2018 Board of Directors
2024 Board of Directors
JAMES O'BRIEN | PRESIDENT
In 2019, I signed up for the Bass Lake Olympic Triathlon with my brother. Swim lessons were a distant memory and I wasn't a runner; I joined GGTC immediately and little did I know that I would find my tribe. GGTC is an incredible community of incredible people who also happen to be athletes doing amazing things.
Since joining, I've done Sprints, Olys (the toughest), 70.3s, and full IM races, marathons, countless half marathons and as many trail runs/races as I can fit in between.
The GGTC community teaches you that you can do anything and anxiety, doubt, and uncertainty are your fuel; you just have to sign up. I have loved every moment of being a part of this incredible community and know we'll have a great 2024.
Andy Ia | VICE-PRESIDENT
Hello! Growing up I was never really a fan of running or any type of endurance sport; I spent my days in a wrestling room and at tournaments on the weekends. After college and while living in DC, I agreed to do the Navy-Air Force half marathon then followed that up with a trail marathon in 2017. I caught the triathlon bug while training for that marathon and decided that Santa Cruz 70.3 would be a good fit. Despite almost turning around and calling it a day after the first 100 meters, I finished the race and immediately signed up for Santa Rosa 70.3 in 2019. Fast forward to 2021, I moved to San Francisco and joined GGTC right away. I had just signed up for Ironman Lake Placid and thought joining a club would be a great way to meet people and improve my training.
I can honestly say that joining GGTC has been one of the best decisions I’ve made since moving here. I’ve discovered an amazing community, met so many great friends, improved in all 3 disciplines, completed my first Ironman, and most importantly realized my love for the sport!
Looking forward to all of the GGTC events and hanging out with fellow members in 2024!
SOPHIA ZIKANOVA HANLEY | SECRETARY
Pretty much from the time I could walk I spent my time doing some kind of sport. Although I’ve tried out loads of different sports over the years the endurance sports have always been my favorite. The teams I’ve been on have been a huge part of the reason for that. After graduating college I spent a few years trying to just run and sign up for races on my own. In the summer of 2019 I got it into my head that I wanted to try a triathlon, and signed up for the Women Tri Together program. I got hooked on the sport, made some great friends and have met tons of inspirational people along the way. The last few years of Oly program and covid safe workouts have made me more excited than ever about what this club provides. I just completed my first Half Ironman, and can’t wait for the season next year! I’m excited to help provide this experience in the coming year, and to make the Oly/Women Tri Together programs a great experience.
NIKI BROWN | WEB DIRECTOR
I love carbs, friends, and pretty much any endurance related activity. Joining GGTC has an amazing combination of all these things!
I discovered triathlon several years ago after signing up for a duathlon on a whim. I figured that I'm a decent runner and I have a bike, so what could be so hard? After being passed by a 12 year old on a huffy bike, I decided to get a coach and finally learn how to swim! I completed a few sprint and olympic distance triathlons that year and haven't looked back since.
In 2019 I moved from Boston to San Francisco and signed up for my first Half Ironman. I joined GGTC as a way to meet new people and have more accountability in training. GGTC has been such a great supportive group of friends and training partners!
I'm excited to continue to be a part of the GGTC board! Here's to the 2024 season with more races and more carbs!
CRAIG MACLELLAN | MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR
I moved to San Francisco in January 2018 as a keen cyclist and an OK-runner. I joined GGTC for two reasons – to find something to focus my efforts on outside of work and to meet people in the Bay Area (making new friends in your 30s is HARD!). Joining GGTC is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I feel in the best shape ever and have made a fantastic group of friends.
When I’m not swimming, cycling or running, I'm a brewer at Barebottle Brewing. If I’m not there, I can be found cultivating my Scotch Whisky collection, filling our "salad drawer" with beers, or sampling the best food and drink in the Bay Area with my husband (and GGTC Ex Officio), Brett.
This year, I'll be captaining the OLY program and doing a race I never thought I'd do - Escape from Alcatraz!
REBECCA DAUER | SOCIAL DIRECTOR
Originally from Kentucky, I’ve always been a fan of the outdoors, staying active, and spending time with other people! Since joining GGTC, I have found an amazing community of kind, fun, active, like minded individuals, who challenge me to have fun, get moving, and try new things – which has helped my love for the Bay Area and triathlon grow.
I’m excited to get to know more of you this year, and partner to offer opportunities to help everyone enjoy the Club and build community.
If we haven’t met, please introduce yourself (on Slack, over email, in person). And if we have met - please say hi! I’m so excited to catch up with you.
Ask me about: My love of spicy food, the best sunsets, coffee, crime podcasts, beer/wine, Bridge (the card game), things I’m excited to do and see around SF
Open to recs on: Pastry shops to hit while out riding (ham & cheese croissants are my favorite), new food / cute drink spots (e.g., bar or cafe), swimming technique (help!), live music
MARK BYRNE | DESIGN DIRECTOR
Hey Hey GGTC! What’s the craic? I’m Burnsie from Belfast! I landed in San Francisco 5 years via Toronto and Pittsburgh chasing the California dream like everyone else...And LOVE it!
I used to run through forests in the Boy Scouts, jump over hurdles in the Irish schoolboy championships, and could swim two lengths of the pool. But Rugby was my (first) passion for 26 years until my body fell out with me because of too many knocks, so I retired in 2014. This left a massive void in my life, and with it, a lack of fitness and health routine.
Then along came GGTC. My saviour in Covid and a new chapter in my life. I went from cycling once every 3 weeks to 3 times a week at times, and running with purpose! (I also got my feet wet with some seals.) Peer pressure from club members and my rubber arms meant I jumped straight into the deep end and completed two Half Ironmans in 2021 and feel the fittest I’ve been since I was a teenager! Some fools also elected me as a club Ambassador which was my downward fall as the next year I got elected onto the board.
Outside triathlons, I’m a User Experience designer here in the city and spend free time boogying in a nightclub or camping in the woods. My third passion is cars, so you’ll also find me road tripping around California or racing my BMW around a race track.
2023 was Whopper... 2024 is going to go Ballistic! I’m looking forward to getting everyone out there to forge new friendships and have some playful fun along the way. Happy Days!
ROB EISENBACH | SPONSORSHIP DIRECTOR
I'm an east-coast transplant who moved to SF after falling in love with the Sierra Nevada mountains during a two-week backpacking trip in Ansel Adams wilderness. I love the outdoors, and there’s probably no better place for an outdoor junkie like myself than here in the bay area.
A couple of years into my bay-area life, a good friend challenged me to do Wildflower with him. I've always been an avid biker, but at the time I could barely swim 50 yards. Loving a good adventure, I committed, learned how to swim distance, and had a great race. That year I did three more tri’s, and the following year I added another four, including Escape from Alcatraz and Vineman (70.3)!
Four years ago I came back to the sport after a long hiatus. Knowing that a big part of why I loved doing triathlons was training with other people, I (re)joined GGTC. Best decision ever!
GGTC is so much more than a triathlon club. It's a wonderful, adventurous, fun, caring community. I'm very excited to continue supporting our amazing organization as this year's sponsorship director. LET'S GO!
JAIMIE ZHU | BIKE DIRECTOR
I grew up in Colorado mostly skiing and playing volleyball. It wasn’t until college that I started very casually running because I heard a podcast about heart health, and the hypochondriac in me thought I should do something about it. Towards the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, by sheer chance, I found myself staying at a family friend’s home in Boulder, and they just so happened to be racing Boulder 70.3. The energy at the race was captivating, and I immediately felt that this was something I had to be a part of.
At the end of 2021, I moved back to San Francisco and joined GGTC to train for my first 70.3. I was expecting, at best, just some structure to hold me accountable to train. What I found, though, was a supportive and vibrant community and a space to achieve the impossible. Since I joined, I’ve done several 70.3’s, olympics, and am training for my first full Ironman this year!
SOLEDAD CALDERON | RUN DIRECTOR
was born and raised in Spain and came to the US over ten years ago to play college tennis in New Orleans. After a lifetime pursuing my tennis career, I replaced my rackets with a pair of running shoes and fell immediately in love with it! I then moved to San Francisco in 2018 and picked up road biking and floating (or was it swimming?!) but never had the courage to race a triathlon. After few years riding solo, I joined the club and since then, I crushed my previous half marathon PR, raced my first 3 triathlons and 2 Half Ironmans, and ran my first marathon!
GGTC has really helped me structuring training and achieving a level of fitness that I never thought possible. But honestly the best part is the community around it! They have forever changed the way I feel about sports and push me everyday to be and do better. This year, I'll be racing Boston Marathon and few other olympic triathlons but I am looking for my next cool race so if you have one coming up, let's connect! I am easily convincible.
Arisa Takahashi | TREASURER
How does one become a triathlete? Be friends with positive and encouraging triathletes! (Like former GGTC officers). Growing up, I biked, swam and did gymnastics like the other kids in my suburban neighborhood. I joined my university ski team (slalom and GS on 190’s). Then sedentary grown-up life happened, with lots of overtime, moving international cities and other life priorities.
Fast forward to a milestone birthday and wanting something to show for it, I joined a well-known fundraising training group and started to train for my first ever marathon. Along the way, I started running (& walking) 5K, 10K, Bay to Breakers (12k) and Half Marathons. Ran the marathon, then got complacent and realized I needed a community to keep me motivated. I joined the Women Tri Together program and haven't stopped since! GGTC helped me survive the pandemic and everyone continues to be a training inspiration.
These days when I’m not swimming, biking or running, I work as an accounting & finance corporate minion or volunteer using those skills. For 2024, there's the Kaiser Half Marathon, Bay to Breakers (as usual), continue to work on improving my Sprint distance time and attempt Olympic distance in Santa Cruz again!
Julia Nalven | COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
Hi! I’m Julia, your communications director. I joined GGTC in 2021 and can honestly say this club changed my life. I have made wonderful friends and pushed my body to achieve things I never thought possible.
I was lucky to be introduced to triathlon by my college roommate. I did my first race (the tree-athlon!) on a steel bike with a hand-me-down kit, and couldn’t get my wetsuit off in T1 until a kind person stopped to help. I’ve learned a lot since that race, and even did my first race with official wetsuit strippers this year! I have been a long time Aquatic Park swimmer, but it wasn’t until joining GGTC that I had the courage to swim a perimeter loop. Now I’m swimming in the bay year-round and often hanging around after just to catch up with friends.
I can’t wait to see what 2024 has in store with practices, socials, and races. Let’s do this!
AIMEE DEWANTE | SWIM DIRECTOR
I was born and raised near Sacramento where I swam competitively, biked leisurely, and ran only from my inner demons. I moved to Chicago in 2010 where my tri-curiosity was piqued by the incredibly alluring Lake Shore Path; biking along the lake seemed obvious, but I surprised myself by waking up one day wanting to join the hordes of runners I saw every day. This is when I discovered “runners high” and never looked back.
I moved to San Francisco in 2021 with just my trusty steel steed. I decided pretty quickly I needed friends, a pandemic-friendly hobby, and probably a lighter bike. GGTC has given me all that (ok so I bought my own bike) and more. This club is full of the most ridiculous and generous people I have ever met and I love that I’m now part of it.
In 2024 I’m excited to do the long distance program and subsequently a 70.3 or two. I also plan to be the loudest and most obnoxious cheerleader at as many events as I can, including track night. See you in the water!
Victoria Feng | GEAR DIRECTOR
For as long as I can remember I’ve been in the pool…swim, lift, swim again, and repeat. After graduating college and moving to San Francisco in 2020, I had to go on this new adventure and redefine what it meant to be an athlete. Finding ways I liked to move and developing an identity outside of being a student-athlete was a far more daunting task than I had thought it would be.
Fast forward to 2022 when one of my friends asked me to teach her how to swim for the Santa Cruz 70.3. I gave her swim coaching in the pool and in return, she took me up Hawk Hill, introduced me to some running clubs, and the rest was history. In one year I learned how to clip in, shift gears, raced three Ironman 70.3's and finished my first full Ironman. But more importantly than the races was finding the GGTC community. They taught and supported me through the terrifying nature of open swims, long bike rides, and cheered so loud that I almost forget the pain of every run leg of my race. Joining GGTC has given me a community of the best friends and supporters I could have asked for.
BRETT MANNING | EX-OFFICIO
Growing up I was a stereotypical math geek who’d feign injury to get out of gym class. In 2013, after 5 years of post-grad studies, my sedentary ways had started to take their toll and I realized that I had to make some big changes or risk my mid 20s being my middle age. The only physical activity I’d ever really enjoyed was cycling. So I started to ride to work, adding a little bit of extra distance where I could and slowly over the course of 2 years I managed to drop a third of my body weight.
Being more active felt great and the more I did the more I wanted to do. I’d always been terrified of running so I set my self a challenge of a doing the Edinburgh half marathon. My first ever ‘race’ and in the summer of 2016 I finished this thing I’d once thought impossible. Then, one cold November night, over a couple of drinks some colleagues and I dared each other to sign up for the inaugural Edinburgh 70.3.
Triathlon was a revelation and I haven’t looked back since. I moved from Edinburgh to San Francisco at the end of 2017 and joined GGTC shortly after, since then have done Olympics, Halves and Full IronMans . Joining GGTC was instrumental to me and my husband settling into life in SF- in fact my husband also ended up on board!
It is an honor to be President of the club and I am hugely excited by opportunity to continue to grow our community. As president I will commit to increasing member engagement, increase the diversity of our membership, improve the sustainably of our club and most importantly have a lot of fun.
I'll also be racing the Napa Oly, Santa Cruz 70.3 and Memphis along with fulls in Lake Placid and Sacramento.
Cara Meguro | VOLUNTEER DIRECTOR
I grew up swimming, biking and running! It wasn't until 2019 however, that I put it all together. My roommate at the time convinced me to do a Sprint in Napa and I said why not! I haven't looked back since.
I mostly like to open-water swim and bike. Running was a necessary evil that you had to master to save your life (e.g. running to catch the train, running because you're late, running away from zombies, etc). Who would've guessed that Wednesday Track would become my favorite weekday or that I'd fall in love with trail running or that I'd run a marathon!
GGTC has been such a pivotal part of my life for gaining athletic endurance and building close friendships. From competing in 70.3s to running marathons, I've never been more encouraged to push my limits and fulfill all the crazy endurance dreams. Furthermore, the friends I've made through the club have been *chefs kiss* best in class. I am incredibly grateful for my experience thus far and look forward to giving back to this inspiring community in any way I can.
I'm beyond thrilled to be part of the Board and can't wait for all of the 2024 adventures!
MARGARITA KRIVITSKI | A-TEAM DIRECTOR
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 Mallorca and Santa Cruz in 2024.
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!