Meet Our Ambassadors

Catherine Ann Hanson

Catherine Hanson

City of Residence: Farmville, Virginia

Competed since: 2013

How did you get into the sport:  HA!  In 2003 I was doing a 13 mile trail run in the Adirondack mountains when I got lost.  15 miles later and with 8 more to go to our camp on the other side of the lake, I decided to swim the mile across rather than run the 8 back.  My mom saw me when I was coming up the dirt road to our place, horrified but with humor, she said, “ switch to triathlon did you?”  The seed was planted. I did not, however become serious about the sport until after I beat esophageal cancer in 2010.  I tried to make it back onto the Elite Masters running scene, but just could not quite find my “pop” again.  I decided to start cross training and dropping my mileage.  I signed up for the Angels race in Lynchburg Virginia (competed in memory of my Grandma and for myself) in April, 2013.  Finished as top master and was hooked. 

2013 Race highlights: I broke my foot in route to the bike transistion last year at the ground force IT race last May-still won my age group however I had to end my season early to recover.  I really thought I would be well in time for Nationals, but I fell short by one week in being cleared to run.

Favorite part of the sport:  Putting it all together and being successful with time management.

Best advice you ever received in the sport:  My coach tells me less mileage would be better for me-As a sprinter running 50 miles a week was not necessary, I have backed down and recovered better.

Worst: I should do an IM

Motto/mantra used when racing:  Be relentless

Favorite race distances: Sprint

Biggest mistake you ever made in a race:  At the Virginia Du this year, I warmed up with a good run-I put my long hair in a bun.  I did my strides and was called to the line.  I raced the first 5k, got into transition and realized as I fumbling with my helmet that it does not fit on my head.  Forgot to make my hair “flat” on my head…wasted time.  Transitions, transitions, transitions!!!

If you could do any race in the world, what would it be:  Worlds for team USA

Favorite nutritional product:  chocolate milk and Blocks

Website/Blog/Facebook Page: Catherine Albrecht Hanson

Jason Edge

Jason Edge

City of Residence: Sun Prairie, WI

Competed since: 2005

How did you get into the sport: I was an athlete (ball sports) when younger, but got out of shape as an adult. I started running in 2005 and decided to start doing triathlons after watching a friend at Ironman Wisconsin that year. Now I focus on cycling.

2013 Race highlights: I spent 2013 working on a triathlon to cycling transition, spending as much time in the saddle as I could. I logged more more than ever before.

Favorite part of the sport: My church is on a bicycle out in the country or climbing a hill.

Best advice you ever received in the sport: As a triathlete I was encouraged to just try everything and find out what you like. I did, and I had an absolute blast, but what I really discovered, was that my place was on a bicycle. Worst: I have received some advice that I followed and didn't work out so well, but consider this all positive because it only showed me the right way for me instead of dwelling on the wrong.

Motto/mantra used when racing: "Shut up legs." - Jens Voigt

Favorite race distances: 140.6 when I was a triathlete, now I'm racing all sort of distances in the citizen road racing arena.

Biggest mistake you ever made in a race: Running down the wrong bike corral, not being prepared to swim in rough water, skipping the lotion and getting really sunburned, riding on bad rim tape in a 70.6 and proceeding to get 3 flats, and the list goes on...

If you could do any race in the world, what would it be: Tour de France, obviously, but realistically, I would like to

Favorite nutritional product: Fig Newtons

Website/Blog/Facebook Page:

Joe Bednar

Occupation:   Sales & Marketing @

City of Residence: Richmond, Virginia

Competed since:   2010

How did you get into the sport:  A triathlete friend asked me to do a race while I was a runner. Haven't looked back.

2013 Race highlights:  USAT AG Nationals competitor

Favorite part of the sport:  Definitely the bike leg

Best advice you ever received in the sport:  Get a bike fit 

Worst:  “Hey, you should do an Ironman

Motto/mantra used when racing:  Don't drown, Don't crash, Don't walk

Favorite race distances:  Olympic

Biggest mistake you ever made in a race:  Kicked my shoe off my bike after exiting T1

If you could do any race in the world, what would it be:  Worlds in Japan

Favorite nutritional product: Clif Bars

Favorite running shoes:  Brooks Pure Connect

Blog or Facebook page:

Kimberly Arbouw 

Occupation:   Homeschooling mom of three, a daughter age 8, and two sons ages 5 and 3, and being an age group triathlete of course.

City of Residence: Roanoke, Virginia

Competed since:   2010

How did you get into the sport:

In 2009 when I was pregnant with our third child I went to an IMAX movie in Richmond, VA. I watched a woman swimming with dolphins and thought “hey, I can’t even swim!”. So I signed up for 7 swim classes at the local YMCA. I couldn’t even put my head in the water and I was VERY pregnant. After those initial classes I signed up for another group swim class at the local YMCA and the head coach just happened to have won Ironman in 1987 and the class was brimming with triathletes. The coach quickly told me it would help if I put my head in the water. He started me out by just having me bobb up and down in the water. Another lady in the class talked me into doing my first all girls supersprint tri in Raleigh, NC in May of 2010. I couldn’t bike and didn’t even know how to stop a bike much less shift gears! She took me out biking and while I was on a very knobby wheeled heavy bike I borrowed my husband’s road bike and crashed it into a wall on my first go. I still have a scar for that one! That May the swim was cancelled and I made it across the pool for the first time the week before the race! But I rode my husband’s bike in pouring down rain when most of the girls went home and I finished! I did my first real tri at another all girls super sprint that July in 2010 in South Carolina. Like a crazy person I bought a tri bike, the same one I have now, a week before that race and I learned to shift gears at the race site the day before the race! So I went from not swimming, biking, and running, or even being athletic ever to finishing in the top 3 in my age group in the Virginia Triathlon Series in 2012, making TEAM USA in 2012, and I went back in 2012 and won the race where it had all started! It’s been a really fun journey and it brings so much happiness, peace, and balance to my life!

2013 Race highlights:  This was my first year as a TEAM USA Member and competing at the World Championship in London!

Favorite part of the sport:  

When I first started my favorite part was racing and the entire race feel: the energy of people, the travelling to the race site, and the fun of it all; but when I got a coach I loved training and love living the lifestyle!

Best advice you ever received in the sport:  

“Go hard” – Really, these are the two words that helped me the most. I learned it’s ok to push it and you will live – AND you will go faster!;

Worst:  “It’s ‘just’ a sprint, why not smile when you are running and you will relax?”

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty focused when I’m racing and I sure hope I’m NOT relaxed!

Motto/mantra used when racing:  The pain is temporary but race results are forever!

Favorite race distances:  Sprint! I love pushing myself! It never seems to get easier and it’s always fun and challenging!

Biggest mistake you ever made in a race:  Not fueling

If you could do any race in the world, what would it be:  

Age Group National Championships because anybody can come and do the sprint and run down the red carpet and see a city overrun by triathletes, which is really cool thing!

Favorite nutritional product:

Man I love those Chocolate Stinger Waffles but try to stay away from them because I think I can eat the entire box! My husband is Dutch and we used to live in the Netherlands and they are like one of my favorite Dutch foods: stroopwaffels!

Favorite running shoes:

Any running shoe that is pink because it matches my gear ha ha.

I was an Adidas girl and then they started to hurt my feet, then I tried Nike Free +4 and they started to hurt my feet, and now I’m on my first pair of Mizuno’s – ALL pink ofcourse.

Blog or Facebook page:  

Kate Fisher

Occupation:   Co-founder Swichio

City of Residence: Richmond, Virginia

Competed since:   2006

How did you get into the sport:  Watched my husband race for  years and finally decided that I was there anyway, I may has well race. 

2013 Race highlights:  Ironman 70.3 Raleigh

Favorite part of the sport:  Training with friends.

Best advice you ever received in the sport:  Have a training plan and someone to hold  you accountable. 

Worst: Try some minimalist running shoes.

Motto/mantra used when racing:  Suffer more.

Favorite race distances:  Sprint.  Love the short but painful.

Biggest mistake you ever made in a race:  Several!  Most recent was to have a nutrition plan that I had worked on for months for a 70.3 race and then pour my bottle of liquid gold all over the ground in transition.  Nutrition plan out the window!

If you could do any race in the world, what would it be:  Worlds in some a very cool destination.  

Favorite nutritional product: Clif blocks

Favorite running shoes:  Brooks Glycerin or Asics Nimbus

Blog or Facebook page:

Anne Pileggi

Occupation:   Healthcare Administration

City of Residence: Tyler, Texas

Competed since:   2000

How did you get into the sport:  Loved swimming, got into biking and running and just decided to try it out!

2013 Race highlights:  Placed in 3 sprint tri's and then did Nationals on a sprained ankle!

Favorite part of the sport:  Swimming

Best advice you ever received in the sport:  Enjoy the day! 

Worst: It's all about the run. 

Motto/mantra used when racing:   "Do or do not.  There is no try"

Favorite race distances:  Sprint and 70.3

Biggest mistake you ever made in a race: Poor hydration in an IM when it was 100 degrees

If you could do any race in the world, what would it be:  Escape from Alcatraz  

Favorite nutritional product: peanut butter

Favorite running shoes:  Mizuno Wave Creation

Adam Otstot

Occupation:   Teacher

City of Residence: Williamsburg VA

Competed since:   2005

How did you get into the sport:  I grew up as a runner, and after college picked up cycling to cross train.  Since there really weren't too many duathlons around, I decided to enter a triathlon!

2013 Race highlights:  7th Pro at Steelhead 70.3, 10th Pro at Rev3 Williamsburg

Favorite part of the sport:  The sport is flooded with really great people, from the athletes, to the spectators, to the people working in the industry.

Best advice you ever received in the sport:  (Long Course) When you're feeling great, eat.  When you're feeling miserable, eat.

Motto/mantra used when racing:   Smooth Effortless Speed

Favorite race distances:  Long course, 70.3 and 140.6

Biggest mistake you ever made in a race: Started my first IM race run way too fast and paid a hefty price by mile 20

If you could do any race in the world, what would it be:  Olympic Marathon

Favorite nutritional product: First Endurance EFS

Favorite running shoes:  Mizuno Wave Inspire

Blog or Facebook page:

Kanch Algama

Occupation:   Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker

City of Residence: Washington DC

Competed since:   I think since 2009 but I could be delusional…

How did you get into the sport:  I was training for a marathon and realized running was causing me too many leg injuries…wanted to spread out my fitness regime without concentrating on just one sport.

2013 Race highlights:  Doing a sprint in Bath, VA with my friend and training partner Shari.

 Favorite part of the sport:  Meeting all these really cool people who are just as driven and crazy as I am; everybody is so genuinely friendly and nice!

Best advice you ever received in the sport:  Getting enough sleep – still working on that strange concept!!

Motto/mantra used when racing:   Do my best and try to smile while in pain!

Favorite race distances:  Sprints – I see the light at the end of the tunnel and being pain free within a short time.

Biggest mistake you ever made in a race: Giving up mentally half way through a race.

If you could do any race in the world, what would it be:  Fascinated by New Zealand at the moment.

Favorite nutritional product: Stinger products and love my PB&J sandwiches

Favorite running shoes:  My “can’t miss Kanch” bright colored Newtons!

Christina Reichert

Christina Reichert Ambassador

City of Residence: Illinois but with my husbands job it's actually wherever the job it is.

Competed since:   I have competed in triathlon since April of 2012

How did you get into the sport:  I was introduced into the sport of triathlon buy a Great friend, Leslie curley.

2013 Race highlights:  Jax Tri first ocean sprint triathlon 2nd place AG Win.  First Olympic distance the peoples triathlon. 14th in my age group, qualified for 5150 national championship in 2014. 1st 70.3 Redman Half finishing 9th in my age group.  1st F1 Duathlon 1st and age group.

Favorite part of the sport:  My favorite part of the sport is the amazing people that I meet.  

Favorite racing distance:  The Olympic, cuz its just right not too little and not too much.

Best advice you ever received in the sport:  Never try anything new on race day.

Worst advice you ever received in the sport:  I can honestly say I have never been given bad advice.

Motto/mantra used when racing:   Race Your Own Race:)

Biggest mistake you ever made in a race: Forgetting to apply chamois butter( ouch).

If you could do any race in the world, what would it be:  Ironman 70.3 world Championship,in Quebec,Canada.

Favorite nutritional product: Skratch

Cynthia Davis

City of Residence: Midlothian 

Competed since: 2009

How did you get into the sport: My knees were hurting from running, so my husband bought me a beach cruiser.  After watching me enjoy it so much, he told me I should try doing that Pink Power Triathlon that his friend Beth Trebour was doing.  He signed me up for coaching at the Y, where I learned to swim like a big girl with my face in the water.  I loved Pink Power so much that I wanted to do another, and another… 

2013 Race highlights: Turning lemons into lemonade: I couldn’t do more than jog due to injuries, so I worked on biking and swimming.  I had some kind of bike or swim PR at every race I did! 

Favorite part of the sport: Spending time with girlfriends on long bike rides.

Best advice you ever received in the sport: When you’re in a long race, don’t be overwhelmed by the whole.  Break it up into small parts – just focus on the part you’re on!  This has been good life advice too! 

Worst: You need to buy a new _________.  Aggressively saving for my kids’ college and retirement doesn’t leave a lot of money for triathlon.  I have been able to compete on a small budget without a whole lot of fancy gear.  This is why the concept of Swichio makes me so happy! 

Motto/mantra used when racing: Somehow I always end up with a snippet of music replaying over and over in my head during races.  Once the race director played Save a Horse Ride A Cowboy just before I got in the water.  Not a good manta.  Since then I’ve intentionally picked a song with message that I WANT to hear during the race.  IM Raleigh 70.3 was Toby Mac’s Eye On It. 

Favorite race distances: Except for the IM distance, which is just too much for me, I love them ALL!! They are each fun for different reasons!

Biggest mistake you ever made in a race:  Opening a chocolate Gu before a race (my hands shake in transition) and having it melt all over my race bib while I was biking and then accidentally grabbing a Powerade instead of a water to try to wash it off. 

If you could do any race in the world, what would it be: Well Kona, of course, in my dreams!!

Favorite nutritional product: Post workout chocolate milk.  

Dave Steenkamer

City of Residence: Midlothian, VA

Competed since: Triathlons since 2002

How did you get into the sport: A co-worker talked me into an Xterra off-road triathlon because he knew I grew up running and swimming. He did not tell me that the mountain bike would destroy me.

2013 Race highlights:

- Ironman 70.3 Raleigh because it seemed like the entire population of metropolitan Raleigh came out to support the race. It was impressive since it was the first year for that race!

- Richmond Triathlon Club sprint – I was fortunate enough to participate with Mark (an assisted athlete through United Athletics). Throughout the swim, bike and run, all of the other triathletes and spectators cheered for the assisted athletes. It was truly inspiring!

Favorite part of the sport: the camaraderie with other triathletes who make sacrifices in order to stay active and compete.

Best advice you ever received in the sport: The importance of nutrition in half Ironman events.

Worst advice: Using a generic training plan without enough bricks.

Motto/mantra used when racing: Just do it!

Favorite race distances: Olympic distance because I can keep my normal workout schedule, spend time with my family, and still compete in my age group.

Biggest mistake you ever made in a race: Poor race day nutrition during a half Ironman which led to a lot of suffering during the run.

If you could do any race in the world, what would it be: Kona

Favorite nutritional product: Sports drinks and gu

Delinda Waldron

 Ambassador Delinda

City of Residence:    Littleton, Colorado

Competed since:    2007

How did you get into the sport:    I had always wanted to do a triathlon and never had time to train.  My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's  and I asked the doctor what I should do so I didn't get Alzheimer's. He told me to exercise.  I bought a bike in 2006 and rode 3,000 miles in 6 months. Did my first triathlon in 2007, first half ironman and half marathon in 2008 and did my first marathon and full ironman in 2009 at 56 years of age.  I haven't stopped since that day.  Triathlons have been life changing for me

2013 Race highlights:  Qualifying for Worlds in the Olympic distance and the 5150 Championship in Olympic distance

Favorite part of the sport:   Meeting so many people from all different parts of the country. Connecting online and making friends and meeting up with them when you are in other towns.

Best advice you ever received in the sport:   The best advice was my first Ironman. I was told that 90% of the race was mental and to break it down in small pieces and continue to reward yourself for small accomplishment.  Now I look at all my races as long training days and continue to reward myself for everything I do. When I crossed that finish line at my first ironman all I could think was I am doing something that 1% of the people in the world would think about doing and only 1% of those people would actually do an Ironman.

Worst:  Not everyone has correct advice and you really need to know who to listen to. Someone that is consistently injured are the ones I try to stay away from

Motto/mantra used when racing:  I count. Count my stokes at 90 cadence when I swim, count my pedal strokes at 90 cadence when I bike and count my run at 90 cadence when I run. As long as I continue to count I know I am focused.

Favorite race distances:  Ironman 140.6  I love the challenge of putting my body to its limits and nothing compares to crossing that finish line, no matter what time it is.

Biggest mistake you ever made in a race:    Not knowing what to do when you have a blowout in your tire and having to walk back in.

If you could do any race in the world, what would it be:  Kona, Ironman

Favorite nutritional product:  Honey Stinger 

Website/Blog/Facebook Page:

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