A collection of influencers in and out of the water. Our ambassadors are respected individuals in the swimming and triathlon communities. They know the taste of victory, yearn for the superlative and know how to have fun.
Dan Van Drunen
Ottawa, ON Canada | Instagram
When a shoulder injury side-lined Dan from continuing to play competitive volleyball, he turned to running/triathlon to quench his competitive
thirst. He describes his first 3 years in the sport very selfish and self-absorbed focusing on personal improvement. It wasn't until he realized how much he learned in the first 3 years of these new disciplines and how much of an impact he could have on others. This is when he started reaching out to others and making himself available through one-on-one coaching and guidance. His passion for helping and inspiring others led him to the Zoggs ambassador program where he is now even more connected with the swimming/triathlon community and it's athletes. Dan's current goals have him focused on qualifying once again for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships which will be held in Australia in 2016.
One of the most notable individuals in the triathlon industry, Tracey has been competing in triathlon for 26 years now. The veteran triathlete started a women’s only triathlon team that grew to over 200 members when she first started the sport. The club saw much success with Reebok as a title sponsor. From there, Tracey found herself working at USA Triathlon in Colorado Springs and was fortunate enough to travel the world and support both age groups and professional athletes.
San Jose, CA
Educating the minds of America’s youth, this 18 year veteran of triathlon has competed in over 50 triathlons along his journey. Russ is inspired by the individuals he meets at each event and the shared experiences they have. The teacher also finds way to fit triathlon into his math curriculum, having his students calculate speed, distance and time. He finds that some students are inspired by the amount of time he spends training, however, there is always one student to ask “why can’t you go any faster?” Russ tries to compete in 3-4 events annually including 1 full distance Ironman competition.
Naomi was diagnosed with Onset Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA) when she was 1. Though in remission for the last few years, Naomi has suffered flare ups from time to time. Sports were something Naomi found strength in as she overcame issues associated autoimmune disease, but many sports were difficult and uncomfortable. After learning to swim when she was 7, Naomi found a sport that allowed her to be competitive both mentally and physically. Now at age 8, she's a member of the Pensacola Navy Youth Swim Team. Outside of the pool Naomi works with the Arthritis National Research Foundation's Racing for a Cure's, Swimming for a Cure, which she is the team captain, to raise awareness and hopefully money for Arthritis Research. In addition to swimming Naomi has begun to take gymnastics at Mojos Elite Gymnastics 2 to 4 times a week, as well as Ukulele lessons. This little breaststroker hopes to make it to Level 2 this year in gymnastics, to go to another Auburn Swim Clinic with her favorite Coach Brett Hawke or as she refers to him, Gordon Ramsey, and to one day become a doctor helping individuals who are unable to afford healthcare and/or a professional swimmer. Naomi is the first official Junior Ambassador for Zoggs USA.
Pensacola, FL | Instagram
Currently an eleven year old sixth grade student who is a member of the Pensacola Navy Youth (PNY) swim team and her middle school swim team. Kara enjoys swimming because it allows her to be a team player as well as complete individually. She was recognized as the second highest point earner on the PNY swim team last year. Kara is participating in the Arthritis National Research Foundation’s Swimming for a Cure. In addition to swimming, Kara loves to skimboard, surf and paddleboard all of which she has perfected in the Gulf of Mexico. Her favorite subjects in school are math and history and she is a first chair violinist in her school’s orchestra. Most importantly, Kara is friendly and kind person who is a role model to others.
Mark Olson has been in endurance sports for over 20 years, mainly as a cyclist in the southeast turned triathlete 8 years ago to explore a different sport. He has completed 3 Ironman Events and over 15 Half Ironman throughout the last 8 years as well as multiple local triathlons and running events. He is relatively new to the world of swimming but really enjoys master swimming as well as open water swimming almost every week. He was first introduced to Zoggs by a friend from California and has used them ever since and has helped bring the Zoggs brand to the southeast. Due to an upcoming ankle surgery, he will not be racing until the later part of 2016, but is spending a lot of time swimming and biking. He is a father of two daughters and spends all his free time traveling.
Rio Rancho, NM | Facebook
This certified USA Triathlon and USA Cycling coach served as a pastor for over 35 years and advocates a fusion of faith and fitness. As a triathlete for over 20 years, he enjoys that triathlon promotes a healthy lifestyle, likes that the sport has challenging discipline, and it’s opportunity to inspire and encourage others. Scott is a 9 time Ironman finisher, 7 time 70.3 finisher, 2 time quintathlon finisher and more than 30 triathlon sprint distance finishes. Scott also serves on the USAT Rocky Mountain Region council for paratriathlon, is a home theater enthusiast and enjoys attending rock concerts and festivals.
Los Angeles, CA | Website
Currently holding one of the managing positions with LA Tri Club, Deb is well known for the amount of energy she excerpts daily. This enthusiastic triathlete and aqua bike competitor has trained in triathlon for 2.5 years and now trains under Ian Murray. Deb considers herself a water baby; she enjoys spending time with her family and bonding with all members old and new of her Tri Club. She’s very much a team player and constantly lifts up and encourages those around her to have fun.
Spring, TX | Facebook
"When you hear that the journey is just as important as the race this is why; there will be struggles. There will be days that are harder than you could imagine. There will be days that make you question everything you are doing." Jill Kuhn, a mother of four young boys, juggles the full time career of motherhood alongside her intense training schedule. Not to mention, the new-to-tri athlete balances this all while living with Rheumatoid Arthritis. The ever determined triathlete refuses to let this physical disability get in the way of doing what she loves. Jill is new to triathlon only 1 year in, but hopes to compete as much as five times in the year of 2016 and will continue increasing training in hopes to compete in her first Ironman 140.6 in 2017.
This Pennsylvania native currently works as an operating room nurse and is
looking to graduate with her Masters as a Family Nurse Practitioner in the summer of 2016. As a mom of 10 year old twins, Monica also known as Mo, grew up swimming in high school and college but only picked back up swimming and triathlon six years ago. Since then she’s completed 14 sprint races, three Olympic distances, two Ironman 70.3 races and one Ironman 140.6. Monica was also the Ulman Cancer Fund Team Fight-Fighter of the year in 2013. Monica focuses on technique and pacing herself while also enjoying training new triathletes in and out of the pool along with training her twins who love to take part in the sport as well!
Currently a full-time wealth advisor, the husband to a beautiful wife and father to three boys, Brian has competed in triathlon for the last four years. Having always enjoyed sports, in particular swimming as he swam in high school, he discovered triathlon and tried all distances. Finding a love for the l
onger distance races and the triathlon lifestyle, he’s motivated by his desire to set a good example and to be a positive role model for his three sons. 8 years ago, Brian lost his mother to ovarian cancer when she was just 58 years old. Following this, he has used his participation in triathlon as a way to raise funds for the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance, where he currently sits on the Board of Directors. He appreciates having the opportunity to tell his mother's story as a way to bring awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms so people understand the importance of early detection.
A member of the United States Army and currently enrolled to attend Physical
Therapy school, Carmel was first introduced to triathlon just four years ago. After being pitched from a horse and tearing her shoulder, she passed a year of deployment and recovery with running. When the rhythm of her steps wasn’t enough to fuel her athletic needs anymore, Carmel looked for an alternative to remain active and stay in shape; enter triathlon. Immediately Carmel was intrigued and energized by the community she had first competed with. Having swam her entire life, her initial focus was to remain patient and focus on completion while having fun- after several years Carmel is now a Rev3 Triathlete.
Elmhurst, NY | Instagram
Bryan Vivero is a second year triathlete, competing in his first 140.6 in Ironman Maryland 2016. He grew up as a swimmer in the Philippines, winning various awards and competed through college in the US. His athletic ambitions brought him recently into cycling and shortly after into triathlons. His favorite race to date is the New York City Triathlon, being one of the city’s biggest events and his first hometown race. It draws the best athletes all over the world and naturally it took the best of him to compete, placing 8th in his age group (AG) with the time of 2:22:14. He raves about the city’s electric crowd and camaraderie that fueled him to push past his limit. In the same year, he also won his age group in NY Triathlon, placed 4th AG in Escape the Cape, and finished in the top 5% AG in his first Half Ironman in Lake Tahoe. As a profession, Bryan is an accountant for a New York City real-estate developer. When he’s not training he doesn't stray too far away from the sport, as he’s actively involved with various fitness clubs in the city. In 2016, he will compete in three half ironman races: Toughman Tupper Lake, Shoreman Tri, and Ironman 70.3 Timberman. To close the season, he will be looking forward to finishing his first full distance Ironman in Maryland.
Sherry is a triathlon coach of 15 years and a world-class
triathlete for more than 20 years. Having competed in her first Ironman in 2006, she eats breathes and sleeps triathlon. When she’s not racing, this Team Elite coach is ringing cowbells for her athletes. Sherry is an IRONMAN Certified Coach, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Running Coach and Certified Indoor Cycling Instructor located in Orange County, California. The world ranked level 1 USAT certified coach shows many accolades on her personal website and it shows through her training as her athletes are quite decorated with successes as well.
Glendora, CA | Facebook
Surviving a near death experience in 1989 to Anorexia Nervosa, Suzy turned to triathlon in 1993 to turn her life around. The competitive and loving spirit she possesses has continued to push her through the sport, motivating her and providing her with the endurance she needs to compete. Her love for triathlon and the healthy lifestyle has influenced so many as she is now a certified scuba instructor, coaches a high school master swim program and is a race director. Suzy is currently the only woman in the world to compete in 15 consecutive ULTRAMAN Hawaiian world championships. She’s successfully finished 12, won her age group five times and unofficially finished three times.
This former well known news and sports
TV host in western Massachusetts now serves as Executive Director of Communications at Springfield College in Springfield Massachusetts. He’s a spokesperson for all things Springfield College by day, but by early morning and weekends he’s a triathlon enthusiast of 14 years. The regular podium finisher in local triathlons is inspired by his two daughters and by his teammates and fellow triathletes. He holds a passion for the sport and usually only wants to wear and use the best in his training.
Clarence Ctr, NY
Kevin is a self-coached 16 year veteran to triathlon. Starting out as a non-swimming runner and former collegiate football player, he picked up Terry Laughlin’s "Total Immersion Swimming" and embraced the technique. Now, years later this previous collegiate offensive lineman has lost almost 100lbs since joining triathlon. Just last year he completed and place second overall twice, and second in his age group twice. In 3 out of those 4 events he’s finished within the top ten overall. Kevin really enjoys his experiences in triathlon and hopes to compete in more events this calendar year.
Vancouver, BC Canada
Self employed as a
People Consultant, Steph’s has chosen a career that allows her flexibility to work and train all week long. She swims with a masters group 4 times a week and competes often in triathlon and Ironman. She grew up a competitive swimmer in Ontario, competed at a collegiate level, and shares that “life outside of being fully chlorinated never feels quite right.” To test her own abilities and what she knew she was capable of, the swimming enthusiast took up triathlon and it has now become a way of life for her having completed 13 Ironman races. One of Steph's many goals for the year is to win the swim at Ironman Canada -- though she knows the race is never over until the end of the marathon!