ALASKA - Joleen White
Jolene's swim background led her to pursue triathlon in 2006, and has greatly helped get her through the long winters. Triathlon in Alaska?? But the AK community is growing & Joleen is proud to represent the state! In addition to local sprints, in 2010 she began adding longer races outside of Alaska. She's completed 5 Ironman 70.3's, qualifying for the World Championships at Boise 70.3 in 2015 and racing Calgary 70.3 in 2014, and Ironman Coeur d'Alene in 2016. Joleen is a PE teacher, XC running & skiing coach, and loves sharing her passion of fitness and competition.
COLORADO - Kristen Lodge
Kristen started running in 2004 when she moved to Steamboat Springs, CO from northwestern Maine. She started racing sprint triathlons in Boulder, where she realized she had a lot of work to do, finishing, in her words, "long after" the amazing athletes who call the triathlon mecca home. After a 3-yr stint in Arizona, Kristen returned to the Rockies in 2016.
Kristen mixes it up with off-road triathlons, duathlons, trail running and century rides, and while she claims her finishing times don't get faster, she meets the most interesting people! She loves it when people come up to her to ask about a race or training. Kristen crossed yet another finish line at Ironman Texas in 2015, as well as IM Lake Placid and IM Arizona in 2016.
COLORADO - Stewart Nixon
Stewart became interested in triathlons in the late 80’s while thumbing through Bicycling magazine. As a water polo, swimming & track athlete who cycled to and from practices, triathlon seemed like a natural progression. After 2 years of collegiate swimming, he competed in his first race in 1988 in Findlay, OH. He raced many of the Bud Light USTS races including USTS Nationals on Hilton Head Island. The following years saw some AG podiums in his native Michigan as well as USAT Nationals. In 2008, he and his wife relocated to Snowmass Village, bringing the trials and tribulations of “really big hills.” Stewart has a strong background in coaching and a passion for sharing advice and information to anyone seeking assistance, as demonstrated by his "Nixon's Nuggets" guest column on our site. Stewart is also the proud father of a young daughter and is excited to expose her to triathlons.
CONNECTICUT - Dave Fisher
After surviving his first sprint tri in 2011, Dave became hooked on this unique sport and its challenges. Beginning with almost no athletic background since youth (and a "somewhat toxic post-collegiate lifestyle"), he has since coached himself to AG podium finishes and USAT Nationals. Dave has a guiding principle to have fun above all else, and finished his first full distance tri at Challenge Cedar Point (140.6) in September 2015. Dave resides in Connecticut with his wife and three young children.
FLORIDA - David Fernandez
FLORIDA - David Fernandez
David is originally from Spain, with stops in London and Texas before moving to Miami. He grew up playing team handball, soccer, & mountain biking in the Pyrenees. After moving to Miami, he decided to take advantage of the weather and started training for triathlons. After completing his first in 2012, he was hooked on the sport and has since stood on the podium many times. David had a stellar performance at IM Barcelona in '14 despite a horrific bike crash in which medics tried to pull him off the course... needless to say, he wasn't havin' it! David had an even better 2015, crushing the 70.3 World Championships in Austria followed by a very impressive 5th in his AG at Ironman Chattanooga. Unfortunately, 2016 was a season focused on recovering from an injury, but knowing David he'll come back stronger than ever.
HAWAII - David Wild
David got his first taste of triathlon as a young kid watching his dad. While attending UC Berkeley he got into cycle-tours, highlighted by multiple international adventures and a 28-day, unsupported ride from San Diego to Key West in 2010. He says this trip taught him about his physical limits, the kindness of strangers, and the remarkable beauty of the US. His regular, non-wetsuit swims with the Dolphin Club in the chilly San Francisco Bay have also geared him up for enduring tough elements. David is currently "training like a pro" under the coaching of Mitchell Reiss. 2014 was highlighted by a 5th place finish in his first ever half-Iron distance race (HITS Napa), and a move to Hawaii as a high school math teacher with Teach For America. Read more about Wildman's many adventures here. Like David Fernandez (above), Mr. Wild had a strong showing at the 70.3 World Championships in 2015, as well as a ridiculously dominant 2016 season.
ILLINOIS - Ryan Nuckols
Ryan roughed it on Hawaii's Big Island for several years, briefly crossing paths with David Wild (above) before moving to the mainland with his wife and young son... can you say culture shock?? He completed legendary races such as Lavaman and Ironman Hawaii 70.3 while on the islands, and is now getting accustomed to training in the relative frigid climate of Chicago. Check out this video review of some of Under Armour's newest running shoes he did for the blog.
INDIANA - Amy Fletcher
Amy did her first sprint in 2006 and was “intrigued,” but not “hooked" like most people say. It was fun, she says, but so HARD! She placed "miserably low" in her age group and had no clue what to do to get faster. She's now completed 3 Ironmans and absolutely loves the sport and the community of athletes she's met. The physical and mental demands of triathlon appeal to her, but a side benefit has been the network of friends. She finds the tri community incredibly caring and ready to help. Amy lives in Ironman 70.3 Muncie's backyard and can frequently be found on the Cardinal Greenway training for her next race.
IOWA - Elaina Mertens
KANSAS - Reece Robinson
Many years ago Reece was a "below average" high school swimmer with one season of xc running under his belt. After a 3 year stint in the army the couch potato years started. At the ripe young age of 42 he was told at a workplace sponsored medical screening that he should really go see a doctor. He never visited the doctor’s office; instead he got a gym membership, started swimming and saw a personal trainer. One year later he completed his first tri and has embraced the triathlon lifestyle like no other. Since then he has completed numerous 70.3’s, the '13 Hy-Vee 5150 Championships, 2x USAT Nationals, and Ironman Louisville in 2016. Reece is an ambassador for the KC Corporate Challenge as well as his company's coordinator, where he encourages coworkers to participate in all things related to physical fitness.
MARYLAND - Matt Kucharski
Matt grew up playing baseball & soccer and was a wrestler through college. It wasn’t until his late 20’s that he began to enjoy running. After watching his wife complete a triathlon he decided to give one a try. Matt raced his first sprint tri on a mountain bike and became increasingly dedicated to training & racing over the next couple years. The past few seasons have been highlighted by his first few Ironman 70.3s, several AG podiums, and qualifying for duathlon nationals. Matt is also the proud father of twin daughters born in 2013.
MASSACHUSETTS - Rob Forshaw
As a high school senior, Rob did not see a future college football career and decided an offensive lineman’s frame was not a healthy lifestyle. Through college he focused on improving his wellbeing and started running. After losing 80 lbs he entered his first 5k and took up cycling. In 2013 Rob combined his two new passions & signed up for a sprint tri in his hometown. He soon became hooked & had a breakout '14 season. Rob dipped his toe in the water with three 70.3s in 2015 in preparation for Ironman Mont Tremblant, which he rocked in 2016.
MINNESOTA - Michelle Andres
This pretty much sums it up about Michelle... she WON Ironman Wisconsin in 2015, is a teacher, and has placed as high as 3rd in her AG at Kona. Oh yeah, and she's also a dedicated mother of 5 boys. I'm exhausted just typing this!
NEW JERSEY - Sean McLean
Having spent most of his life ignoring health and fitness, Sean found himself overweight and unhealthy midway through his 20's. Needing a goal to motivate a change in lifestyle, Sean signed up for a Tough Mudder race. He learned to run, and lost a good deal of weight, but it wasn’t enough. Sean kept running, entering 5K and 10K races, but ultimately decided to participate in the 2013 NYC Triathlon. Training for and participating in that race reeled him in, and while he says you won’t find him on the podium anytime soon, every race gets him a little closer.
NEW YORK - Julia Slyer
A new team addition as of Oct. 2015, Julia has been competing in triathlons since she was six years old. She started with kids and sprint triathlons, and ran cross country, competed in alpine ski racing, and played lacrosse throughout middle and high school. After completing a 70.3 in 2013, she caught the endurance bug and signed up for her first Ironman. She achieved her childhood dream by finishing Ironman Lake Placid in 2014, a month after her 18th birthday. In 2015, she returned to Lake Placid and won the F18-24 age division, earning her a spot at the Ironman World Championships. At Kona, Julia raced to a PR of 11:17 and a 4th place finish in her age group.
Julia coaches youth athletes at a youth triathlon camp and loves sharing her passion for the sport. She is currently attending the University at Buffalo and will be heading back to Kona in 2017 after winning her AG at Ironman Maryland
OHIO - Cassie Whittington
Cassie's start in triathlon began after a few of her clients encouraged her to join them in a women's only sprint triathlon. Despite no training, her background in basketball and running got her through the race and addicted to the sport. Her career as a personal trainer and registered dietitian came in handy as she self coached herself over the next few years, with the first year doing Olympic, then the next summer Half distance, and finally the full Ironman distance the following year. With the need to continue being a competitive athlete, triathlon fit perfectly. Cassie also enjoys being an example of health and fitness to her clients, and what better way than walking the walk (well running the run) by completing Ironman races. Cassie has completed two Ironmans and won numerous local sprint, Olympic, and Half distance triathlons in Ohio. She qualified for the 2011 age group World Championships. She plans on racing Eagleman 70.3 and Ohio 70.3 in 2016.
OKLAHOMA - Micah Noland
Micah pitched in two College World Series and had a brief stint in the minor leagues prior to being introduced to the sport of triathlon in Chicago in 2000. Since then he has completed over 55 multi-sport endurance events, including Ironman Kansas 70.3, Ironman Austin 70.3, and the Redman Half in his home state.
Micah is a 2x state duathlon champ in his age group and has been a member of Triple Threat Triathlon for over a year now. He loves introducing new people to the sport and being an ambassador for cycling and triathlon for the state of Oklahoma. Micah helped initiate the HOOT bicycling tour (Hills of Oklahoma Tour) through the beautiful, scenic Arbuckle Mountains of Southern Oklahoma, held each October starting in his hometown of Davis.
OREGON - Jeff Kirkland
Jeff started playing golf at the age of 12 and competed on the highest level as a professional. After an injury he had to step back from the sport, and in the meantime started running. One thing led to another and he found himself winning a local half marathon. Around 2010 he was first introduced to triathlon, getting "bit by the bug big time!" He has won his age group in several events, including the prestigious Rolf Prima Tri at the Grove in 2014. Jeff often travels internationally, and had a great race Down Under at Ironman Australia in March 2015. He also finished an epic Ironman Texas in 2016, and will return to the Lonestar state in 2017.
SOUTH CAROLINA - Mark Watson
Mark was never big on exercise until his late 20’s when he watched a local sprint with a friend and knew he wanted to sign up for one. After several months of training he completed his first sprint and was hooked on the sport. He liked it so much that he signed up for a 70.3 after completing that first sprint. He landed several AG podium finishes in his first full season and finished 2nd in his age group for the year in his local triathlon series. Mark finished Ironman Maryland in October 2015 and is rehabbing from a recent injury like a man possessed.
SOUTH CAROLINA - Chad Zeman
Chad has represented 3 separate states on the team... Rhode Island, North Carolina, and now double teams the Palmetto state with Mark Watson. For Chad, triathlon started as a way to run on tired legs in training for collegiate Cross Country, providing a break from 75-100+ mi weeks. For several years he was so focused on running the Boston Marathon that he "didn't realize he wanted something more than just running." When Chad graduated from college, he was 135 pounds and running at a high level. He took over the Cross Country and Track & Field programs at Rockford College, and he and his wife welcomed their son into this world. Needless to say, priorities shifted. Chad bottomed out from a fitness perspective when the scale showed 210 pounds, which is when triathlon really grabbed a hold of him. Chad has now completed dozens of triathlons as well as Ironman Wisconsin (2x) and both Ironman Lake Placid & Ironman Chattanooga in 2015. In addition to competing he also coaches triathletes and runners on the side to all ages and abilities.
UTAH - Collin Swenson
Collin grew up in Indiana, but after four years in Europe and six in Wisconsin, now calls Salt Lake City home. He took up swimming while rehabbing a running injury in 2003, and four months later was stumbling through his first triathlon. He has completed ~50 tris, including 11 70.3’s, Ironman St. George in 2012 (one of the highest DNF % in Ironman history), and Ironman Coeur d'Alene in 2016.
VIRGINIA - Gina Shand
Gina grew up swimming and started triathlon in 2002 as a way to keep swimming and moving. After many years of sprints and Olympics, she took the leap to Ironman in 2011. After finishing Ironman Texas that year she swore she was a “one and done” at that distance. Then IM Florida happened in 2012, followed by Mt. Tremblant, Chattanooga, and Louisville the last few years. Gina has developed a passion for the sport and the multisport community and loves to convert others to the “lifestyle.” Her husband and daughter Molly are active in triathlon due to her example, and family vacations are now centered on races. Iron Gina is also a recurring guest writer on our site, with popular posts such as "Don't Sign Up For An Ironman."
WASHINGTON - Nick Hetro
Believe it or not from the photo, Nick is neither a professional triathlete nor Derek Zoolander. Rather, he is like any other age grouper in the sport, and, as he puts it, "trains way too hard for minimal results." Historically, Nick couldn't pay attention for anything longer than 2 hrs, so he raced Olympic distances or shorter. That all changed in 2016, however, as Nick destroyed Coeur d'Alene on two occasions (IMCDA & CDA 70.3). Nick grew up out east, and won the Maryland Triathlon Series before moving to the Pacific Northwest a few years ago.
His website, Mid-AtlanticTriathlete.com, hosts his race reports, articles, and musings.
At 6'5, Jackie "Big Rig" Muterspaugh looks down on his competition both literally and figuratively, racking up more AG victories than we can count. He has twice competed at the USAT Championships, placing 12th and 3rd in his division. Jackie recovered from achilles tendon surgery for a successful 2014 season and completed his Ironman debut at the 2015 IM Arizona. Jackie used to double team the state of Utah with Collin, but has temporarily moved with his family to the PHILIPPINES, where is currently in training to dominate a new region of the world.