BTC’ERS – this year for our Banquet, we are donating to the Buffalo Animal Shelter, a place very special to me & Mishka (this picture was Mishka at the Shelter on the day she was going home with me) … For every item/cash donation ($1.00 = 1 ticket) you can get extra tickets for some AWESOME prizes from our AMAZING SPONSORS!!! There will also be a 50/50 raffle …

BTC have always been generous and I am so excited to be giving back to the Shelter.

Below are a list of wish-list items they are asking for and ALWAYS in need for. I will have a bin to fill (one of the items requested) with donations.

If not going to the Banquet and still want to donate – Mishka and I will come out to collect!

Thank You BTC – you are an amazing group

  • Pate style canned dog food any brand for filling Kongs
  • New or used strong, sturdy dog leashes
  • Bleach
  • HE laundry soap
  • New or gently used Kong dog toys, not the very small size
  • Any kind of cat toys
  • New or gently used/clean cat beds
  • New or gently used/clean large dog crates, x-pens
  • New or gently used/clean cat carriers
  • Soft dog treats for training
  • Canned cat and kitten food, any style or brand
  • Dish soap and dishwasher detergent
  • New or gently used/ clean strong dog collars
  • Large Rubbermaid type bins for storing stuffed Kongs
  • Essential oils for making dog enrichment toys

2017/18 Board Member Elections

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-4-03-59-pmIt’s that time of year again when we begin consideration and voting for the open board member slots of the Buffalo Triathlon Club. This year, the deadline for candidate nominations was October 31st. Bios will be published here on the blog as they are received with online voting beginning in late November. Announcements of the winners will come as voting completes and new or reelected board members will be installed at our club banquet in January.

How Many People Are on the Board and How Many Slots are Available?

The BTC board consists of 11 members, and each term is 2 years, with half of the terms expiring each year.  The following 6 board members have 1 year remaining on their terms, and will continue to serve on the board for 2017:

  1. Jennifer Bell (current president)
  2. Amy Benedict
  3. Keith Burtis
  4. Erin Sheehan
  5. Karla Sommers (current treasurer)
  6. Lisa Trapasso

The terms of the following 5 board members are expiring, and they will need to run for re-election if they want to continue to serve on the board for 2017-2018:

  1. George Hackford
  2. Heather McIntyre
  3. Joe Pautler (current vice president)
  4. Gary Randolph
  5. Sharon Winiewicz (current secretary)

Who has currently been nominated or chosen to Run for a 2017/2018 Board Seat:

  1. Joe Pautler (Currently Serving)
  2. George Hackford (Currenty Serving)
  3. Mark Sommers
  4. David Federspiel
  5. Mark Knerr
  6. Alisha Gannon
  7. Dave Shapiro

Click on each candidate name to see their bio and information

More information on Board Member Duties and Activities

Board members meet once per month (for approximately 2 hours, usually over dinner at a local restaurant), and keep in touch via email and in-person to manage the overall direction and administration of the BTC.  Tasks that are overseen by the board include such things as weekly club workouts (swims & bricks), club events (Spring Thing, Ontario Scenario, etc), organization of the annual banquet and other social get-togethers, processing memberships, newsletter & blog, apparel orders, negotiating sponsorship and partnership agreements that include discounts for BTC members, accounting and budget management, BTC asset management (tent, bike boxes, safety equipment, etc), administration of the web site and Facebook page, BTC library management, and more!

Joe Pautler

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-4-28-49-pmMy name is Joe Pautler and I have been a member of the BTC since 2005. I joined the club because I wanted a safe way to practice open water swimming before my first sprint triathlon, but I quickly found that the club had FAR more to offer than just that. I became very active in the club and established great friendships with the other members. I am sometimes asked why I devote so much time and effort to the BTC, and the answer is quite simple. I have benefited greatly from the previous and current members of the club and I want to make sure that the club continues to stay strong and provide those same benefits to the existing and future members for many years to come. The success of the BTC is due entirely to the members and volunteers that contribute to it. It is great that we have so many people that are eager to donate their time and services for the betterment of the club, and I just want to do my part. Here is a quick list of some of the ways that I have contributed to the BTC over the years:

  • Coordinated all north town weekly brick activities for 2006-2008 & 2011-2013 including the posting of weekly results and the creation and distribution of the year-end awards. I designed and implemented many of the practices that we continue to use today, such as the event formats, the laminated race numbers on race belts, the Members’ Memorial Time Trial, etc.
  • Served as BTC webmaster and IT Guru for 2005-2008 & 2011-present. I did a complete overhaul of the web site in 2005, and again in 2011, in order to update the information and create a site that is consistent with our club branding. I also take care of the domain name (including all of our email addresses and file repository), the oversight of our facebook group and our online club calendar, the care and maintenance of our membership database tools, the administration of all of our online registration forms and PayPal account, and the composition and sending of our monthly ‘email blasts.’
  • Served on the BTC board of directors 2011-present, and was the Vice President in 2012, 2013, & 2016. VP duties included scheduling the board meetings, producing the meeting agendas, and facilitating the meeting discussions.
  • Founded the BTC library and drafted the initial policies and procedures for it. I also designed/created various BTC promotional brochures, membership application forms, and workout sign-in sheets over the years.
  • Served on the membership committee 2013-present. Duties include answering inquiries from current and prospective members and assisting with the processing of online member registrations and renewals.
  • Represented and promoted the BTC at various events over the years, such as setting up and staffing information tables at health and wellness fairs, setting up and staffing the BTC tent at various races and events, etc.
  • Coordinated the design, purchase, and distribution of various club apparel orders (race kits, tech shirts, hats, etc).
  • Have written approximately 25 articles for the BTC newsletter & blog over the years, covering topics such as race reports, gear reviews, commuting via bicycle, etc.

Although I had to take a break from racing in 2014-2015, due to rupturing my ACL playing indoor lacrosse, my racing history includes approximately eighty 5k/8k/10k/15k running races, fifteen half-marathons, four full marathons, twenty-five Sprint and Olympic triathlons, ten 70.3 triathlons, and two IRONMAN 140.6 races (Wisconsin & Lake Placid).

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-4-28-12-pmWhen I’m not swimming, biking, and running, I work for the University at Buffalo as the Technical Program Manager for the data network. I am responsible for the technical oversight (planning, design, budgeting, implementation, etc) for all of the routers, switches, firewalls, etc, that provide Internet access and network connectivity to more than 120 buildings on the 3 UB campuses (Amherst, Main St, and down town). Our network provides services to approximately 30,000 students and 6,000 faculty and staff. I live in Depew NY, with my wife Paula and our guinea pigs Chip and Cadbury. Paula is also quite active in the BTC. She has completed many running races and also really enjoys riding her bike. She did her first (and probably last) triathlon at the Summer Sizzler in 2011, just so she could say that she did one. She is not a big fan of open water swimming. In 2013 she completed the Disney World Goofy Challenge (half marathon and full marathon on consecutive days) as well as the Disney Coast to Coast challenge (requiring a full or half marathon in both Disney World and Disney Land in the same calendar year).

Regardless of whether or not I am re-elected to the board, I look forward to continuing my involvement with the BTC, and helping out in whatever ways that I can to benefit our club, our sport, and our community.

Mark Knerr

Hello My name is Mark Knerr,

It is a great honor to be nominated to the board of directors of the greatest tri Club in the world.
This will be my 4th year as a member of the BTC and look forward to giving back to the club that has done so much for me and my triathlon experience. I have been the Ride for Roswell team captain for the last three years and have helped out with the club tents. I have had the opportunity to participate in many tri’s at many different venues and each time have brought back many great experiences from each. I always make an effort to meet and introduce myself to the new members and make them feel welcomed.

I also enjoy spending time in the outdoors with my better half Laura and our families when we can.Some of my other interest are Boating, water and snow skiing, and hikes with the dogs. I look forward to serving in whatever capacity best suits me if elected.

Thank you


George Hackford


Hello fellow BTC Members!

I’m running for another term on our Board. If elected you can count on me to represent the club and perform in the same capacity that I have for the past 2 yrs; ie helping distribute apparel/gear, sharing tent duties, and organizing/running our Northtown Bricks and TT’s. BTC is Family…and is undoubtedly the best Tri Club on the Planet. Every single member has motivated, inspired, or helped me in one way or another.

To sum things up, my main goal is to do everything possible to help maintain the quality and integrity of our organization.

Thank You for considering your vote!

George Hackford

David Shapiro

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-9-03-04-amI have been a BTC member for the 15 years I have lived here. I am honored to be nominated and if elected would do my best to continue the great job the BTC does in supporting our local athletes. I realize that the BTC is only so successful because of all of those who volunteer their time. I have been involved in the BTC more closely the last few years. I suggested and helped with the design and ordering of the tech shirts and I have volunteered at our Marathon water stop the last two years. I also volunteer for Amherst Meals on Wheels, am the Treasurer of my daughter’s soccer teams and raise money every year for the American Diabetes Association by riding in their Tour de Cure.

I am an Anesthesiologist at ECMC and The Center for Ambulatory Surgery but I have only worked half time the last 5 years so as to spend more time with my family (wife Mary, Daughter Alex 14 years old, Black Lab (Fifa 1 year old) while still pursuing multi-sports and Martial Arts (Krav Maga). I completed my first Full Ironman at Lake Placid this year. I had volunteered there the prior year (and at Chattanooga this year) and really appreciate how volunteering can be as inspiring as racing.

David Federspiel

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-9-14-19-amHello my name is David Federspiel, I am presently seeking election to the Buffalo Triathlon Club Board. I would like to thank the present board members for their hard work, vision and dedication to the club.

I have an amazing wife Rhonda as well as two children and live in Niagara Falls. I presently work at Gray Furnace as Service Manager and have been working in the HVAC field since 1986 after receiving my degree at Niagara County Community College. While growing up I played organized soccer at various levels and served as Co-Captain, coach and manager for my high school. I was never a gifted athlete and thus any accomplishments on the field were through hard work, determination and the willingness to learn. I believe these attributes can be applied as a member of the BTC board and I look forward to working to help in any way I can.

I first became involved in Multi-sport in 2013 with the Summer Sizzler Duathlon and completed my first full Ironman at Lake Placid this past Summer.  I joined the BTC in December of 2013 and have met some wonderful people in the club  always lending a helping hand and answering any questions I had. I feel fortunate and have always tried to pay this same attitude forward to anyone that was in my shoes. For me, this is an opportunity to give back to something that has given so much to me.

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 12.32.28 PM

In closing I would like to say thank you for the opportunity to become a member of the BTC board and look forward to working on behalf of our members. When I think of the BTC I think of a team and a family –  I am proud to be part of it!

Thank you,


Alisha Gannon

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-8-50-02-amAs a kid, I fell in love with triathlons after watching Kona for the first time on Television. It was all new to me and I never thought I would ever compete in a triathlon, let alone an Ironman! At first it was a passing desire until later on in life while working as a personal trainer and a client encouraged me to try a triathlon.

A few years later, I have competed in numerous triathlons of all distances. The races that I’m most proud of are Ironman Maryland 2015 and Lake Placid 2016. I have been involved with the BTC for a couple years, frequently attending the Lake Eire swims.

The BTC and the people involved have motivated and helped me to meet my goals during the two Ironman races. This club is great for those who are new to triathlons and offers the experienced racer ways to share with others.
screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-8-49-50-amOther than my obvious obsession over triathlons, I have gained 11 years of valuable experience being involved with the Western N.Y. Herpetological Society. I served as President for 6 straight years, Vice President 3 years, and board member for 2 years. During this time I have developed excellent organization and management skills. I have also been responsible for promoting the club, organization of demos for the community, and setting volunteer assignments. I managed  all aspects of the vendor sales for the yearly reptile show as well as recruiting volunteers, advertising, donations, selling tables to vendors, venue arrangement, and customer service.

Mark Sommers

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-8-56-50-amI’m a husband and father of two beautiful daughters. I work a demanding full time job and I just completed my first Ironman last summer. I remember years ago when I started, I couldn’t swim one lap across the pool. The first race I ever did was Nickel City. I thought I was ready for this race so I got in front of the pack of swimmers and got my butt kicked. I almost gave up but then I remembered how much I just paid as an entry fee so I kept going and finished.

I have competed many races since including one of my favorites, The American Triple T. I’m passionate about this sport and love the social aspect that this club brings to the sport. I want to share what I’ve learned over the years with our members that are looking for guidance.

What’s Up BTC? Winter Edition

Winter is here and it went from warm to bitter cold overnight it seems. That said, the Buffalo Triathlon Club has events, training and more to heat up the offseason a bit!

2016 End-of-Year BTC Banquet

Great fun, great friends and great food. January 30th 2016 is our end of year club banquet. Every year the BTC Board and volunteers put together a great event. Some of the awesome at the event includes:

  • The 2015 year wrap-up video. We put together a fun video to recap the previous season.
  • Great food. The Pan-Am grill gives us a ton for the money that includes Hors D’oeuvres a buffet dinner, cash bar and a sound system.
  • 2016 Board Inductees. We’ll welcome the new and returning board members for 2016.
  • Brick & Time Trial Awards. Brick-masters Keith, George and Joe will announce the brick and time trial award winners. All winners will receive a commemorative plaque.
  • Bring a can of vege’s and get a ticket for the Chinese Auction. This year we have an auction with some great prizes. You can either pay a dollar for a ticket or bring a can of vege’s for charity. Either earns you a ticket to put in the auction.

BTC Banquet

Visit the Banquet page get your tickets today. Cut off for registration is January 12th.

ECC Swims on Sundays

There is no better time to learn to swim or to improve your stroke than in the off-season! This year on most swim weeks Corey Bower will not only be coordinating but also providing coaching from the deck. Swims are on Sundays from 10:15AM – 11:45Am at the Burt Flickenger Center downtown. These swims are a lot of fun and will really help you overcome bad habits and help you become more confident in the water. If you’re a seasoned veteran and master swimmer you’ll have fun with the people and a group usually gets together for breakfast post-swim as well.

ECC Swims - BTC

For more details on pricing, schedules and more visit the ECC swim page on the BTC website. Hope to see you there!

Bikeshop Buffalo Rides – Following ECC Swims

Around the corner from ECC is Bikeshop Buffalo. A great bike shop that is also outfitted with a training studio they call The Hubfit Studio. The Bike Shop is extending an offer to all BTC members for a 90 minute ride session from 12-1:30PM for $15. This gives members the opportunity to do a swim/bike brick and may play well into your winter training plans. Here is a message from Adam Trost:

“I want to let the membership know, that I have created a 90min. ride session from 12-1:30pm for BTC members who go and use the ECC pool here at HUBFiT Studio. Only $15 to sign up! Jennifer Bell showed some interest in it, so we are happy to extend the offer to anyone in the club. We open at 8am, so you can even bring your bike and gear over before the swim and leave it here, then just walk across the street and get a spin in afterwards. Here’s the link to sign up –…/HubFit_Studio/SarisPowerbeam

hubfit rides - btc

For more information on Bikeshop Buffalo please visit the website or follow the links above.

2016 Membership Renewals

It’s also that time of year to renew your BTC memberships before we close them and you’ll be forever locked out! Just kidding… however, if you’ve not yet signed up or renewed your membership please do so. January 1 starts our club ‘grace period’. Those that are not renewed by April 1st will lose club benefits.

BTC Members

You can get more information as well as take care of business here on the BTC website!