2017 Team Tri Everything Athletes


Rhonda Cohen

King of Prussia, PA

Rhonda did her first 5k and first triathlon at the age of 50. Being extremely overweight, she decided to go to a boot camp and was lucky enough to find a supportive community. Having never heard of any triathlons aside from Ironman, she found out there were shorter distances and wanted to give it a try.

Rhonda is far from a natural athlete so training and racing have been particularly tough for her.  Her first tri she did with a bike she bought from a discount store, and she rented a wetsuit from a surf shop. After crossing the finish line in last place, she was hooked!

She figured that if she could do triathlons, so could many others, so she started Rhonda’s Rookies where she voluntarily taught more than 50 women to do their first triathlon. It was extremely rewarding to watch all those women cross the finish line at a women’s triathlon.

She continued to train and race and, in 2008, attempted Ironman Florida. She did all but the last 13.1 miles which is something that still disappoints her. Having the tragedies of losing her sister and her mother over a short period of time, along with a devastating bike accident that took two surgeries and a year of rehab, she stopped racing and exercising. She put all the weight back on and much more.

In 2014, she decided to have weight loss surgery.  She lost 100 pounds, but much of the physical damage of training and racing at such a heavy weight was already done and she has seen little improvement in speed.  After taking several years off, she got back to triathlons in 2016 and participated in the inaugural Ironman Atlantic City 70.3 this year at age 63. She finished with only 12 minutes to spare before the cut-off, but was ecstatic.

She knows that seeing a slow, overweight triathlete cross the finish line --- usually last or close to it ---   motivates others and she hopes to continue the sport as long as her body will let her slog over that finish line.  

 

Krista Elwell

East Windsor, NJ

Krista swam competitively from age 10 through college and started running after college. After a running injury, she started to cross train by cycling. Within the past few years, she put all 3 disciplines together and started to compete in duathlons and triathlons.

As part of Team Tri Everything in 2016 she completed 2 triathlons, 5 duathlons, Atlantic City Ironman 70.3 Relay, Perfect 10 Relay and several 5K's. A solid age group performer, she finished in the top 3 in all individual events. (Lifetime Tri- 2nd place Masters/ 1st place swim, Lower Bucks Tri 1st place Masters/2nd place OA, Jersey Genesis- 1st place AG, Hammonton- 1st place AG, Vincentown- 2nd place AG, Medford Lakes- 2nd place OA, Hightstown 3rd place OA)

Krista is part of Jersey Girls StayStrong Multisport and has been training with them since 2013. She also rides with the Princeton Freewheelers group.

 

Holly Erickson

Park City, UT

Holly Erickson competed in swimming and running individually through High School and raced road bikes in college. She was instantly hooked to triathlon after her very first race in college. Over the last 15 years she’s competed in every distance from sprint to Ironman Tahoe 140.6 in 2013. Holly raised $5,000 for World Bicycle Relief while training for Ironman.

 Holly is very active in her local Park City, Utah triathlon community. She was on the board of directors for the Park City Triathlon Club, which became the Wasatch Triathlon Club. Holly is looking forward to training with BAM (Balanced Art Multisport) this summer. She is the volunteer coordinator for the Park City youth ‘Tiny Tri’, and is a volunteer tri guide for a multiday Para triathlon camp.  Holly is looking forward to racing a wide variety of triathlon and running events this upcoming race season.

A post race ‘jump shot’ is Holly’s trademark move! (Photo from 2016 Odgen, Utah Marathon)

 

Mary H Escobedo

Round Lake, IL

Mary is a 15 year police officer with the Village of Skokie, IL, and has served with the US Army-Psychological Operations Airborne Division for 10 years. In 1994, Mary rode as a second alternate with the Trek USA Race Team.  In 2007 she obtained her Master's degree from Western Illinois University.  Mary started in triathlon 3 years ago after an on-duty injury that changed her life forever!! Since starting, Mary has completed Ironman Madison and Maryland, as well as two Half Ironman triathlons in the Midwest.  

I have a great support partner, my husband, Rene, whom she met in 2001 while stationed in South Carolina for training. Rene steps up to the plate with the day to day craziness of shuttling their two girls to their respective activities, while Mary trains.

 

John Hannan

Alexandria, VA

John has been an athlete his entire life, participating in organized sports such as soccer and baseball from a young age. John’s involvement in triathlon began in 2000 while a graduate student at Florida State University. In his first race, a local sprint tri, he won the “first timer” division and was immediately hooked.

He has now competed in over 100 triathlons of all distances as well as dozens of run races from 5K up to full marathons. He is a twelve time Ironman Finisher with a PR of 10:09 and is a 3-time Boston Marathon qualifier with a PR of 3:02. He also finished 2nd in the 2016 Virginia-Maryland Triathlon Series Championship, winning his age group in four out of five series races with one second place finish.

His main enjoyment from triathlon comes from the balance that the sport brings to life, including a physical and psychological outlet from his very high-paced work environment. He believes strongly that skills learned through triathlon, such as dedication, work ethic, and the ability to prioritize/maximize usage of time translate to success in all facets of life. He attributes much of his to success in triathlon to incorporating training as a non-negotiable part of his daily schedule, just like any other calendar appointment.

John believes strongly in supporting small businesses, particularly those associated with triathlon (like Tri Everything) as larger corporate entities have entered the market to capitalize on the sport’s popularity.

 

Peggy Harris

Ewa Beach, HI

Peggy loves to inspire other's journey towards a healthy, happy, fulfilled lifestyle and believes that competing in triathlon with Team Tri Everything is a perfect channel for doing so! Her love for sport and activity started at a very young age.  Peggy had 3 active, older siblings to keep up with after all, and a younger one chasing her! Peggy played a wide variety of sports from grade school through her collegiate years at the University of Notre Dame, pursuing basketball as a walk-on for her first 2 years and eventually relegating sports to a hobby for the final 2 years, concentrating fully on an engineering degree.  As she finished college and began an engineering career, sports and fitness pursuits included triathlons, marathons, surfing, rock climbing competitions, Olympic lifting, tennis, golf, rugby, beach volleyball, even boot camp for Astronauts!

 

When Peggy married, her husband was stationed away from the location of her career with NASA/USA in the space shuttle program. The perfect opportunity arose to obtain a graduate degree in Sports Medicine and Exercise Physiology, adding “chasing toddlers” to her daily activities along the way! Peggy is continually amazed at the mind and body’s ability to adapt to new challenges and enjoys finding ways to push past perceived physical boundaries, especially those that landed her in the hospital in 2015.  It has been a fight back to a healthy lifestyle, through running and triathlon, since those months of illness. Medical research journals she studied and implemented in her nutrition and exercise lifestyle has helped her manage and, thus far, overcome immune dysfunction.  Peggy continues to research other exercise physiology effects, both enhancements and detriments, to find scientific explanations for the body's varied response to exercise stimulus.

 

Peggy has been a certified National Academy of Sports Medicine Personal Trainer for the past 6 years, working in the gym setting as well as outdoor circuit group training classes. By far the most fulfilling part of the sports and fitness journey has been empowering, educating, and encouraging others on their own wellness journeys, helping them achieve and surpass fitness goals.  Peggy also still loves to compete and challenge herself in races around Hawaii with favorites being the Honolulu Marathon, North Shore Triathlon, the Spartan Race on Kualoa Ranch, and the Ironman 70.3 Hawaii.  Peggy was also fortunate to travel to New Zealand and compete in the Ironman 70.3 Taupo.  Enjoy the moments! Peggy is thankful to have been given so many opportunities to live each moment to the fullest and hope to encourage others to do the same!

 

Phillip Hollen

Richardson, TX

Phil have been a runner for more than 30 years. Phil started competing in triathlons in 2013, and just completed his third full triathlon season in 2016. Phil finished an average of 5th place in his age division, and is looking forward to next season.

Among his many goals planned for 2017, Phil will be running two Sprint triathlons, two Olympic triathlons, and his second half-Ironman 70.3. Phil will also be assisting his hometown in Illinois with their third annual Cornathlon Sprint triathlon event in July sponsored by Tri Everything.

“Hard work beats talent that doesn’t work hard”.

 

Erik Johnson

Lake Linden, MI

Erik grew up a swimmer, swimming competitively through high school and college, stumbling into triathlon in high school when asked to do the swim portion of a relay team. They went on to win that small race and Erik’s love for triathlon was born. Erik does not like to sit around so he decided to just start doing the races himself. Erik loves the challenge of endurance events so naturally he worked my way up to doing Ironman's, completing 2 so far and will be racing in Lake Placid in July for his 3rd.

Triathlon is a family event for Erik. Erik and his wife Becky are both teachers and now plan family summer trips around races. It's fun to travel and to show their 3 boys that hard work and dedication can pay off. Their oldest son (age 7) plans to do his first triathlon this summer and the family always enjoys working out together where its riding their bike alongside dad while he runs or going for swims at the beach. Staying active and teaching their kids the importance of the love for a sport is something Erik cherishes.

Erik is currently the head coach of our local high school swim team and the assistant boys track coach. Erik loves passing on his knowledge of the sport to others and teaching them the life lessons learned through being a student-athlete.

 

Danielle Maham

Cutler Bay, FL

Danielle is a Five time Ironman Finisher and All World Athlete, as well as a USAT All American Athlete. In 2015, Danielle qualified for and ran in the Boston Marathon. Her Boston-qualifying marathon was on the fourth day of the Disney Dopey Challenge. The Dopey Challenge consists of: Thursday – 5K; Friday – 10K; Saturday – Half Marathon; Sunday Marathon! In 2016, Danielle competed in the USAT Long Course National Championships and qualified for the 2017 Long Course World Championships.

On the Swim front, Danielle completed the 12.5 mile solo Swim Around Key West in 2014, and is a 2 X Swim for Alligator Lighthouse (9-mile tropical open water swim in Islamorada, the Florida Keys) finisher.

Danielle has been a podium finisher in local triathlons in the Miami area, and is registered for Ironman Texas and Ironman Florida in 2017, as well as the 2017 Long Course National & World Championships.

Follow Danielle on her Blog: triathlonmayhem@blogspot.com

 

Jonelle Nace

Toms River, NJ

Originally from Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Jonelle joined the military at the age of 20 in pursuit of hopefully getting her college paid for. It is through her journey the last 11 years and with finishing her undergraduate and master degrees in Sports Psychology, which she fell in love with the sports of triathlon. Three years ago, she started relaying in triathlon events with Team RWB in New Jersey and Philadelphia, and instantly was hooked.


Jonelle is actively involved in Toms River, NJ by being a member of the Jersey Girls Stay Strong Multisport Tri club and is stationed at McGuire AFB with VR 64. Currently, she is training for her first full Ironman that will be in Wisconsin in September along with relaying in Ironman AC 70.3 and running Ragnar Pennsylvania. If she isn’t busy training or working, she is usually studying for her doctoral degree in Sports and Performance Psychology. She is looking forward to this season and all that it has to offer.

 

George Peters

Toms River, NJ

In 2009, George weighed 425 lbs. He was diabetic, had high blood pressure and was taking so much insulin that his doctor recommended that he have surgery to get an insulin pump. He decided to go another route.  In January of 2011, he had gastric sleeve weight loss surgery. Part of his post-surgical recovery was to start walking. In November, his daughter suggested that their family participate in a 5k Turkey Trot. He started running and continued to increase his distances. In the summer of 2014, he started doing sprint triathlons. He continued to train and move up to long distance triathlons and running events in 2015. George said “Podium finishes are a long way off. My goal, for every triathlon or race that I complete, is to be better than my previous event.” A former collegiate wrestler and lacrosse player, he enjoys training as much as the events themselves. In 2015, at Ironman Raleigh 70.3, his brother noticed how much bigger (6’4” tall, now 270 lbs) he was than the other athletes in transition. He called him the Godzilla of triathlon. He now does a blog titled “Godzilla versus”, embracing that nickname.

 

Check out George’s blog: https://godzillaversus.wordpress.com/

 

Montana Rhodes

Daniel Island, SC

Montana began competitively swimming in the summer of 2013 while living in Hillsborough, NJ and immediately fell in love with the sport.  After moving to the Jersey Shore, she joined the Monmouth Barracudas and swim became a big part of her life!  It was also then that her parents opened Tri Everything and Montana became more interested in triathlon.  Montana has competed in kids and adult triathlons in the sprint distance, and has placed several times in her age group!  

Following the move to Daniel Island, her swim training got kicked up a notch when she joined the South Carolina Swim Club (SCSC), resulting in her qualifying for the 2017 South Carolina State Championships.  Montana has a passion for swim and some day her mom & dad hope to be able to swim as fast as her!

  

Brad Shannon

Bloomington, IN

Brad is a Senior Software Engineer at Indiana University and a graduate of Xavier University ('09). He started competing in triathlons in 2012 as a bucket list item, and it is now his main hobby. His accomplishments so far have been breaking 5 hours in 70.3 races, 1st Overall at Lake Lemon Sprint, 1st AG 25-29 at USAT Mideast Regional Championship, and 2nd Overall amateur at Border Wars. In 2016, Brad qualified for the 2017 ITU Age Group Sprint Triathlon World Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Brad is coached by Craig Paiement at Tipping Point Triathlon; together they hope to continue to train and build on the gains from last season.

 

Courtney Snell

Clovis, CA

Courtney is a mother of three, small-business owner, and cycling instructor, and spends afternoons/evenings at home with her kids. Courtney purchased a road bike in 2013 and decided very quickly that she didn't want to be part of the road bike racing community. She had raced half marathons for 4 years and had grown tired of just running. She also swam competitively from elementary through high school. In 2014, Courtney made a New Year's resolution to meet new people and try new things. She joined her local triathlon club and participated in her first triathlon in April -- and was instantly hooked.

 

In 2015, Courtney made the jump from sprint distance to the Olympic distance. She purchased a TT bike and got more serious about training. In 2016, Courtney will be racing in her first 1/2 Ironman distance at Vineman (July). In addition to tackling the 1/2 Ironman, she has a goal to help spread the love of this sport to anyone that will listen, sharing her experience with as many as possible.

 

Sara Swick

Beaufort, SC

Sara grew up doing Gymnastics and Track and Field. After giving birth to her son in 2012, she decided to look into running again, but with her son. She soon joined fellow Military wives in a running club and began her long distance running venture. Doing countless 5ks, 10ks, and even a half marathon.

Sara took about a year off in 2015 during her surrogacy journey due to illness.

In 2016, as Sara recovered from a c-section, some fellow runners suggested an upcoming Triathlon to try out, just for fun. With just five weeks of training she took it on. She quickly discovered just how much she loved the sport and invested in a triathlon bike and gear. It was love at first sight. Sara would go on to compete in nine triathlons in 2016. Sara finished the last race of the season on a broken foot, refusing to quit. She participated in the South Carolina Triathlon Series where she would end with five podium finishes and take home three different titles. She received Coastal Champ, Midland Champ, and placed 3rd overall in her age group for the South Carolina Triathlon Series.  Additionally, Sara qualified for the USAT Olympic Distance Nationals.

Sara’s goal is to complete a full Ironman, training with her favorite people, her son and her husband.

2017 will be a year off from heavy racing to focus on wellness, but will support her team in any and every way possible.

 

TJ Tonkin

North Brunswick, NJ

A native of Scranton, PA and an Army Infantry Officer for nearly 10 years, T.J. was bitten by the triathlon bug in 2014.  At the urging of a friend and member of his Army unit, T.J. signed up for the Jersey Genesis Triathlon in 2014 and the fire was lit.  Later that year, he earned his first Age Group podium finish at Presidential Lakes Triathlon, and a life built around swim/bike/run was underway.

T.J. has raced in multiple triathlons, cycling events, and running races over the past few years, including Jersey Genesis, Presidential Lakes, Seaside Heights Sprint, Scranton Half Marathon, Steamtown Marathon, NJ State Olympic Triathlon, Ironman 70.3 Syracuse, and Ironman 70.3 Atlantic City, and the 150 mile Ride to Conquer Cancer in Philadelphia.

2017 is still filling up, and will include the Scranton Half Marathon, Jersey Genesis Triathlon, NJ State Tri, Ironman 70.3 Atlantic City, and Ironman Florida.  Training focus for the year is to improve on distance swimming, as well as revamping nutrition plans to maintain energy on the run.

Now out of the military, T.J. resides in New Jersey and works as an Account Manager for a major HVAC manufacturer in New York City.  He resides with his wife Gina, and has a son, Jaxon.

 

Ian Tovell

Cape Elizabeth, ME

Ian is currently an Associate Sales Executive at L.L. Bean and a graduate from the University of Vermont (’13).  He started competing in Triathlons when he was 12.  Running became his main sport and he ran Division 1 Cross Country at University of Vermont.  After an injury that sidelined him from running, he joined the Triathlon Club and it has been triathlons ever since.  He has competed in four Half Ironman’s with a personal record of 5:17.  He has competed in dozens of Sprints and Olympics over the last 5 years where he has finished in the top 10% in most of them.  He took the 2016 season off from racing to refocus his efforts for his first Ironman in 2017.  He is coached by Kyle Burnell with PBM coaching and is working toward Ironman Mount Tremblant.