Meet the Team

Directors

 

andy_vidro
Andy Vidro
USAT Certified Race Co Director

Andy is responsible for handling the technical side of the race ensuring all details are followed and sanctioning rules are adhered to. He also oversees all operations of the race. Andy has always enjoyed organized sports, 5k”s, 10k’s and half-marathons. Since entering the triathlon world, he has taken home several first place wins from MI to Las Vegas. Andy is also the president of the O’Hara Foundation – a group that raises funds and awards scholarships for athletes.

ann_swanson
Ann Vidro
CPA – Co Director
USAT Level 2 Certified Race Director
Enthusiastic and focused, Ann has a passion for the details and the drive to ensure each athlete has a positive experience during their race. She has participated in organized races since 1996, joined the triathlon world fives years ago and enjoys doing half marathons. Ann recently became a USA Triathlon Level 2 Certified Race Director. USAT_CrtfdRaceDirector_Level2
A small business owner and resident in the Grand Rapids area for several years, Ann enjoys giving back to the local community in many ways. She sits on the Alumni Board for Davenport University, actively leads a women’s small group, recently held the position of Treasurer for a local non-profit, Grand Rapids Initiative for Leaders, and volunteers as the coordinator for the Priority Health Champions.

 

The Team

 

Doug Tuttle
Aid Station Champion
Doug Tuttle

I have competed in several road races and triathlons from Sprint to Ironman races and everything in between. I have overseen the Aid Stations at the GRTri since the beginning and I also serve as the Co-Director of the MiTitanium, Michigan’s only Full-Distance Triathlon. I am married to my lifelong best friend Susan and we have 3 children (Corydon, Ella & Raleigh). I am a third generation co-owner and CEO of Johnson Carpet One in Grandville.

jason_miller
Aid Station Support Champion
Jason Miller

Back in 2006 I saw a race where people were swimming, biking and running. I thought those people are nuts, but I always like new adventures and I said to myself, “I can do that.” Since then I have spent a lot of money on special shoes, watches, bikes and tight clothes. I have completed many races from sprint distance to full Ironman. I enjoy seeing people accomplish their goals and finish races that I once thought was nuts. I am thankful to have the support from my wife Sara and our two girls Marysa and Samantha. Without their support I wouldn”t be able to be involved in this great sport.

LoriOttbio3
Administrative Assistant
Lori Ott

I started running in 2010 when my friend got the idea she wanted to cross completing a 5K off her “bucket list”. Until then, chasing my three boys (twins 11 and a 6 year old) across the yard was about as far as I could run. A year later the same friend told me about these new urban adventure races. Partnered up with my husband and after the first 4 hour race I was hooked. Now we compete in 3 to 4 of them a year. Shortly after that I told the same girls I’d started running with that I was going to train for a 25K, they thought I was nuts (considering the first time we ran 20 minutes straight we thought we’d die), but we all privately trained and completed it together. Training for that got me hooked up with members of IZoom Fitness and that got me introduced to a bunch of triathletes. I volunteered for my first GR Triathlon in 2012 and was determined it would be me the following year. Last year I did my first triathlon and have loved it since. . .especially the swimming (which was new to me) because there are no hills in swimming. Now it’s a toss up between which I love more, participating in triathlons or volunteering for them. I think everyone should do a tri at least once!

jim_v
Awards Champion
Jim Vidro

As I watched my sons and daughters-in-law compete in their first triathlons, I was really impressed with the attitudes of all of the participants. When Ann and Andy started organizing the GR Tri and MiTi, I just knew that I had to be involved! I continue to be amazed by triathletes and their commitment. My role in the tris has been just a natural for me as I spent over thirty years with Grand Rapids Public Schools. My involvement included coaching and acting as athletic director. These tris give me an opportunity to be around very big athletic events again. I love it!

ToddBradfordbio
Bike Coordinator/Moto-Patrol Champion
Todd Bradford

Todd Bradford is an avid cyclist with a passion for all things two wheeled.  Between weekend rides and commuting to work on either his bike or his motorcycle, he often forgets what it’s like to drive a car during the summer months.  He is a hard working family man, is active in his church and is a lifelong resident of the Grand Rapids area.  Todd is a certified Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCoach and teaches basic and advanced courses through Grand Rapids Community College.  This is Todd’s 4th year heading up the Moto-Patrol, which provides race support for the bike course and paces the bike and run leaders for each distance.  In addition, this will mark his 3rd year coordinating the bike course volunteers.

JimAllanbio
Bike Coordinator/Signage Support Champion
Jim Allan

I have been a cyclist my entire adult life and enjoy leading numerous group rides in the east end of Kent County.  That passion led to involvement  with a multi-discipline fitness team that had been supported by Priority Health and managed by Athletic Mentors and for 2014 is sponsored by Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan and their ER OAM NOW organization. One of my roles is to locate and organize community events that allow over sixty athletes to give back to the local community by supporting various activities.

Toward the end of 2010 I learned of a possible Triathlon being planned for the Ada/Cascade/Lowell area and saw a good opportunity for team involvement but soon was persuaded to be one of the first GRTri directors. Since I was familiar with the roads and traffic conditions in the area I created the first Bicycle Course and continue to provide input on bicycle course issues. In 2012 and 2013 I planned and laid out the signage for the bicycle course and provided other assistance where needed.

I am fortunate to be involved in many events in the area and it has been exciting to be part of this organization and watch it grow into one of the premier activities in the area. I was honored to be recognized with an 2013 AIM High Endurance Lifetime Contribution Award for volunteer activities and fitness advocacy in the area. Many of these events, like the GRTri, benefit local or national charities and bring in funds to continue valuable research or operation.

KyleEsperbio
Collegiate Relations Champion & Setup/Tear Down Champion
Kyle Esper

I have been a runner most of my life and ran both Track and Cross Country in high school and eventually college at Grand Valley State University. After finishing running at GVSU I wanted to take on a new challenge and Triathlons had always been something that I wanted to do. Now I have completed races from sprint distance all the way to a full Ironman. Triathlons are a huge part of my life and as a result I both met my wife and even proposed to her at last years Grand Rapids Triathlon as she crossed the finish line of her first half iron distance race.

Matt Vidro
Environmental Restoration Champion
Matt Vidro

My brother got me into triathlons: first competing, and later volunteering. I decided I wanted a larger role this year and I am now “The Trash Man.” (That’s the simple way of saying Champion of Environmental Restoration.) All joking aside, I am absolutely thrilled to have a more central role in the Grand Rapids Tri, as I have been helping out since its origination doing odds and ends. I have been involved in sports since I could walk: t-ball, baseball, soccer, football, track, you name it. As a father of two girls, there is nothing I love more than watching their confidence grow as they participate in athletics and other activities. I look forward to being a part of the Grand Rapids Tri for years to come, and making it a family tradition!

cheryl_britcher
Finish Line Champion
Cheryl Britcher

Setting stretch fitness goals led me into triathlons. The 2011 GR Tri was my first sprint tri and the start of many more to come. I also believe in contributing to a healthy community and that’s why I love being part of the GR Tri event team!

Gail Vidro
Food and Finish Line Food Champion
Gail Vidro

I taught elementary children for 32 years in Lowell and then taught preschool at Forest Hills Presbyterian Church for 5 more years. I witnessed my first triathlon watching Andy participate. I was drawn in further to the triathlon world by listening as Andy and Ann began to work on their dream of a triathlon in Grand Rapids. Now, by volunteering, I am able to become a part of this amazing event.

KatGillespiebio
Marketing Champion
Kat Gillespie
I am a marketing and events coordinator for Grand Valley State’s Van Andel Global Trade Center and a new mom! Every year, I am inspired and awed by the hard work and dedication that goes into the Grand Rapids Triathlon by both triathletes and volunteers. The group of amazing individuals that make up this community is what keeps me coming back year after year. I am an avid runner and last year I decided to take it to the next level; I am excited to say, I completed my first triathlon during the 2013 Grand Rapids Triathlon! This year, I look forward to cheering on the athletes and providing race day photos and updates to family and friends far way on GR Tri’s Facebook and Twitter!
Tim Guikema
Neighborhood Relations Champion
Tim Guikema

I have been involved in Triathlons since 2010. Starting off with a neighborhood Tri, Lech Lecha, cross the finish line and fell in love with this type of racing. I found out through some friends that the GR Tri and MiTi were some new races that were starting and I should look at helping out and getting involved. This is my second year with the GR Tri, and  third year with the MiTi. Last year I was landing in Ethiopia on the dates of each race last year, 1st trip for meeting our new son and again in Aug for picking up our son. I was bummed to miss the races, but Asa was well worth it.

Besides racing for Team Traction3 and Ascension Cycling, I have a wife of 13 years, a 8 and 5 year old daughters and a 2 year son from Ethiopia. I  hope to finish a 1/2 Ironman distance this Spring. I do Sales and Production Management for Summit Tree Service, a local tree company. I hope to someday finish a full Ironman distance.

LonnaBlairbio
Packet Pickup Co-Champion
Lonna Blair

In 2005, I became inspired watching a local triathlon in Grand Rapids, MI.  If all those people could do a triathlon, then so could I!  Not knowing how to swim, I took swimming lessons for 6 weeks and it took me seven months to finally get the hang of breathing and swim more than a ½ lap.  My first triathlon was in September 2006 and thus began the addiction.  Thereafter I’ve completed in several triathlon distances from sprint to Olympic to Half Ironman to Full Ironman and everything in between.  I’ve also participated in several bike tours/races ranging from 50 to 100 milers, hills to flats and running races of all distances including marathons.  I’ve learned a lot about injuries – both receiving and avoiding – my body mechanics, training and nutrition.  Most importantly, I’ve learned how important it is to give back – to the volunteers, to the participants and to the charities, and I’m happy to do this as a Champion with GR Tri.

MarianneMaximbio
Packet Pickup Co-Champion
Marianne Maxim

After my children graduated high school I went been back to swimming and cycling in 2009. In 2010, I decided to try a sprint triathlon and was immediately addicted.   Fall of 2011 a friend approach me and suggested I run a marathon. I have to admit my first reaction was to laugh at her.   In 2012 I competed in many halves and a marathon. It shows what you put your mind to you can do. I got the idea I should compete in my first half iron man at Grand Rapids Tri. I was so impressed by the organization and friendliness of the volunteers. I knew I wanted to be part of something so awesome.

andy_d
Road Closure Champion
Andy Dauksts

I never have actually ran a race or a TRI but I love to help out and volunteer when I can.  I have been married to my wife Jenna for 5 years with a two year old son named Logan.  I am a manager at a traffic control company and am also the head coach for Jenison varsity hockey.  My sister Katie Belland and mom Barb have always asked me to help with races, the first one I helped with was the first GR Tri.

katie_belland
Run Coordinator Champion
Katie Belland

I began running in 2005 and have since done several races, from 10 miles to the Bayshore Marathon. Running is a big part of my life. I met my husband through the local running club and even got engaged at the finish line of the 2009 25k River Bank Run. While I have never done a tri myself, I enjoy cheering for my husband as he competes. I was previously the President of the Grand Rapids Running Club.

AdamBakerbio
Set Up/Tear Down Support Champion
Adam Baker

I’ve never been one to back down from a fight, and I’m always pushing my personal boundaries of fitness & stamina to see what I’m capable of.  I began participating in triathlons & really getting in peak physical shape three years ago.  I’m happy to say, the boundaries are getting further and further apart.  In addition to the road races, trail runs and triathlons I’ve competed in over the years, my personal favorite is taking home a silver medal in the State of Michigan summer Olympics in 2013 for wrestling.  I’ll be 40-yrs old this year and I wrestle in a lighter weight class than I did in high-school or college. Turns out, you can go home again!

I’m a natural for Set-Up & Tear Down support, as I love building stuff and then wrecking them.  I’ve been in races with crowded bike racks and long runs to the transition area where they seemed to sweep rocks and pebbles onto the course.  So I will be vigilant to get the bike racks spaced apart, roads swept and licked clean if necessary, pull all the seaweed from the swim course, and lay down bubble wrap from swim-out to transition if necessary…. All, so that you have the best race ever!!!!  No excuses for not PR’ing!

BillCleaver
Signage (Run Course) Champion
Bill Cleaver

Bill Cleaver has been an avid runner since 1979. He has run numerous 5K’s, 10K’s, ½ Marathons, 25K’s and Marathons including two Boston qualifiers and Boston in 2007. He continues to put in 20-40 mile a week. In addition to running, Bill enjoys other outdoor activities including; hiking, camping, kayaking, etc. He has a Bachelors of Science degree from Michigan State University and is a Purchasing/Materials Management professional by trade.

jeff_jaunch
Special Needs Champion
Jeff Jauch

My daughter Chelsea is my true inspiration & the catalyst to all of our racing. I was a heavy smoker when she did her first Tri, with ”The Ride of Their Lives”. It took her second Tri to get me to change my life. Now we”ve competed in many Triathlons and running races. We are both in the Two Hour club for the Fifth Third RBR. Our fastest Marathon time is 3:25. We race to raise awareness for the disorder Chelsea is afflicted – Rett Syndrome, which is a neuro-muscular disorder. We hope to challenge ourselves once again, by completing the 1/2 Iron distance event in the Grand Rapids Triathlon. We are honored to help coordinate the needs of the other special needs athletes. I have also completed an ironman 11:23:18.

bolthouse
Spectator Experience Champion
Kristina Bolthouse

I love being involved with events and meeting new people.This is a great opportunity to stay active in the community. I love coffee, tennis and time with my family! I am also very passionate about my job. I work for Creative Studio Promotions, a women owned company downtown GR. I would love to help you market your company! :)

DonGoetschue
Splash n Dash Champion
Don Goetcheus

In 2007 I was minding my own business swimming laps a couple days a week and mountain biking to stay in shape. Along came a girl I wanted to impress so I started running for the first time in my life. Within a year I had finished my first full marathon. In 2008 a friend, I swam with on the high school swim team, asked me to join him at a Master swim practice. While at practice, he mentioned a group that was getting together to transport handicapped individuals around at triathlons and he wanted me to be a part of the running leg. That was the beginning of My Team Triumph. My experience with My
Team Triumph proved life changing, as I had been bitten by the triathlon bug. As a result, I have worked my way up to multiple Half-Ironman distance tris, multiple marathons, and a few bike races each year. My down time is spent with my two teenage boys, still trying to impress that girl, and as a financial advisor with Amerprise Financial Services. In the future, I plan to tackle the full Ironman distance triathlon after my boys are off to college.

KariStuart
Sponsorship Development Manager
Kari Stuart
The sport of triathlon found me in 2010. The training and preparation, excitement of race day, cheering of the crowd and the triumph of reaching a goal had me hooked. I now regularly compete in triathlon with the 2013 Mi Titanium being my first Half Iron distance event! My husband and I participate in many races throughout the state, and I have found that the endurance community we have here in Grand Rapids is unmatched.  There’s a reason why GR was named the best city for triathlon, and it’s the amazing crowd support, enthusiastic athletes and awesome events like MiTitanium and GR Triathlon.
Health and community is a integral part of my life, and working for the Mi Titanium and GR Triathlon is a very natural fit!  So, I am thrilled to be a part of the team.  As both an athlete and a business owner, I see both sides of the sponsorship coin.  I look forward to customizing sponsorship opportunities that give the business the maximum amount of exposure while also improving the athlete race experience.  Let’s come up with a plan to help grow YOUR business by supporting the fastest growing sport in America – please contact me at kari@tris4health.com
brian-
Supplies Champion
Brian McLane

I have played soccer and other sports since I was in middle school and have made physical activity an important part of my life.  I began practicing yoga about 7 years ago which has helped a lot with strength, endurance and peace of mind.  I never enjoyed running, and throughout my life I have worked on cardio by participating in team sports.  A few years ago ran my first 5k at the Pink Arrow Quiver and added in some fun runs like the Zombie Dash in 2013.  This year my goal is to participate in more a few 10ks, working toward a 25k in 2015. I work at Priority Health in product development on consumer engaged health plans and fundamentally believe that staying in good shape and eating well is one of the keys to maintaining a good quality of life in the long run, pardon the pun.

This is my second year helping with the GRTri and I am looking forward to the event, getting the chance to see so many people succeed at a difficult goal is a reward in its self and makes the work for the event worthwhile.

 

RachelKrugbio
Swim Champion
Rachel Krug

Coordinating the swim course at both the GR Tri and the Michigan Titanium, I have such respect and admiration for the many Triathletes who take part. As a swimmer, lifeguard, and swim lesson teacher I hope to bring others to appreciate the water and to provide a safe and organized place to race. My goal is to make the swim leg of triathlons less intimidating and more fun! I am a student at Grand Valley State University and a part-time Catholic Youth Minister, looking forward to a career in ministry.

chad_roberts
Transition and Security Champion
Chad Roberts

I had been bicycling for a few years and in March 2009 was seeking to differentiate my fitness routine. A co-worker introduced me to a local triathlon group, and joined the workouts with no intention of racing. By June, I had completed my first Sprint distance event and was instantly hooked, and have competed in 3-5 Sprint and Olympic distances events annually since. In 2011, I decided to focus on my running weakness and completed my first 1/2 marathon. For 2012, I wanted to give back to the multi-sport community that has been so supportive. Shortcomings within the transition area of events have always been of issue, and relish the opportunity to create the best experience possible. A GR native, I have two children and work as a fleet manager for Gordon Food Service.

jason_d
Vendor EXPO Champion
Jason Dykhouse

Husband and dad of 2 girls, 2 and 6 yrs old who keep us ever busy.  Keeping my active lifestyle as full as possible, incorporating the girls when I can – they love to be outside! I love adventure and challenge races in addition to swimming, running and many outdoor sports.  I work in Graphic Design/Advertising/Print production with a background in professional photography for several years prior.  Always inventing or building something, from my new apple cider press built last fall, to the furniture in our home, to experimenting in homebrewing, an increasingly popular hobby in michigan.  I designed and sell a series of outdoor sport decals so have been having fun with that too - http://www.outdooractivist.com/

Heather Gluszewski
VIP Champion
Heather Gluszewski

I began supporting my husband and family members participating in triathlons since 2008.  I quickly learned what a fun, healthy, and community based sport it is.  I love being a spectator, the excitement of the crowd, cheering on the participants, and I still get goose bumps watching people cross the finish line.  My focus has been on giving back to the community with my time, efforts, and skills.  I have had the opportunity to get involved with some amazing organizations and meet some wonderful people.  I’m currently a board member of Grand Rapids Sister Cities International, MI Women’s Foundation Women of Achievement & Courage, Spectrum Health Patient & Family Advisory Council, Rising Women Leaders Alumni, and Inforum WMI Council.  I’ve also been involved with Athena, Junior Achievement, Gilda’s Club Red, American Cancer Society, YWCA and Women’s Resource Center.  I live in Hudsonville, with my husband Christian, and our dog Hank who is a frequent spectator at the races as well.

KariCain
Volunteer Champion
Kari Cain

I started running my senior year in high school after a volleyball injury. Fifteen plus years later, it has become my passion. I have completed multiple 5k’s, 10k’s and a half marathon. My ultimate goal would be to complete a full marathon. I love being a part of the Priority Health Team of Champions and am loving being involved with the Grand Rapids Triathlon!

gates
Volunteer Recruitment Champion
Chris Gates

As a young boy I remember watching my father compete in triathlons, cheering him on from the sidelines I had no idea that someday we’d be doing them together.
5 years ago my father challenged me to 3 months of sobriety. I challenged him with 3 months of a healthier lifestyle and a fitness program, we agreed to compete in the reeds lake triathlon together after or 90 days was up. We had such a blast together we wanted to take it to the next level.  The next year we did the Grand Rapids Tri Olympic Distance together.  Last year we did the MiTi Half-Iron distance together, and this year we’ll complete the MiTi Full-Iron distance together.  It’s been such an experience to be able to compete in these events with my father, pushing the limits of our bodies and improving our mental and physical health every step, pedal, and stroke of the way. I’m a Network Engineer for S. Abraham & Sons during the day and dabble in semi-professional photography on the side.  I live in Grandville with my good friend Evan, who also participates in the triathlon events with my father and I.

fast_photos
Official Photographers
Fast Photo

Fast Photo Pro was formed Dec 2008. Kevin Bos and Steven Korringa have worked for several sports photography companies and decided to take that knowledge and offer it locally focusing on Michigan Events that aren”t getting professional photography services. Our goal is to make this a win/win for everyone involved. We work hard to bring you quality images. We use the most advanced online technology available for finding viewing and ordering your specific images by providing you with your own personal galleries based on your visible bib numbers.

jessica_fields
Web and Graphic Designer
Jessica Fields

I am a recent newlywed and senior designer at Kmotion Design. I’ve been a designer for about eight years and I absolutely love it.  For the past 4 years, Kmotion Design has collaborated to design the Grand Rapids Triathlon brand. This includes the logo, website and other promotional material. This event is really great for the city of Grand Rapids. It’s also a huge responsibility to put on. A race this size takes many volunteers and hours of dedication to pull off, and we have a very dedicated team putting in the long hours working together to make this event great! It’s been amazing to be a part of a race that has grown so quickly and that has had such a positive impact on our community.

katie_vanderploegbio
Web and Graphic Designer
Katie VanderPloeg

Katie is the founder/owner of Kmotion Design Inc. Katie has a wide range of expertise, which include website design, branding, front end web development, motion graphics and video post production. Katie loves to stretch her design skills in many areas, and is passionate about all areas of design. When Katie isn’t designing, you can bet she’s pursuing what she refers to as her “healthy addiction” – working out and living a healthy lifestyle. Her current passion is CrossFit. Another fun fact about Katie? She was on set at QVC with Tony Horton, promoting the workout video for P90X. Katie is married and has beautiful one year old daughter named Mila.

zachary_plumb
Videographer
Zachary Plumb

This fall, I will be a senior in the GVSU film program, emphasizing in non-fiction production. Besides a filmmaker, I am also a distance runner and triathlete. I ran a few 5Ks when I was young, but hated running until I joined the cross-country team in high school. As I became better at running, I discovered triathlons as well, and started competing in a few each summer. Over the years, I have not ceased to be amazed at the incredible sense of community that is created by endurance sports. In my film career, I received early recognition by having one of my documentaries accepted into the 2010 Michigan Film Festival. Through video, I hope to give people a glimpse into the anxiety, excitement, pain, determination, sacrifice and ultimately bliss that go into completing a triathlon.

Our 2013 Sponsors