium, and later moved to the USA. I did my first triathlon in 1990 and have competed regularly since. In 2018, I finally realized that training solo was not a sound idea. Since joining GGTC, all my times have improved, but more importantly I discovered a wonderful group of athletes and friends. My goal will be to help others remain motivated and improve their performance while staying healthy and having fun. My pet project would be to get more senior people join this great GGTC community.
SARAH BOUDREAU (he/ him)
I have been a runner since I realized my only skill in team sports requiring coordination was the part at the beginning of practice where you do laps to warm up, and a swimmer from about the same age. I swam competitively in high school and ran track in high school and college, all in Massachusetts. I guess you could say my first bike race was when my parents sent me to my best friend's house on my bike across town by myself at the age of 6, and after exploring the Berkeley hills in grad school after moving to California I managed to complete the Lighthouse Century in 2017. But I had not completed a multi-sport event until I joined GGTC in 2018, raced the Napa HITS sprint course, and loved it! I have been enjoying making friends, challenging myself, participating in JD's awesome Oly program, and building a community as part of GGTC since then and am so excited to be an Ambassador again this year. My 2022 will include my first Ironman 70.3 (Santa Cruz!) and hopefully an Olympic distance race or two on the leadup, sweating/snacking/laughing with the club, trying not to get injured by actually doing strength workouts, and continuing to make GGTC a friendly and welcoming place (ask me about our Community Outreach opportunities)!
ANDREAS DANKELMANN (he/ him)
I'll always be thankful to my parents who instilled the love for sports in me. Growing up as a competitive gymnast, running and biking were my off-season sports and I did a few sprint races in my 20s.
After a long break from competition and just doing all kinds of sports just for fun, from surfing to kiting to skydiving, I decided two years ago that it was time to get back into something more competitive. I saw a few people landing at Crissy Field from an Alcatraz swim and thought "I want to do that"!
Last year I was lucky enough to get a spot for Escape from Alcatraz and joined the Oly program to get prepared and met a lot of great people with the same mindset. I topped the year off with the Santa Rosa 70.3. This year, I trained with the long distance squad, what a humbling, fun experience and just the right preparation for my first full ironman in Sacramento in 2021.
I'm looking forward to training with you!
EMMA DAUGHERTY (she/her)
When I first moved to SF from NY four years ago my brother convinced me to sign up for the Marin Olympic triathlon. I have always loved to run but didn’t own a bike or wetsuit at the time and never considered signing up for a triathlon in the past. So I rented a bike and wetsuit and decided to give it a shot. I quickly fell in love with the sport and have never looked back!
Since joining GGTC in early 2020, I’ve made many close friends and accomplished training goals I never imagined possible. I am now mostly focused on IM 70.3s but always open to new challenges. I am continuously inspired by all of the incredible people in the club, and am really looking forward to 2022 with this awesome community. Whether you are new to the sport or an experienced athlete, I’m always down to run/ride/swim with you. Can’t wait to see you out there!
JOSEPH DINH (he/him)
Hello! I am excited to be chosen to be on the A-Team for the 2022 year! I have been in the triathlon world since 2012 when I was on the club team during my undergrad at UC Davis. On the docket this year includes Half Moon Bay and Tahoe Triathlons leading up to my first Full Ironman. My main goal next year will be to finish grad school (done in early July!) and then shift my focus towards IM Cozumel 2022. If you are looking for a recovery routine, I lead the weekly yoga sessions on Mondays (Joe-ga!!!). Would love to share my practice with you.
For those of you that don’t know, I consider myself a bicycle enthusiast. I love being outside and finding myself on two wheels — road, touring/bikepacking, or mountain. I also maintain my own bikes and have helped others fix theirs. If you have any questions, feel free to ask — I may not have all the answers but let’s figure it out together.
Something I have learned recently about myself is that I LOVE TO SPECTATE. Really, I love heckling/cheering/spectathleting at races so if I spectate one of your races please be prepared for me to enthusiastically
I’m not sure how long this bio should be but here’s some other random factoids: I love playing Hearts and Cribbage (card games), I am a plant-dad with many succulent children, I make my own coffee scrub that I use as body wash, there’s usually a kombucha brewing on my counter, and my main source of food for bike rides are bananas/PB&J.
MAX FLORES (he/ him)
I had been living in England for years before moving back to San Francisco in February 2021. This was before Covid vaccines were widely available to the public. Being new to a city and trying to rebuild a network of friends during a pandemic was hard. I joined GGTC summer of 2021 and it has been a great way to meet new people who I can have fun training with and endlessly spam kudos on Strava.
I am mostly a runner who likes to swim. I didn’t know how to ride a bike until I was 26 years old. After learning how to ride a bike, I did my first sprint triathlon a month later. I came in 6th place out of 55 in Swim and then last place on the bike so I got to experience almost every person in the race past me by on the bike. An Olympic-distance triathlon came along a few months later where I also came in last place on the bike and that’s okay because someone has to come in last. My very humble goal for triathlon is just to overtake someone on the bike just once so I know what that feels like.
Outside of triathlons, my favorite race events are marathons, half-marathons, and aquathlons. As an ambassador, I am looking forward to running and swimming with all of you!
PAUL FOX (he/him)
Prior to finding GGTC, I could barely string together 3 miles of running; no college athletics, and a history of short-lived attempts to stay healthy. I joined the Oly Program in July ’21 with the intent of running a Sprint Triathlon at the end of the 10 weeks. The coaching staff, team members, and club ambassadors inspired me to do my first Olympic Distance instead. One month later, I did it again. I’m hooked…;)
I’m a San Francisco native and have spent the majority of my life in the Bay Area. On any given day I can be found running the Marina, trying to PB Hawk Hill, geeking out on training data, or dragging my 2 daughters to GGTC volunteer events/trainings.
In 2022 I plan on running my first Half Marathon, doing both Oly Programs, and working towards a 70.3 in 2023. I hope I can help any new member see that at any age, you can make a commitment to living healthy and become a Triathlete!
DEVIN GRIFFIN (he/him)
Growing up I really didn’t have much formal training when it came to the different disciplines of Triathlon, other than some competitive swimming in AK in the ‘8 and under’ category, and a small stint of cross country running in high school. Regardless, I have loved to do all three individually, and as I got older, I gravitated to doing lap swimming, long distance running, and even road biking in OR and WA.
Some might say that it is surprising that I didn’t put all 3 together earlier, especially with having the encouragement from family members, several of whom had been collegiate athletes, and a few even being sponsored triathletes. So, I may have been a little stubborn about getting into the sport, but joining GGTC 2 years ago has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I’ve found this incredible group of individuals to be some of the most humble, caring, and talented people I’ve ever known, not to mention filled with some of my best friends. This club has supported me through some of life’s biggest challenges, and has also helped me achieve some incredible physical ones as well.
If the GGTC event involves water, you’ll likely find me attending it and loving every second of it, as water is my ‘happy place’. If on the bike, you’ll find me eagerly anticipating any technical descents on the route, and likely pondering what should be my next ‘gear buy’ to get me quicker. If you find me running, well, I’m likely gritting my teeth, sweating, and trying to get faster, all while reminiscing about my pre-injury years & former half-marathon running pace.
RACHELLE HOLMGREN (she/her)
Coming from a competitive swimming background, my typical tri goes as follows - I start towards the front of the pack for the first 1/10th of the race and try to fend off getting passed by as many people as possible during the remaining 9/10ths of the race.
I started biking and running in 2017 because I found them both a great way to appreciate the beauty of San Francisco (Also slightly more interesting than the black line on the bottom of the pool). Fast forward four years and I still find myself in awe of the view at the top of Twin Peaks.
Swimming will always be my #1, so I hope to see you at some ocean swims and in the pool. Maybe even at some races? Hit me up if you’re racing Hawaii 70.3 or Santa Cruz 70.3 this year!
And if you ever need a break from working out (I sure do sometimes), feel free to join me for some picnicking and reading in Precita Park.
CHOHEE KIM (she/her)
MARGARITA KRIVITSKI (she/her)
I joined GGTC after signing up for my first triathlon without being able to swim more than a length of the pool. A year and a half later, with lots of tips and encouragement from fellow club members, ambassadors, coaches and ten weeks of the long distance program with Coach Cesar I finished St. George 70.3 (without drowning!). And I was officially hooked. I have even come to enjoy swimming in AP (with my extra buoyant wetsuit of course). Racewise, I’m looking forward to 70.3 Victoria and Ironman Penticton in 2022.
When not running, biking, and swimming I love to backcountry ski, explore in the mountains through backpacking and climbing trips, and eat all of the chocolate chip cookies.
I look forward to all the bike rides, runs, swims, races, and most importantly pastry stops with you all in 2022!
ASHLEY LITZENBERGER (she/her)
Hi, I’m Ashley! I’m fairly new to the Bay Area and to Triathlons. I moved to Marin from Washington DC in the spring of ‘21 and picked up biking and swimming as active recovery alternatives to trail running. When I started in May I didn’t know how to swim the front crawl, but I kept at it and a month later I completed my first mile-long open water swim. Things snowballed from there- I joined GGTC in July to make friends and signed up for WTT (Women Tri Together) which led me to race my first olympic triathlon in September. Along the way I fell in love with tri and with the people who make this club what it is. I truly believe GGTC can be a fit for anyone whether you are looking to make friends, have fun outside, or find people to seriously challenge you during training. Can’t wait to see you out there!
I think we’re supposed to throw in a few conversation openers too, so in no particular order: I’ve lived in Kazakhstan, speak Italian, solo road tripped across the country, love baked goods, organized my own triathlon, and before becoming an endurance athlete I was a total crossfit junkie.
KEVIN LOWRY (he/him)
I moved to San Francisco on March 31, 2013. On my way to the airport (DFW), I dropped off my car at CarMax. The next day I went to Mikes Bikes to buy my first bike since I was a kid and that quickly evolved to cycling around our beautiful city, picking back up running, learning (still) how to swim, and signing up with the club. I then went on to do multiple Olympics, 70.3s, and, as of this writing, signing up for my first Full.
The club is full of inspirational stories, told by truly exceptional people with amazing talent. The best part of the club is that some of the fastest people are also some of the most humble, and will go out of their way to help others. Spending time with the friends I have made through the club is the highlight of any week.
JORDAN McCARTHY (she/her)
I moved back to the Bay Area in November 2018 and knew my second SF stint was my chance to do something I’ve always wanted to do - join a triathlon club! Kick Off Party 2018 sealed the deal and so it is SO IRONIC that I got to be Social Chair for 2 years and in charge of the parties!
When I joined this club 3 years ago, I never dreamed of even doing an actual perimeter loop in Aquatic Park let alone a Half Ironman — and now, I’m actually signed up for the FULL Ironman Canada in August 2022!! The accountability and support network to working out and getting outside (especially during covid) has been an amazing outlet and has helped keep me sane!
You’ll hardly ever find me not training, socializing, or working at my start-up, but when you do I may be enjoying wine country, traveling trying to speak broken Spanish, or spending time with my boyfriend, also a GGTC member .
I am thrilled to be an Ambassador this year and look forward to seeing everyone of all levels and experiences out there - If you like any of the 3 sports, why not have some fun with people you already enjoy something in common with?
Swim, Bike, Run, and have a lot of Fun!
JAMES SCANLAN (he/him)
I joined GGTC at the beginning of 2019 after a few years of building up to and completing my first full Ironman-distance triathlon. I had been a lifelong runner and increasingly serious cyclist, but swimming was a mystery and training both in running and cycling doubly so.
The club has been a lifeline for me during 2020; giving me an outlet and connections that mean so much. I try to post many workouts, both recurring and one-off, with the hope that i can give as much as I receive.
You can often find me leading long runs in the park. If you're interested in the longer events, i can share my experiences with you, having done 5 ironman-distance triathlons, 20 double centuries, and more than 50 marathon/ultramarathon runs in the last two years.
ALEX VAN GROOTEL (he/him)
I feel my best when I am staying active, so joining a triathlon club made a lot of sense for me. However, I really joined GGTC for the community. These are some stellar and ridiculous people, and I am honored that I can represent this group and help grow it.
My most controversial triathlon opinion is that the swim portion should be twice as long for all races. If you agree, let's go swim together! And if you don't agree, let's swim together anyways and feel free to ask me for swim tips so that you can enjoy the first part of your triathlons more!
If you can give me healthy, high calorific food ideas (or samples), then I will forever be your friend.
Originally Dutch, but I grew up all over the world (Indonesia, Singapore, Bahamas, Scotland, and a few other places).
ANDREY VYRVICH (he/him)
Siberian born, I moved to San Francisco five years ago with almost zero athletic experience. I started running along Embarcadero a couple of days a week and then realized I could probably train for a half marathon; that's where it all began. A couple of years and a dozen half marathons later I pulled the trigger and signed up for a marathon - oh, first marathon, such a milestone in an athlete's life.
In parallel to the marathon training, I occasionally jumped into the pool and biked Paradise Loop once a month which brought me to the idea of trying a triathlon, something that I only heard of a couple of times before. Thus, the day after I finished the SF Marathon in 2019, I signed up for the Santa Cruz Olympic distance triathlon. I only had 3 months to train, so I had to learn all the basics by myself - overcoming the fear of open water, learning what transitions were... And that paid off! I fell in love with the sport!
Once I signed up for the IM 70.3 in Santa Rosa, I finally decided to join the club, and that changed everything because of the truly wonderful people I met! It's amazing how friendly and supportive our small community is, and how many inspiring stories our members have! That’s why I decided to become an Ambassador, to help people unlock the potential they have, and to share my love for the sport.
AARON WALZ (he/him)
I am a Bay Area Native (Marin) and have always enjoyed being outdoors whenever possible, since my childhood days spent exploring trails around my hometown hills and riding my BMX. I have been a competitive tennis player and captain for several years, taking my teams to sectional championships and being awarded NorCal Captain of the Year. After various sports injuries provoked my doctor to insist on cross training, I started hiking, running, spinning and swimming in the bay, which I had not done since boogie boarding in High School. I took swim lessons to feel more confident. I began joining Odyssey Open Water in Berkeley on Sundays and did so all winter long because I fell in love with the ocean. I called it my Church. A friend said I should try a triathlon, which I thought was crazy. Before I knew it, I was renting road bikes, then bought one and even began commuting to work with it, then did my first sprint tri, and I was hooked.
When I found the Golden Gate Triathlon Club in 2019, little did I know what utter joy the organization and its members would bestow on me. Plus, how it would improve my swims, rides, runs, beer and post-swim mulled wine drinking ability, and social connection. The members and board were so supportive, encouraging and welcoming. I participated in the Oly program and really enjoyed it. The timing of joining and falling in love with triathlon was perfect right before the pandemic, since I still had so many activity options outdoors. I have only done a few triathlons and one half marathon so far, and my ultimate goal I'm toying with is a half Ironman (70.3). I am so excited to share my enthusiasm and knowledge of the sport and lifestyle of triathlon and open water swimming with the ambassador team and the GGTC membership. Please message me anytime to chat, ask questions, or set up a workout!
CARMEN WHITING (she/her)
Hi, my name is Carmen! My first Olympic triathlon was 7 years ago. I moved to SF in 2010 from Long Beach, CA and became a member of a couple of running groups before joining GGTC in 2019. Somehow I convinced two other runners to do a triathlon with me so I wasn't alone. I printed out the online book "Triathlon for Beginners," which we all followed for training, and we completed our first Oly Tri!
Even though I enjoy running the most of the three sports, I like challenging myself with different activities. GGTC has provided that for me and most importantly, friendships... GGTC members are great athletes. But most importantly, we are supportive of each other no matter what level we are; we are all looking to improve and lift each other up.
I am very proud to be part of the team! This year I was fortunate enough to participate in the long distance and trail running programs. I made some great friends and participated in swims from Alcatraz, ran Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim (Grand Canyon), ran my first 100k, and participated in other events that I can't remember. I could not have survived COVID without my GGTC friends! As an Ambassador, my goal is to coordinate fun trail runs, bike rides, and swims for members who are new to the sport. Welcome to GGTC!
ANGELA YANG (she/her)
As a California native, I've lived in the Bay Area for over 20 years. Originally planning on just staying for 2 years, I fell in love with the outdoor and city life that SF had to offer. I wasn't active growing up, but realized the joys of running in my late 20s. A friend asked me to join her in a sprint tri in Napa. Despite racing with a heavy old mountain bike, I enjoyed it so much I purchased a tri bike and the rest is history. I participate in everything from sprints to fulls, but sprints and halves are my favorite distance. Based on my experience, it's integral to have a solid group of people to train with...they're not only workout buddies, but lifelong friends.
When I'm not working or training, you can find me reading or traveling. Hiking the Dolomites and spotting penguins on Antarctica are next on my list. I'm so excited to be a GGTC Ambassador, and can't wait to meet all of you! If you're ever in need of company (for workouts or travel), just let me know!