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GOLDEN GATE TRIATHLON CLUB
  AMBASSADOR TEAM
 


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
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.
  • Volunteer at events each year. This can be at races or at GGTC sponsored events such as WFTW, Social Events, Bike Clinic, etc. Group efforts are encouraged.
  • Commit to racing in the Team races that GGTC will be focusing on in 2016. These races include:
  • KAISER HALF MARATHON & 5K
  • HITS NAPA
  • WILDFLOWER
  • IRONMAN ST. GEORGE
  • VINEMAN MONTE RIO
  • VINEMAN 70.3
  • VINEMAN 140.6
  • SF TRIATHLON at ALCATRAZ
  • IRONMAN 70.3 SANTA CRUZ
  • SANTA CRUZ TRIATHLON
  • NORTHFACE ENDURANCE CHALLENGE
  • Wear provided custom designed ambassador gear at ALL official GGTC functions, races, and on the podium during team races.
  • Participate and lead team/club workouts.
  • Stay competitive. Have fun! 
 
 
WHAT THE AMBASSADOR TEAM PROVIDES
  • Fun
  • Leadership
  • A presence on the podium both locally and nationally
  • 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.
 
2016 AMBASSADOR TEAM MEMBERS

 
JEFF WONG | Ambassador Team Manager
I started doing triathlons about 7 years ago. I ran the SF Marathon and a co-worker said, “you should do a triathlon!” I said, “a couple problems here, #1 I can’t swim that far, #2 I don’t have a bike.” Well, she helped me with my swim and I borrowed my uncle’s road bike, raced Wildflower that year and I’ve been hooked ever since. My favorite races thus far are Ironman Honu 70.3, Big Kahuna (the half ironman distance down in Santa Cruz), Escape from Alcatraz, and Vineman Monte Rio. Watching endurance athletes and being able to race with people who push beyond their limits and overcome personal challenges inspire and amazes me. I've been a member of GGTC for 6 years and a 3 time previous member of the month. I look forward to a more focused training schedule, being challenged by my fellow A Team members, and giving back to the club and sport that provides me an outlet and balance to my crazy life. Bike is my strongest discipline, and in the off season, I like to run the Northface Endurance Challenge as my end of the year race. With the support of the club, friends, and family, I have had a couple podiums in my age group (2nd, 3rd, 2nd- men’s relay team, and 3rd and 2nd at Northface) qualified for the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships in 2015 and finished 11th male overall in the 2015 Tri Club Championship Series competition. My favorite junk food is french fries and I can work a dance floor!
 
KRISTA GAGER | Ambassador Team Captain
In early 2009 my husband and I found ourselves in need of a hobby so we decided to “train for a triathlon.” Little did we know, it would become our passion. We moved to SF in 2011 and joined GGTC before we even finished unpacking. Over the past four years I’ve become very involved in the club and served on the Board of Directors in 2013. The swim is my strongest discipline and in my first race I was second out of the water… and then proceeded to be passed by nearly every single person between the bike and the run. I finished fourth to last. Despite this, I was hooked. I've worked hard on my bike and run since then. I have finished dozens of races ranging from sprints to my Ironman (Lake Tahoe and Cozumel). Outside of triathlon, I am a Nurse Practitioner at the San Francisco VA, love to travel and enjoy getting lost in a good book. I've enjoyed being a part of the Ambassador Team to help newbies and promote the things I enjoy most about GGTC – friendship, fun and a little competition too.
 
DANNY DVINOV
Growing up (in USSR/Russia) I did a bunch of sailing, played soccer, drank beer, and hated running for longer than like 5 minutes. I was a 50 yard dash sprinter my senior year in High School (Marblehead, MA). Having read Born to Run in late 2010, I've challenged myself to run a marathon. I ran myself to an injury getting ready for the marathon, and decided to teach myself how to swim while I couldn't run. During that time, flipping TV channels I stumbled upon the NBC coverage of Kona finish line. These people looked HAPPY, and Ironman had a marathon in it, so I resolved to do that instead of just 26.2. Ironman went well, and I got addicted much like everyone else who tries. In 2015 I'm focusing on IM Canada, and hopefully overcoming my fears and finally doing something shorter than 70.3 (going long is much easier for me than going fast...)
 Bronwyn van Vugt
BRONWYN VAN VUGT
I was never a serious runner. Or cyclist. Or swimmer. In high school I was a somewhat serious downhill ski racer. I'm Canadian though (raised in Vancouver, BC), so that comes with the territory. In my twenties I ran a smidgen but was certainly no "serious athlete." I knew some "serious athletes." They were competitive triathletes; you know, crazy people. Then, at age 31, I got this notion that I should do a triathlon. So, I did: Ironman Muskoka 70.3 (2013) a couple months later. I really didn't think I could get addicted from just one race ... Next it was a marathon, then an ultra, then more triathlons, then faster times, and ... In summer, 2014, my family and I moved to San Francisco. The following April I was running Boston and I recall this distinct moment in the final miles when, looking around me at all those "serious runners," it occurred to me, "Hold-up. Am *I* a 'serious runner'?! Am I one of those crazy people?!" Unable to escape the possibility, I was compelled to find some crazy company. When I joined Golden Gate Triathlon Club I was overjoyed by the camaraderie and sense of belonging offered by this group of "serious athletes." Turns out "serious," "athlete," "competitive," and "triathlete," are but arbitrary words. They are whatever you make them. Do you like to move? Do you have goals? Do you have a notion that swimming, biking, and running in the same day might be rewarding? You're at risk of being a serious, competitive triathlete. Welcome to the club. I can't wait to meet you, train with you, and help contribute to the awesomeness of this group of crazy people. In my less crazy moments, I like back-country camping, making a fool of myself on a dance floor (or in the kitchen in front of my husband and two kids), and drinking IPA.
 Chipper Nicodemus
CHIPPER NICODEMUS
Hi I’m Chipper and I’m a Taurus. I’m a new dad and am looking forward to racing in 2016 with a severe deficit in sleep. I got into triathlon after being displeased with my sedentary lifestyle and growing waistline. In an effort to change my lifestyle I decided to take up running about 4 years ago. I then bought a bike to do some cross train for running and before I knew it I was registering for my first triathlon, the Folsom Olympic Triathlon. Of course I fell in love with the sport and wanted to get faster. I found the great community at GGTC and started joining some group rides, runs and AP swims. For 2016 I have a few races on the books including St. George, Tri-Cal’s Alcatraz race, Monte Rio, Vineman 70.3, Santa Cruz 70.3 and a few others scattered about. My favorite race experience has been at Big Kahuna/ Santa Cruz 70.3 running by the GGTC tents and getting some cheers, jeers and ass slaps. Really looking forward to being on the Ambassador Team for 2016 and representing GGTC
 
HOPE GELBACH
I was born and raised in Coronado, CA and went to college in San Luis Obispo. I moved (to work) in SF after school but took 2 1/2 years off to travel (46 countries) '94-'96. Besides a few 'fun' tri's... I really started this crazy sport in 2005... after having 2 kids who are now 11 and 16!  I did my first Olympic in 2006... on a mountain bike... first Half in 2007 (Thanks to my first Coach.. Duane!!)  I then checked off the bucket list by doing an Ironman in 2010. (Who would have thought!!?)  My first love was running, but I have come to appreciate cycling... and even swimming! (did I just say that?!)  I'm excited about being on the Ambassador Team for GGTC for the 3rd year. I enjoy being a positive, motivating role model and hope that I can accomplish that here?!  I always try to keep things in perspective... If I'm not having FUN participating in this sport... I need to rethink WHY are I'm doing it?!
 
MICHAEL SPIEGEL
My first exposure to triathlon was about 10 years ago. It was a silly sprint involving a speedo channeling my inner Faris Al-Sultan (who I was unaware of at the time). I raced here, raced there, did the typical leap into Ironman with moderate success primarily due to my long career as a competitive swimmer. Only until recently has what it takes to become successful really started to click. 2015 was a very promising year that I'm looking forward to building on in 2016. I have a few new exciting races on the schedule (Oceanside, Vineman, St. George) and will probably fill that up more so please join me. Look for me to hit an Ironman again in 2016, race TBD. Why do I like this stuff? It certainly taps my competitive spirit. It challenges me to be the best I can be; there's always something that can improve physically and mentally. I meet a lot of tremendous people with amazing stories, and ultimately I'm a small piece in a large triathlon community that is truly special. I don't think that hit me until I crossed the finish line at Ironman Lake Tahoe. And it especially resonates when you watch the Ironman World Championships on Ali'i Drive until the very last second. Once that happens, you're hooked and your goals shift dramatically. Aloha!
 Meghan Earley
MEGHAN EARLEY
I swam in my first swim meet at age 7 and fell in love with the sport. When I finished my college career in 2013 I felt like a lost puppy – swimming was always a massive part of my life and suddenly, it ended. Luckily I found triathlons! My first exposure to the sport was at Escape from Alcatraz in 2014, where I was competing in the swim leg of a corporate relay. I was completely blown away by the event. The excitement, support, athleticism: I felt like I was back at the pool! From there I signed up for the Oakland Sprint, where I accidentally did an extra lap on the bike course and through that learned a very valuable lesson: study the course :) Since then, I dove right into the sport and have loved every minute of it. I can't wait for the 2016 season – I plan to race mostly olympics, including HITS Napa Valley, Vineman Monte Rio, Oakland and Santa Cruz. Cheers to another fantastic season!
 Geoff Farrell
GEOFF FARRELL
My first tri was a Bud Light Sprint back in '82 when I ran Cross Country. My second was Pac Grove in 1998 and I haven’t stopped since.  I’m honored to be on the Ambassador Team, and will work hard, and put in the hours to race well and volunteer often.  I am blessed to be able to continue to hang out with the wonderful folks who grace this sport.
 Sandrine Micoleau
SANDRINE MICOLEAU
I completed my first triathlon in 2007 in Maine where I am from. It was a sprint and felt like the hardest thing I had ever done. In 2008 I moved to the bay area and two weeks after arrival, I joined GGTC to meet people and do more triathlons. I started in the TAG to Wildflower Olympic program and in 2010 worked my way up to the Ironman distance with Duane of Trifiniti.  I enjoy being competitive and like challenging myself, but also like the commraderie of a group and supporting others. One of the things I like about triathlon is that we are all out there on the same course going through similar mental and physical challenges no matter what our ability. And I love being able to swap stories at the finish line!  I live in Sausalito and feel lucky to have amazing places to train right here.
 
JESSE EDELSBERG
I was born and raised in New York, and was a lifetime athlete until my hiatus in college. By the time I graduated, I had gained a substantial amount of weight, and turned to triathlon as a way to restore order in my life. After shedding some pounds, I proceeded to register for my first sprint triathlon in 2008 where I placed dead last; my triathlon career could only go one way from there! I moved to SF in 2011 and dove in headfirst - literally: I raced Escape from Alcatraz soon after unpacking my boxes; I've been hooked ever since. I've raced triathlons from sprint to Full Ironman distance along with numerous road and trail races ranging from 5k to 50 miles. My specialty is racing in Wine Country where I've made good on my last place finish at my first triathlon: I've found myself on the podium at the Napa Wine Country Trail Marathon, Napa Sprint Triathlon, Vineman Monte Rio and Vineman Full Aquabike. When I'm not training or racing, I love to ski, and I co-write a blog that chronicles my endurance sports exploits: singletrackedmind.com.

 
ALEX SIGAL
I joined GGTC just as I started to realize that I was getting faster and my first 70.3 was 6 months away. After one season of track workouts under my belt, I must have shaved 2 minutes off of my mile race pace. My fitness got me so excited about GGTC, I ran for a position on the board and had the privilege of being run director in 2011. That was fun! I continued to PR at every race, feel stronger, and make more amazing friends. I was truly blown away by what my body was capable of. I finished the polar bear swim with the Dolphin Club and had a great time racing with my friends both on and off the course at Ironman Lake Tahoe. My goal this year is to get a little faster and lighter on my feet while living a balanced life indoors and out. Unfortunately, these 10 holiday pounds have not done a brother any good. When you're running with some jelly in your belly, and the police wont help...Call the A-Team!
 Jill Macari
JILL MACARI
I first became involved in triathlon more than 5 years ago when a few friends persuaded me to sign up for a half ironman distance triathlon. My excitement got the best of me in this first outing as I attempted to head out of T1 and mount my bike with my wetsuit still on. Thankfully, my T1 performance has improved and my enthusiasm for racing has only grown. Over the years I've completed several Half Ironman and Olympic distance races as well as Ironman Coure d'Alane in 2012. I've done all this with a big goofy smile on my face, constantly surprised by the challenges I can overcome and the amazing people I can meet through this amazing sport. I am looking forward to a 2016 season full of fun, sweat and shenanigans!
 
JEFF LAM
I am the lead physical therapist at MoveWell Physical Therapy, a profession in which I have over 14 years of experience in. I'm an Ivy League trained clinician but my roots will always remain from personal experiences as an athlete. As an undergraduate, I was the recipient of an NCAA athletic scholarship in the sport of cross country at the Division I Level. In my post graduate endeavors, I extended my love for running to triathlons...even won a few outright! I've reached sponsorship levels throughout my career and in 2016, l'll be an ambassador for GGTC and Timex in addition to my affiliation with Rapha Cycling Club/San Francisco Chapter. I was also the 1st overall male winner for the Tri Club Championship Series in 2015. Racing experience include Ironman Oceanside, SuperFrog & Vineman 70.3, California International Marathon, Wildflower, NCAA Cross Country Western Regionals, and Escape from Alcatraz. My PR at Olympic and Half Ironman distances are 2:05.03 and 4:55.17 respectively and on July 30, I will toe the line for my first Ironman 140.6!
 
KATIE DODDS
Raised in the Bay Area, I began swimming competitively starting at age 5. I even coached a few summers for the neighborhood swim team I grew up on. The team was a like a family to me and instilled so much. I swam my way through high school and eventually burnt out on the sport. It wasn't until the Spring of 2013 when I jumped in the pool again to do a structured workout. I also started running more, which I swore I'd never run more than 3 miles and I was convinced I could swim faster than I could run. Eventually in August of 2013, a good friend of mine and I decided to sign-up for our first triathlon. I showed up to that race owning my road bike for only two weeks, and had never even watched a triathlon previously. Needless to say, it was a fantastic experience and really brought back that competitive spirit that had been bottled up for so many years. So although the sport is relatively new for me, with the support of GGTC I seemed to have thrown myself in head first. In one year's time I've raced a handful of Olympics and running races of various distances, completed my first half ironman and century ride, and now onto trail running. It's been a life changing experience, and I am so excited to see what the year ahead brings for GGTC and all our outstanding members.