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2018 Ambassador Team

2024 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.

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

  • Volunteer at events each year. This can be at races or at GGTC sponsored events such as Training Weekend, Social Events, Bike Clinics, etc. Group efforts are encouraged.
  • Commit to racing in the Team races that GGTC will be focusing on each season.
  • Wear provided custom designed ambassador gear at official GGTC functions, races, and on the podium during team races.
  • Coordinate, participate and lead team/club workouts and challenges.
  • Stay competitive. Have fun!

What The Ambassador Team Provides

  • Fun
  • Leadership support for meeting Ambassadorship goals
  • Exclusive Ambassador retreats throughout the year 
  • Custom designed GGTC Ambassador gear 
  • 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.

2024 A-team members

Sayya Dushanbieva (she / her)

Originally from Tajikistan (Central Asia), I didn’t grow up playing sports. It wasn’t a big part of our lives nor something young girls were encouraged to do. However, we did play outside, walked everywhere, and ate healthy foods - all in all leading a healthy and active lifestyle.

So how did I get into this world of triathlons, you ask? It was in pursuit of a challenge plus a bit of boredom.

After college, a few of my friends signed up for a half marathon in Leavenworth WA. At that time I could run up to 2 miles before hating life and giving up. My partner signed up, and of course I didn’t want to miss out on the experience, so I decided to commit. We came up with our own plan (don’t know why we thought we were equipped to do this) to train on the weekends (ok, only on Saturdays) around Green Lake in Seattle. Finally, the day came and we ran the race. Crossing that finish line, I felt something that I have been chasing ever since.

Of course you start with a half, but most likely continue with a full, which I did. After moving to San Francisco, I decided on the Utah Valley Marathon, but unfortunately it got canceled due to Covid. I didn’t want to give up on all the hard work and ran a solo marathon around Pacific City, Oregon. Then another one on Big Island (self supported!) with my partner and another with 40K+ other runners in Honolulu. Running is fun, but at this point I wanted a new challenge. This is when I joined GGTC.

I started my journey with WTT and what an experience! The coach and the other members who have become friends now, and the bigger community of athletes made me fall in love with the sports and lifestyle. Never in my wildest dreams would I have voluntarily swam in cold open waters, but the support and excitement from others help you overcome fears and gain confidence in yourself. I want to encourage and help others, who might not be confident swimmers, cyclists, or runners to go for it. We all just need a little encouragement, support, and love.

Diana Nielsen (she / her)

I was born and raised near Sacramento where I played lacrosse competitively and discovered my love of hiking and the outdoors.

I moved to San Francisco in 2019. My passing interest in cycling became a personal passion during the pandemic. After being the slowest person on a multi-day backpacking trip in the Swiss Alps, I took up trail running to get better at keeping up with my friends. I was ultimately motivated to join GGTC because I thought it was the only way I could motivate myself to swim in the Bay (I was right). Since joining the club in 2023 I’ve been blown away by the kindness, encouragement and camaraderie of the GGTC community and am excited to cheer on as many of my teammates as possible this coming race season!

In 2024, I’m excited to do my first half ironman in Morro Bay. I’m a big fan of combining cycling and food; if you ever want to go on a pastry optimized bike ride, come find me! I will also be racing gravel bikes with the Super Sprinkles team this year, if you’re bike race curious ask me about it.

Philip Healy (He / Him)

Hi I’m Phillip. Or Phil. Nobody’s really sure which one. If you a see a tall person of average attractiveness at club events, just yell in my general direction and I’ll probably respond. That’s me on the left at the 2023 Santa Cruz 70.3 Ironman. Technically, I didn’t finish that race because I was disqualified for drafting on the bike, but you can see I had a lot of fun, so it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

I’m originally from Eastern North Carolina, and I grew up playing basketball, though in my twenties I began a quest to try every outdoor sport that exists. Triathlon came up after Whitewater Kayaking and Cross-country Skiing. I moved to San Francisco to start a new job in August 2022, and the only person I knew in the city was my sister, so I came up with the marvelous idea to join a triathlon club! I found myself at Wednesday night track at Kezar Stadium, and I kept showing up and bothering strangers until they became my friends (if you pay dues, they can’t really tell you to leave). This seemed like a very reasonable idea at the time, but two Olympic-distance Triathlons, two half marathons, two marathons, a 70.3 Triathlon, two Century rides, and about 400 different pain faces later, I sometimes I think that I might have gone too far. And then several board members will ask me why I haven’t completed a Full Ironman yet, so I guess I haven’t gone far enough.

It's an absolute privilege to be an Ambassador for GGTC in 2024. I joined this club thinking it might be nice to have some company on my regular workouts, and I ended up making some phenomenal friends, getting to participate in awesome outdoor sporting events around California, and pushing myself to a level of performance I never thought possible. Feel free to say hello, and keep annoying me until I become your friend too.

NICK LOLLI (he/ him)

Hi GGTC! Ambassador Nick here, back for my third year with our club. Like many others, the past few years of my triathlon life has been a whirlwind of adventures and type 2 fun, all brought about by the positive influence of GGTC and its members. I've found myself going from my very first Olympic triathlon in 2021 to weekends filled with AP swims, century rides, runs across the Grand Canyon, and more! Most importantly, I have learned to do all of these things in a healthy way that ensures that I'll be able to continue my endurance sports journey for many years to come. This is all due to my membership in GGTC, and the infinite opportunities that come with it. I'm glad that you're a part of it too!

2023 was a blast, filled with plenty of personal bests, new experiences, and great times with GGTC teammates. This upcoming year, I'll be pushing myself to find even bigger challenges, and I can't wait to bring as many GGTCers as possible along for the ride! I'm excited to spend this year training for my first full distance (140.6!!!) triathlon, with plenty of trail running and a couple of 70.3s along the way.

In the meantime, you can always find me cycling up to Hawk Hill on Wednesday mornings, running through Tennessee Valley on Sundays, or scheming long bike rides to Marin's best bakeries on the weekends. Hope to see you out there!

BRYAN STEELE (he/ him)

I grew up in California (San Jose) where I swam competitively for many years. Recently I caught the triathlon bug after watching my friend train for Ironman Oklahoma City in 2021.

I joined GGTC shortly after and competed in my first triathlon with the spring Oly program (Napa). Then my second (Half Moon Bay). And my third (Alcatraz). And my first 70.3 (Santa Cruz). And my first marathon (CIM). So yes, by "caught the triathlon bug" I meant "grew hopelessly addicted."

Triathlon is a wonderful sport(s), and GGTC is an amazing community of kind, motivating, Lycra-wearing people. I can't wait to get to know you as we train for another 70.3, or my first full Ironman (Ironman California), and hopefully a shot at world champs down the road.

Please keep this between us, but I cave very easily to peer pressure, so more often than not, YES, I am willing to go on that 100 mile+ weekend bike ride or that far-flung destination race. 70.3 Kazakhstan anyone?

Nick Molzahn (he/ him)

I was DQ’d from my first race. At a suburban shopping mall in Wisconsin, as the other competitors crawled towards the finish line I saw my opportunity to shine and took off running. Unfortunately, this was “against the rules” or something and I did not win a free month’s supply of diapers. Sorry, Mom.

Fast forward a few decades, and I still follow this philosophy in Triathlon: just get to the run! My pre-Tri athletic background consisted of running, ultimate frisbee, and a bit of cycling (mostly to breweries). For many years, chasing a spinning piece of plastic around the West Coast fueled my athletic ambitions…until the pandemic hit. All sports ceased, and left a gaping hole in my life.

So, I signed up for the 2021 Morro Bay Triathlon having never swum in the ocean before. A key perk of training with a Team was immediately obvious - perhaps there was “safety in numbers” when the seals got hungry!! It took until the Spring 2023 Napa Valley triathlon for me to fully commit to this new sport. The camaraderie and cheers from fellow GGTC members led to me resigning my frisbee roster slot that very same day in order to fully focus on GGTC. Since that first race, I’ve been able to represent the club at nearly a dozen races, including USAT Nationals, Indian Wells (70.3), and Ironman California (140.6). I’m so excited to be an ambassador for this amazing club!!

In 2024, I plan to race locally at Lake San Antonio, Lake Tahoe, Morro Bay, and Santa Cruz, and abroad at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships down in New Zealand. But, I’m also known for being a bit crazy when it comes to race scheduling (ask about my spontaneous 70.3 registration for free shoes…) and will probably sign up for anything else that looks fun. While not tri’ing, I enjoy backpacking in the mountains, skiing at Epic and Ikon-ic resorts, playing in various Ultimate Frisbee tournaments and leagues, and the show Survivor. Yes, it’s still running...

Let me know if you ever want to push yourself on long bike rides - I’m usually down, especially if they have stupidly high gradients and elevation gain (photo: Sea-to-Summit climb up Haleakala on Maui!)

Aaron Walz (he/ him)

Aaron Walz joined GGTC in 2019 right before the Pandemic after falling in love with Open Water Swimming and doing his first sprint triathlon. He became an Ambassador in 2022 in order to give back to the club. He never guessed his tri journey would include five Olympic triathlons, two Half Ironmans, and signing up for a full Ironman (IMCA) in 2024. Highlights of GGTC have been the training programs (Oly and LDP) and winter sunset swims. He also captains and plays on a tennis team, is a member of SERC and is currently privately coached by Megan Tobin (TMT.)

Andrey Vyrich (he/ him)

Hey there, I'm Andrey, a Siberian-born who landed in San Francisco eight years ago. Back then, sports weren't really my thing – I was far from being the fitness type.

I joined the club in 2020 with minimal running or triathlon experience, and thanks to the inspiring friends I found here, I've made quite a progress. From 50-mile bike rides to conquering a double century, overcoming my struggles as a swimmer to completing a couple of Alcatraz swims and a 6-mile Bridge-to-Bridge swim, transitioning from Olympic-distance triathlons to full Ironman events, and finally, progressing from half-marathons to completing 100km runs in Headlands and Dolomites, and nailing my first 100-mile run this year!

This journey wouldn't have been possible without the club; we are a family. We're all about pushing limits and growing together. As I gear up for two more 100-mile runs, including the beast UTMB, I'm entering my fourth year with the Golden Gate Triathlon Club and rocking my third year as the ambassador. I want to give back, inspire my club pals, and keep this journey rolling!

Caroline Spiezio (She / her)

I'm a New Yorker who moved to the Bay in 2022. I fell in love with running during an earlier stint in San Francisco (2017-2019). Every Saturday morning, I'd run from my apartment in Excelsior to Ocean Beach, to start the weekend off with a runner's high, waves, and some hot Irish tea.

When I moved back to New York from SF (2019-2022) I kept running, often through Brooklyn's Prospect Park or to Brighton Beach. I ran my first marathon, Chicago, in 2021. Since then I've run several shorter races, from one-milers to half marathons, and the New York marathon. I joined GGTC in 2023 looking for a community of distance runners, and started racing triathlons through the Women Tri Together program.

As an ambassador I want to make running fun. I also want to make all three sports approachable for beginners - I barely knew how to bike or swim before the WTT program. So ask me anything!

Molly Calcut (She / her)

Sometime during the 32 hour drive from Chicago to San Francisco, my husband decided he wanted to join a triathlon club in our new city as a way to make friends. Growing up as a competitive swimmer and a leisurely runner, it only made sense that I should join him in this new hobby. Within 2 weeks of arriving in San Francisco, we had attended our first GGTC track workout, Garfield swim, and Slacker Friday trail run. This not-so-gradual ease into GGTC is both a testament to the fun we had at the workouts and the lack of friends we had in SF when we got here.

Since that first week of joining GGTC, I’ve made countless friends and completed races I never thought I was interested in (more than one marathon, a 70.3 Triathlon, and a 50k trail race). I even started to enjoy the occasional bike ride. This year I’m looking forward to racing more Olympic triathlons, along with some of my favorite annual events: Trans Tahoe Relays, Christmas Relays, and trail running birthday parties.

I’m super excited to be an ambassador this year, and I can’t wait to meet new members and cheer on/join everyone in their 2024 endeavors.

Angela Yang (She / her)

Originally from SoCal, I moved up here for college and fell in love with San Francisco for the easy access it provides to the outdoors. I've been doing tris for almost 15 years and it has never lost its charm. I don't excel in any particular sport and yet I love them all, even when it's Type 3 fun. It's the people that make all the difference -- they provide the inspiration, the accountability and the support. Some of my closest friends are those I met here. The sport itself as well as the community I built at GGTC is invaluable. It truly takes a village to provide not only the number of events, but the high quality at which each one of them is delivered. I love seeing the variety of workouts on the calendar and it never ceases to amaze me at the dedication that the BOD and Ambassadors consistently brings to the club. I'm thrilled to be part of the A-team this year and look forward to meeting each and every one of you!

Guochen Shen (He / Him)

Hi everyone, I’m excited to be a new ambassador for 2024 and I’m looking forward to a great year! I first joined the club because a friend of mine (thanks Sophia!) thought that it would be fun for me and she was very right. Over the past few years, I have gotten to meet, train with, cheer with, race with some of the best people ever starting with the Olympic Distance Program and then very quickly with more and more people from the club. My love for this club (and the triathlon community as a whole) has only grown since then because of the incredibly fun and supportive members around me.

Honestly though, the real best part about this is all of the snacks we get to eat along the way. For the upcoming year, my goal is to swim, bike, and run to find more of the butteriest, fluffiest, sugariest, savoriest, crunchiest, flavor-iest things to eat all around the bay and I’d love to have people join me for more food adventures.

Oh, and orange is unquestionably the best color so if you see someone wearing just a biiiiit too much orange, there’s a good chance it’s me.

Come say hi!


I am from São Paulo and grew up in Minas Gerais, Brazil. I played tennis competitively during elementary and high school. Still, my joy was always found outdoors, hiking the rolling hills of the Atlantic Forest and Tropical Savanna. I moved to SF 6 years ago after a very bohemian Paris experience and slowly got back into a more active lifestyle. While running daily up to Bernal Heights, I discovered my passion for endurance sports. Around 4 years ago, I did a steep increase in running volume and intensity and ran my first half marathon and marathon. To balance my training, I started cycling and swimming in early 2020 and soon realized that I was already hooked on the world of Triathlon. I then joined GGTC and discovered our incredible community of supportive, strong, and fascinating humans. Through the delightfully cold pacific waters and astounding views of the Bay, San Francisco became my beloved home. In the past year, I have been highly focusing on trail running! On the side, I am a Neuroscientist at UCSF with a growing interest in sports science and I also love to take pictures: As part of the 2024 Ambassador’s Team, I aim to support new members in all aspects of their Triathlon journey and pass along what I have learned..


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.

Josefine Ohlsson (she/her)

I have been a member of GGTC since the spring of 2021 and I absolutely love this community of crazy, fun athletes! I grew up in Sweden, where I was swimming competitively from a young age. After having to quit swimming because of messed-up, worn out knees (ooh yes, knee injuries from swimming are possible) I took a couple of years off to get my injury under control and eventually got back to recreational swimming, and even tried running for the first time and got hooked right away!

I discovered open water swimming through an open water race in my hometown, and completed my first OW race in 2016. A couple of years later I moved to San Francisco and fell madly in love with swimming in the Bay. I have since completed the Alcatraz swim, Golden Gate Bridge Swim, Bay Bridge Swim and the Bridge-to-Bridge and did my first marathon swim this summer, 12mi true width of Lake Tahoe.

I joined GGTC as I was seeking a new community, and a new challenge - triathlon! I have so far done the summer Oly program in 2021 (to prepare for my first Olympic tri), the Long Distance Program summer 2022 and 2023 (targeting Ironman 70.3 in Santa Cruz) and most recently the CIM program. Not only did these programs prepare me well for my races, I also made so many amazing new friends along the way. Yay!

Kristina (Kiki) Koepke (she/her)

Hi everyone - I am very excited to be your Ambassador! GGTC has been extremely instrumental to me in the past year. I have made new best friends and made a 180 degree turn in all three sports. So, if you are a little hesitant with one of them, trust me - you’ll be fine. :)

I swam for a few years in High School, but stopped because I found it to be the most boring sport ever. I used a bike for commutes only, and while practical, it definitely was not my favorite way to commute. I used to run a few times a week but only to afford extra calories for food and wine.

Fast forward, the club swim workouts are probably my favorite workouts of the week. I bought my first road bike a year ago, a TT bike a few weeks ago, and despite some teething problems with clipless pedals, I am now always down for a (long) bike ride or Zwift meetup.

With very little cycling experience, I finished my first few Oly races and a 70.3 last year. For the upcoming season, I hope to stay injury free and race with you all across all distances. I love to train, eat and drink - so hmu for any of these.

Dan Pierce (he/him)

Hey there, I'm Dan, and I'm living the triathlon dream right here along with Golden Gate Triathlon Club! Originally an East Coast kid from Connecticut, I've been soaking in the vibes of San Francisco for an exhilarating decade.

My journey into the world of triathlons kicked off just five years ago when I joined this incredible club. Before that, my rhythm was all about the water—I was part of the crew teams in both high school and college. But the call of triathlons turned out to be irresistible.

I've left my mark on challenging courses including Santa Cruz, Oceanside, Morro Bay, and Indian Wells, conquering numerous half Ironman races along the way. The pinnacle? Crossing the finish line for my first full at Ironman California in 2023. Talk about a journey of grit, resilience, and an unwavering pursuit of achievement!

But hey, the adventure is far from over. In 2024, catch me in action at Ironman 70.3 Morro Bay and Ironman 70.3 Oregon among others, as I continue pushing my limits and embracing the challenges that come along.

As an ambassador for the Golden Gate Triathlon Club, I'm not just about racing; I'm about inspiring others to take on their own challenges. From helping club members swim their first AP “perimeter” to showing you how to swap your own bike chain, I look forward to being a valuable resource.

So here's to the incredible community we have in the Golden Gate Triathlon Club, where each race is a new chapter in an adventure we share together!

Kelsey Kress (she/her)

Hi there! My name is Kelsey, and I'm back for my 2nd year as an Ambassador with GGTC. I’m a Bay Area native and grew up in Petaluma. If you don’t know where that is, come on a bike ride with me and experience Sonoma County! My entire childhood was dedicated to competitive soccer with some dips into cross country, track & field, and volleyball. Fast forward to life after college, and you would have found me at Orangetheory. Many years of this high intensity exercise led me to my grand idea of trying triathlon! I won my age group in the 2021 Donner Lake Sprint Triathlon and joined GGTC two months later thinking, “I have to try an Olympic next!” In 2022 I competed in the Half Moon Bay Olympic, Victoria 70.3 and Santa Cruz 70.3 triathlons. I spent the entire year in GGTC’s Long Distance Program and became addicted to the endurance side of the sport. After rehabbing a running injury during all of 2023, I'm hoping to be back in action for 2024 and signed up for my first full IM - Ironman Hamburg! As someone who is obsessed with being active and outdoors, you can also find me anywhere from skiing in Tahoe to freediving in Nicaragua. Some random fun facts about me are: I love traveling, I’m a civil engineer and design highways, I’m a UC Davis Alum, my spine is permanently fractured, and I have an awesome cat! I’m excited to be a GGTC Ambassador again and join you on your multi-sport journey. This club changed my life, and I hope I can help show you what a positive impact it can make on your life too!


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!

Aoife Weeks (she/her)

One of the things I am grateful for the pandemic is that it brought movement back into my life. Growing up in Ireland I was never big into sports, but when I was suddenly home 24/7, one daily walk became two, I started hiking, bought a bike, did a couch to 5k running program and braved the waters at Aquatic Park. I joined GGTC at the end of ‘21 and completed the Women Tri Together program in spring ‘22 (which I highly recommend!), since then I’ve completed sprint and olympic distance triathlons, a relay for a 70.3 and the iconic Escape from Alcatraz (which I’m excited to do again in ‘24)!

Along the way I have met so many fantastic people in the club, many who I now get to call friends. There is always someone to inspire and encourage you, whether you are targeting your first sprint tri or your first full Ironman. I'm excited to be staying on the Ambassador Team for ‘24 and look forward to seeing you out there! #SwimBikeRunHaveFun

Fun fact - ever since spectating Escape from Alcatraz ‘21 I've been following the pro triathlon scene too, so if you want to discuss the latest PTO rankings, upcoming races, who's qualified for Paris/Kona, the latest triathlon scandal etc. let me know

Felix Reiseberg (He / Him)

When I moved to San Francisco in 2013, I didn't quite feel like joining another sports team – I had spent years of my life in various swimming squads and was quite alright with training by myself. It took multiple 70.3 races and signing up for a full Ironman before I finally came to my senses: Doing this by myself is silly. I joined the club in 2019, finally discovering the truth: There's no class or gear you can buy that's as effective or fun as having a family of enthusiastic athletes to train, race, and celebrate with.

When I'm not swimming, running, or biking, I work as an Engineering Manager in the city, showing around tourists from Europe, or camping in one of the amazing national parks here.

In 2024, I'm racing 70.3 Oceanside in the spring followed by Ironman Hamburg, Broken Arrow Skyrace, and the Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara triathlons in the summer.

Golden Gate Triathlon Club is a 501(c)7 non-profit organization.

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