2018 Board of Directors
2023 Board of Directors
BRETT MANNING | PRESIDENT
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.
JAMES O'BRIEN | VICE-PRESIDENT
When I was a kid in Iowa, I ran track - more than 400 yards was too far. At 15, I competitive swam and was terrible at it, in my 20s, I biked to work in Chicago - 14 degrees outside was my limit.
Fast forward to the past three years of triathlon and I am surrounded by people that inspire me every day and who define what it means to never give up.
I’ve done nearly every GGTC training program, did an Alcatraz swim, completed a 240 mile run challenge around the bay, trail runs, St George and Santa Cruz 70.3 in 2021, Escape from Alcatraz, and some half marathons, and 10ks thrown in. Join me!
Who wants to be bored?
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 2023 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 cellar person 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 President), Brett.
A combination of COVID, injury and work means I haven't raced since September 2019! Hopefully 2022 will be the year I cross that finish line again.
MARK BYRNE | SOCIAL 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.
2022 was Whopper... 2023 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!
JAMES WEBB | BIKE DIRECTOR
Growing up in the UK my main sport was rowing. I loved the community around the sport and the more you put in, the more you got out. I have always loved riding bicycles and after moving to the US I took up road cycling with friends as a way to stay in shape, we would train for an annual Century ride.
I moved to the Bay Area in 2016 and discovered what real hills were. I kept my annual Century ride tradition for the first couple of years and then discovered GGTC after one of my friends invited me to a group ride. I was immediately hooked and saw the fantastic community that makes up GGTC. Since joining I have discovered how to swim and run without getting injured but my passion remains on the bike. I have been part of the Oly Program through the last two years and became an ambassador last year for the club.
I am so excited to be the Bike Director this year. There are so many great places to explore in the Bay Area on bike and many pastries and croissants to sample while doing it. In 2022 I will be looking to expand on my first 70.3 race at La Quinta and many weekends in the saddle on group rides.
ANGELA YANG | RUN DIRECTOR
As a California native, I've lived in the Bay Area for over 20 years. Originally planning on just staying for a few 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. The club has allowed me to pursue a passion with some of now my closest friends. And after 2 years, I wanted to give back to the club by becoming Run Director.
When I'm not working or training, you can find me traveling and adventuring. Spotting penguins on Antarctica, getting my diving certification and surfing more are next on my list. I'm so excited to be a GGTC Director and can't wait to meet all of you!
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 2023, I’m trying to improve my Sprint distance time or may attempt Olympic distance. At the very least, you’ll see me at 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 2023 has in store with practices, socials, and races. Let’s do this!
FELIX RIESEBERG | SWIM DIRECTOR
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 only joined the club in 2019, but it's the best thing I've ever done in my sports career. 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'm working as a software engineer in the city, showing around tourists from Europe, or camping in one of the amazing national parks here.
In 2021, I'm racing 70.3 Taiwan and 70.3 Oceanside in the spring followed by Ironman Wisconsin in the summer.
CULLEN MILLIKIN | GEAR DIRECTOR
I moved to SF 6+ years ago and have stayed (for the most part) because of our amazing access to the outdoors from the city. I started with Sprint triathlons in 2019 and enjoyed solo-training for a few years… enter GGTC in 2021 and I love the social training & camaraderie the club brings!
My top triathlon achievement of 2022 was beating Coach Cesar in T2 in an officially sanctioned Ironman race. Rumor has it he has been training furiously for our next head-to-head.
This year I’m in charge of Gear and making sure every member can represent GGTC during training and races! If you have questions or have an awesome idea for custom GGTC gear let me know, we’re always open to hearing where we can add new items and designs!
JEN PROCTOR | EX OFFICIO
I dipped my toes into triathlons in 2014 when I completed my first tri doing the "Tri for Fun" sprint triathlon with a friend. I had virtually no training and no clue how a triathlon worked. I borrowed a friend's mountain bike that was two sizes too small and asked around in transition where on my swimsuit I was supposed to pin my number.
I've come a long way since that first triathlon and joined GGTC in January 2016. In June of 2016, I joined the Oly Training Program where I met some of my closest friends in the club and had the opportunity to get to know more people in the club in a smaller, more intimate setting. By the end of 2016 I joined the Board as the Volunteer Director, and now I'm excited to be back for my 5th year on the board, this time as your Secretary.
Since joining GGTC, and with the encouragement of all my teammates, I've completed three IRONMAN 70.3 and numerous Olympic distance triathlons. My real passion these past few years on the board has been working with the Oly Training Program and what was formally the Women for Tri, now Womxn Tri Together, Training program. I'm excited to have the opportunity to once again work with Coach JD on the Oly program and to have the chance to work with our new Womxn Tri Together coach Megan Tobin.
I love all that GGTC has to offer and I'm excited to see what we can do in 2023!
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 2023 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 2023.
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!