2018 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, 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.
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
2018 team members
My triathlon career began in 2008, when I was in the worst shape of my life and needed to reboot my life. I started with a few "mock" indoor triathlons in Brooklyn and Manhattan and then progressed to my first full sprint during my second season. By this point, I had lost about 25 lbs and was starting to see my self-esteem and confidence build not just at the gym, but at work as well. It was an amazing feeling and I was hooked! Over time, I progressed to Olympic distance (NYC, Washington DC, Napa, Wildflower, Pacific Grove, etc), then 70.3 (Palm Springs, Santa Rosa), and now I'm working on my first full Ironman 140.6 for the 2018 season, most likely Mont Tremblant. I've finished dozens of races over the years, and I plan to continue to do so until I'm well into my 90s!
Having moved to San Francisco from New York (and a few years in Europe) I joined GGTC two years ago to find a community of like minded people - and boy did I. My wife and I have made some of our best friends in town through the club. She doesn't race, but is my #1 supporter. I honestly can't imagine racing anymore without being surrounded by and cheering on my black and red wearing family!
I fell in love with the biking that the Bay Area has to offer. Peer pressure is real and I was convinced by friends to sign up for the Donner Lake Triathlon. I quickly learned that my strategy to sprint to the first swim buoy was highly flawed. For the record I did not take up the offer of assistance during the quarter mile swim.
Since then I've enjoyed improving in the sport and being part of a wonderful community. Many years ago I participated in Ironman Canada and Coeur d'Alene but prefer the half distance (completed over 20). I have really enjoyed participating in the GGTC HIT program where I am realizing how much I still have to learn. I am excited to be part of this amazing community and am looking forward to my 2018 race season which includes Worlds 70.3 in South Africa with several GGTC teammates.
I took to the water at a young age, and started competing in Nashville at 12. After swimming Division I, 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, but even through short stints swimming and occasionally working out, 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 2015 to do a team Alcatraz swim, came to a member meeting that September (Thank you to the ambassadors there who were so welcoming!), and did my first team bike ride the next January. 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! This year I'll be racing at USAT Age Group Nationals in August, and I'd love to see more GGTCers there! I love to have fun doing this sport (these sports?) and love it even more that I can do it with some of my favorite people!
I was introduced to triathlon while living in Chicago many years ago. I had just run my third marathon and was completely burned out on long distance running. Some friends invited me to train with them for a sprint triathlon and I figured, why not? My swim was pathetic and featured several strokes, including the side stroke, and plenty of time freaking out on my back. I used my mountain bike, which possibly weighed 50 lbs, for the next leg. My run was decent but I couldn't figure out why my legs felt like lead. It wasn't pretty, but it was fun and I loved the variety!
I had planned to join a triathlon club when I moved here from Chicago in 2014 but was honestly nervous. Do I have to swim in AP? Wait, you want me to bike up Hawk Hill? Can I keep up with these crazies? I was finally tired of making excuses and needed a new challenge so I joined GGTC in February 2017. This quote captures how I felt and actually still feel before I sign up for each new race, "A goal should scare you a little, and excite you A LOT." (Joe Vitale)
Since joining GGTC, I have participated in both the Monte Rio and Santa Cruz OLY programs and have loved every minute of them. Well, except for some tough swims in AP and the time JD made us run insane hill repeats. After joining GGTC, my excitement has continued to grow and I feel like I have found my people! I am excited for the opportunity to share my passion and support my team both on and off the course!
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 memorable moments in those first few races, including an Escape from Alcatraz swim that was 90% heads-up breaststroke. 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 are the mental and physical benefits of keeping an active lifestyle.
I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been an Ambassador in 2017. 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.
I learned to swim and cycle as an adult and will never forget surviving my first triathlon ten years ago; it was both a scary and exhilarating experience! A couple more races later and I became hooked, having discovered a sport that continues to challenge me thru today and allowed for much personal growth over the years. While my passion remains running (and I’ve been known to run races decked out in a costume!), the world of triathlons has afforded me opportunities to build great friendships, visit some beautiful race sites, and truly push my mental and physical limits.
After spending nearly a decade living and working in NYC, and somehow training thru freezing winters and hot, humid summers, I was thrilled to return to SF and within months discover GGTC. I joined the club after attending a happy hour and group ride and knew I had found the best club in town that included a supportive community of athletes, creative and informative programming, inspiring coaches, and overall great fun while racing and beyond.
I feel truly fortunate to have completed 6 Ironman races in Switzerland, Canada, Spain, Brazil, Denmark, and Austria, nearly 20 half Ironmans and Olympic distance races throughout the U.S., and many half and full marathons. 2017 was an especially special year, as I competed at 70.3 World Championships and proudly represented GGTC.
After over 15 years of orthopedic experience of both acute and chronic injuries, I now find myself partnering with Body Mechanix Fitness Cooperative in the heart of South Beach & Rise Above Performance Training in the peninsula. I received degree in physical therapy from Columbia University in New York City and hold a bachelor of science in Exercise & Sport Science from the University of San Francisco.
I’ve studied extensively with experts in manual therapy from the United States and abroad from Australia. As an undergraduate, I was the recipient of an NCAA athletic scholarship in Division I cross country. In my post graduate endeavors, I participated in triathlons and reached sponsorship levels with Team Aquaphor and Amino Vital. My main sponsors for 2017 will be GGTC, Timex, Wattie Ink/GQ-6, Zoot, and Cobb Cycling.
My racing experience includes Ironman Oceanside & Vineman 70.3, Folsom Half Ironman, Wildflower, Treasure Island, and Escape from Alcatraz triathlons. I am also a founding member of the San Francisco chapter of the Rapha Cycling Club.
I have a background in martial arts, competing through my first two years in college. An injury, workload and occasional beers kept me away from it.
Years (and a couple pounds) later, 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.
I completed my first triathlon five years ago - on a mountain bike, wearing a cotton t-shirt and soccer shorts, in the pouring rain. Needless to say, it was awesome. Since then, I've finished three Ironman 70.3 events, competed in the 2015 and 2016 USAT Collegiate National Championships as a graduate student at Cal, and qualified for 2017 USAT Age Group Nationals. I also help coach Marin's youth triathlon team, Otter Tri.
I immediately joined GGTC when I moved to SF, hoping to find training partners. Some of my favorite triathlon memories have come from the past year with GGTC - traveling to races all over, cheering on teammates at aid stations, and training in cool places around the Bay Area. This club is really an amazing group of people that I'm proud to serve and represent as an Ambassador.
Prior to triathlon, I was a runner and soccer player until an injury limited my cardio workouts to the pool. With a GGTC/running friend as my swim coach, I begrudgingly but eventually found my groove in the pool and decided it was time to finally join GGTC, whether or not I even attempted a triathlon. From the very first meeting, where I met many members, coaches, Ambassadors and Board members, I knew I had found the right sport and club for me.
My first triathlon was the Santa Cruz Triathlon Olympic and despite a bike crash and some road rash, well ok, a lot of road rash, I was addicted. I’m looking forward to my first Wildflower relay and my first 70.3 in 2018! GGTC has been life changing for me. I’ve met some amazing people who have encouraged, coached, cheered and even babysat for me. I have never been more healthy, fit or happy and I’m looking forward to giving back to our community and to an exciting 2018 season!
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 flip cup was, it didn't quite have the athletic edge I was after. I wanted to meet people who also loved to work out 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 three years I've learnt to clip in and count in miles. I have completed Olympic triathlons and five half Ironmans, and I finished my first full Ironman in 2017. I've signed up for another two Ironmans in 2018 and I can't wait for all the training to begin! When I'm not training I love to bake delicious things and bring them into work at UCSF Health, where I work as a nurse!
In 2013 I signed up for my first triathlon on a whim with minimal experience in any of the three disciplines but I instantly loved the training, the people I met, the gear -- I was hooked! I even signed up for my second tri at the expo before I had even finished my first race. Although cliche, I knew after that first season that I had found a new lifelong obsession. Over the next few years my competitive spirit, some upgrades in gear, and great coaches and training partners allowed me to achieve personal bests and check things off my triathlon bucket list. I look forward to improving my times in sprint/Oly/70.3 distances and to completing an Ironman in the near future!
One of the first things I did to prepare for my move to San Francisco from D.C. in Fall 2016 was look for a triathlon team -- 15 minutes later, I was a member of GGTC! My newfound teammates and the GGTC buddy program made for a smooth transition to the west coast and a new training/racing environment. I'm excited for another season of accomplishing goals, learning, improving upon ourselves as athletes, and (doing what we do best) having a blast while doing so!
I started doing triathlons about three 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 easily to me, but I knew swimming would not. I decided I was going to learn to swim and overcome my fear of the water so I signed up for my first triathlon. I was hooked after that first one.
It's been amazing being part of GGTC and having a community to train and grow with.
Over the past 5+ years, GGTC has offered me a wonderful place to meet, learn, train, and race with people who are kind, inspiring, and passionate. I'd like to use this opportunity to contribute back to the betterment of the membership. In the beginning, I dove in not knowing how to swim. I became a father, took a hiatus, came back and carried on my bike some bricks of nutrition I could not intake at 7000 ft for my first 70.3.
I became a father again, only to return to go further and deeper into the sport. I love triathlon and how it makes me a better husband, father, and person. It's in integral part of my well being. I feel that this is only the beginning of my quest!
In 2005, I trained for my first marathon. At 40 lbs overweight, I decided to join TNT and go from the couch to 26.2 miles. That's when this endurance junkie was born!
In 2012, I decided to train for my first triathlon. I had no idea how to ride a bike, nor did I own one. Most people learn as a child. (I never did) Furthermore, my idea of "swimming" was nothing more than a doggy paddle. I didn't even know you had to put your head in the water.
I joined GGTC at the end of 2016 and I can honestly say, it's one of the best decisions I've ever made!! Everyone in this club is incredible and extremely supportive!! I'm inspired and encouraged on a regular basis.
I was introduced to triathlon back in 2014 while catching up with an old high school friend at a barbeque. It was my first time living in San Francisco proper after growing up a Marin kid. I did not even realize that I was looking for an activity to fill my time while trying to adult out in the real world. After discussing her freshly broken forearm due to a bicycle accident, the idea of me joining the club was broached seemingly out of left field (I do not believe that it was serendipitous for a second!!!).
After quickly running out of excuses as to why I should not, I reluctantly accepted. Prior to this conversation, I had not ridden a bike or swam for exercise in what felt like over 20 years. Thanks to the OLY program, that changed that in what felt like a nanosecond. I was catapulted right into transition clinics, hawk hill repeats, and even more importantly social events where I met some of my closest friends. I explored several race distances from sprints, the epicness that is Wildflower, and even topped off my first season in Santa Cruz with a 70.3. I am so happy to have accepted that challenge those three years ago.
Coming into the 2018 season I’m looking forward to getting back into racing after taking a year off to reset my race clock and help with the OLY programs. I cannot wait for the revitalized Wildflower long course primarily and the training weekend that will precede it. I know we are going to have another amazing year, in GGTC it’s hard not to.
I joined GGTC in 2011, within days of moving to San Francisco. Since then my undying love of GGTC and the sport of triathlon has been a focal point in my life. Over the years GGTC has been like a family for me. I have built some of the best relationships of my life through the club and will continue to do so.
When I started in Triathlon almost a decade ago, in my first race I was last out of the water, overrode the bike course and suffered through the run. I would say with time I’ve learned to manage my racing a little better thanks to the coaches involved with GGTC, though I have yet to put together the perfect race, if that’s even possible.
During my time as a member of GGTC, I’ve served 4 years on the board as President (two terms), Vice President, and Bike Director (favorite role). I’ve also completed 6 Ironmans (2x Lake Tahoe, Cozumel, Whistler, Mont Tremblant & Florida), over a dozen 70.3s, over a dozen Olympics and a few Sprints (sprints are too hard).
I am always happy to chat triathlon, GGTC, and many other topics of the day -- so do not hesitate to ask. Looking forward to a great 2018 for GGTC.
A week after I moved to San Francisco in 2008, I joined GGTC and its olympic triathlon training program, and have been involved in triathlon ever since. It has given me a healthy supportive outlet and community to participate in and confidence in myself I never had.
AI don't think I could ever have imagined accomplishing the things I have through triathlon, if you had asked me before I started. I could not have done these without the help of friends, coaches, mentors that I have met here in the Bay Area. I love to pay it forward to as many people as I can.
I joined GGTC in 2013. I have been the 2015 and 2016 GGTC swim director. Swimming has connected me to competition and, gave me access to coaches/ athletes at all levels. Through GGTC, I have successfully conquered my fear of open water swim and discovered a passion for it. My vision has been to bridge training between pool and open water swimming.
I have worked with pools and coaching staff to develop triathlon specific training and encouraged club participation in local swim meets during triathlon off-season to continue speed work and promote team camaraderie. I’ve promoted more frequent swim clinics geared towards speed and technique and created partnerships with open water swim agencies for club Alcatraz swims.
Growing up in Florida, one of the first things you learn as a kid is how to swim because every five feet there is another body of water to fall into. You could say my experience with swim, bike, and run started then. Growing up in Gainesville I was always an act breana ive kid. I played varsity football, tournament paintball; I had a flirtation with tennis, etc. All of that fell off the wagon when I went to college in Massachusetts, where the most physical activity I got was skiing on the weekends, occasionally.
After moving to San Francisco last year, I kept having this crazy idea while living in a fifty-person co-op. I should do a triathlon. I discovered GGTC, did the OLY Program, and I was hooked. The sense of community and camaraderie is what makes GGTC so unique. I love coming to workouts to see old friends and make new ones. We embody the work hard play hard motto. When not working out with the club you will most likely find me exploring the underground techno music scene in SF.