Having raced the Big Race a number of times, he’s got one of the longest streaks serving at Kona World Championships as a volunteer and a coordinator. Even after retiring from the force a number of years ago, our award recipient can’t seem to stop serving, always finding a way to contribute and participate. If a picture’s worth a thousand words, our 2016 Spirit recipient’s terabytes worth of photos are merely a snippet of his labor of love.
Our 2016 Team Spirit recipient is Dave Gonzales!
Comeback of the Year
About this same time this year, our Comeback of the year winner was rushed to Cottage Hospital having taken a spill off the bike, breaking a rib or two, puncturing a lung. No surprise, 2 weeks later she was back at it on the bike. Going on to claim some more titles as a self-professed aquabike fiend.
Our 2016 Comeback of the Year winner is Rosie Thompson!
Most Improved Female Triathlete of the Year
It’s widely known that our most improved Female Triathlete is a phenomenal runner. With her calm and steady demeanor, she seems to stride effortlessly. This year she took new heights to her swim and bike legs. Through difficulty and adversity at St. George this year, she stayed the course, demonstrated her persistence and commitment, caught a “Second Wind” (which is a terrific blog) to compete at 70.3 World Championships, finishing 23 of the best 97 in the world.
Your Most Improved Female Triathlete of the Year is Cindy Abrami!
Most Improved Male Triathlete of the Year
Nods: Sam Sosa, Tom Risk, Bill McMillan
After a great first year in 2015, it was obvious that our Most Improved Triathlete of the Year love for the sport seemed to have deepened this year. Social Media kept great timeline of what seemed like weekly racing in the life of this somewhat new triathlete. A few weeks ago, this British import went on what appeared to all peering eyes, a vacation trip. The avid surfer, husband, and dad of 1 secretly signed up to do IM Los Cabos and went on to finish the 1st of many more public announced IM.
Out of Santa Barbara but originally from Great Britain, this year’s Most Improved Male Triathlete of the Year is Ian Armstrong!
Female Rookie of the Year
Nods / Kathleen Rogers
In her breakout year, our 2016 Female Newcomer of the Year caught the bug pretty badly. Despite being new to the sport and new to Santa Barbara, the St. Louis native, who grew up running cross-country and mastering the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, went on to have a fabulous year racing three 70.3s / Oceanside / Santa Cruz / Superfrog, the latter 2 within weeks of each other!
Our 2016 Female Rookie of the Year is Amy Andriano!
Male Rookie of the Year
Nods: Andrew Dixon for a breakout SB Long Course performance!
Our Male Rookie of the Year came into the club having raced several tris, setting his sights on bigger things. On his path to new and greater things, Zsolt braved June Lake Olympic at altitude. Consistently improving his run at Tuesday Night Run Workouts at San Marcos, the strategist by day, off-the-cuff chef by night, cooked up a great race in Santa Cruz, finishing his first 70.3.
Our Male Rookie of the Year is Zsolt Szabo!
Female Race of the Year
Nods: Kelly Gunn- Vineman (6th place finish / 29th overall) 11:14:12
Without a drop or chill on the forecast, days leading up to St. George 70.3 in May, our Female Race of the Year winner, jacketless and without warmers, attempted to shift and brake on the bike without much success, no thanks to frozen hands and sudden unexpected 40 degree temperatures. Coming off the bike hyperthermic, the Cal Poly alum managed to dig deep and mentally overcome the frigid race conditions, pushing through a run that brought many pros to tears and DNFs. Rising above conditions and to the challenge, our Female of the Race winner triumphantly crossed a long awaited finish line, top Female Amateur Overall in 4:59:17, qualifying for Worlds in Australia. Once again displaying the same tenacity and consistency, she finished 16th in Mooloolaba among the best 100 in her AG with a 4:59:58.
Our Female Race of the Year winner is Brittany Braden.
Male Race of the Year
With it’s unique distance and destination race appeal, it comes as no surprise that SB Long Course attracts athletes worldwide, including accomplished professional triathletes, Michellie Jones, Terenzo Bozzone, and Jason Pedersen to name a few. Practically dry and out of the water by almost 2 minutes before the next competitor emerged, our Male Race of the Year winner tacked on another 6 minutes with a course record bike split at 1:20:32. With a down to the wire finish, the SB local chased down a history of world class household names that once held the title, setting a course record 2:40:39, aptly, at his very first hometown race. For reference, Jason Pederson (2015, 2:41:29) and Terenzo (2014, 2:43:21).
Your 2016 Male Race of the Year Winner is Chris Braden.
Badass of the Year
What can we say about our Badass of the Year, besides holding City College down in Professor X type fashion, our badass of the year takes top spot wherever he races, near and far, sea-level, at altitude, water, or no water. The new grandfather of 2 crushed the local club race circuit with 4 first place finishes in 65 and up age group at Wildflower, June Lake, SB Tri Long Course, and Carp.
Our 2016 Badass of the Year is Joe Sullivan!
Female Triathlete of the Year
Our Female Triathlete of the year still has a first name that is equally hard to pronounce as her lengthy last name. With an insane schedule that includes quality time with her pet GoPro, The Gaucho chemical engineer manages to keep a huge smile while keeping the utmost commitment to the sport and her progression as a triathlete. A year ago our award recipient was in Arizona finishing her first IM. Inspired by her hero, her father Lieven, this “betty” races with deep unwavering positivity and zest for life, putting together impressive performances time and again, a 1st place AG at Oceanside 70.3, 2nd place AG finish at Vineman IM, not to mention some small stage races, 70.3 Worlds in Moolalaba, and Kona.
Your female triathlete of the year, 2nd year in a row is Elke Peirtsegaele!
Male Triathlete of the Year
A season of adventure and triumph. Prolific race reports tell the tale of an international triathlete of mystery, double 0 70. Coming of age in the Condado Lagoon where Columbus claimed the now US Territory of Puerto Rico, our Male Triathlete of the Year braved historic radiating walls taking 2nd in the heat, 06:55:56, earning a spot down under at Worlds, thanks, in part, to curious cooling techniques, “huevos con hielo.” From Carribean waters to rich volcanic coastal forests of Whistler spruce, our Male Triathlete of the Year inspired by his love of 40 years took top AG spot by over 1 hour, earning the ticket to the Big Dance in Kona. Humility and gratitude filled badassery propelled our Male Triathlete of the Year to epic races of grit and determination. He placed 12th in Worlds in Mooloolaba and 15th in Kona, enduring the wrath of island gods on his fixie TT bike.
Your male triathlete of the year is Sandy Roberts!