BTC Fun! USAT National Challenge Competition

BTC - NCCBuffalo is under siege from the weather and this time of year by other triathlon clubs! Northtowners need to head to the Southtowns with their shovels to help dig our snowed in members so we can get busy kicking butt in the USAT National Challenge Competition starting December 1st!

Some of you may have seen on Facebook or email about the upcoming USAT National Challenge Competition (NCC). This post is for anyone that is new to the NCC as well as a hint to the competition veterans to get off their butt and get ready to dig in.

What is the USAT NCC?

The easiest thing to do here is to refer you to their website for more details or to look at this Flyer (Click image below to make larger). However in its simplest terms the BTC will be competing against other clubs (Division 1) accruing points each time one of our registered athletes logs their data (swim/bike/run)into the system. The competition is broken up into sessions: December/Swim, January/Bike and February/Run.


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How to Sign Up

Join up with your fellow BTC’ers for some fun and stay in shape, heck get in better shape, this off season!

Step One: Send an email to with your name, USAT membership #, and age.

Step Two: You will get an email conforming your registration. It will look something like this:

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Step Three: Go to the login page in the email and login to confirm your registration. Once the competition starts December 1, 2014 (Swim Session) you will see a place to log your distances, time and any other factors they ask for like mileage. You will return to this page often throughout the competition so save the password and bookmark the page.

It’s really that simple!

Interclub Challenges and Fun!

Lets face it. The offseason is sometimes hard to get motivated. While the NCC is fun we also like to give out some prizes and challenge each other to be our best. There has been lots of chatter about this on Facebook so if you are not active on our Facebook page get on over there and join the fun. Charlie Watson is not only the NCC club coordinator but has also come up with some ideas for fun inter-club competition. His idea from Facebook:

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 11.40.03 AMThis year I propose we hold a competition that is more interactive and more personally oriented: Goading.

Let’s turn the “Challenge” into “Challenges” (friendly, fun challenges). Personally challenging a friend, training partner or training group into a duel. Use your own creativity, but be cautious; your pride is on the line.

Here is a basic example:
Joseph M Drees could challenge Keith Burtis to bike 100miles in a week. He could agree to it and they would decide some ground rules (independently on trainers, together in spin classes etc., ). At the end of the 5 days if Keith completed it and Joe did not because he is instead drinking busch light in some tree stand, I’m sure there would be some good spirited Facebook trash talking. We could also assign some point system to challenging and completing challenges. All the while building miles for our NCC.

Another good example:
Greg Murnock would challenge Jennifer Toth Astalos to his Birthday swim years x 100yds. Obviously they both would complete it because Greg is so young and they are both good swimmers. They would both get a point but Greg may get two for being the challenger.

A bad example:
I could challenge Joe Pautler to 20 running miles in a week. This would be in bad form because we all know Joe is recovering from knee surgery last year. He may counter challenge 10 miles in a week. It would still be a stretch for me right now.

Another bad example:
Jennifer Sullivan Bell could challenge Derek Bell to anything but because he’s a wimp and opted out of our Ragnar team this year due to “buying a house”, she may need to challenge someone better equaled to her abilities. (Oh snap)

All of the rules would still need to be ironed out but the basic rules are:
#1. this is for fun and fitness. But mostly for fun.
#2. you need to be in the NCC and probably should be in the BTC Facebook group for communicating purposes. And good old fashion group smack talking.
#3. Be creative with challenges but keep it NCC oriented so we build miles. We could create a point system so at the end of the competition in February maybe you’ve done 20 challenges and we can have a grand challenge prize winner.
#4. Keep your challenges within or near to your training plan. Let’s not make this “that winter when everyone got stress fractures”.
#5. Be cautious of who you challenge. e.g. Don’t challenge Josh Hanley and Kristina Marquez to run 100miles in Leadville because before you know it, you’re in Colorado running in the woods at 2am. There are various levels of crazy in this club. Stay within your level.

Lets have fun and stay fit this offseason. Join the NCC and challenge someone to a duel!


BTC Elections for 2015!

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2014 is rapidly coming to a close and this makes it BTC Board Member Election time! The current board is thrilled to see the enthusiasm this year as we have a total of twelve individuals running!

The following board members have 1 year remaining on their terms, and will continue to serve on the board for 2015: Jennifer Bell (president), Derek Bell (vice president), Joe Drees, Lisa Trapasso, Charlie Watson, & Keith Burtis.  The terms of the following board members are expiring, and they will need to run for re-election if they want to continue to serve on the board in 2015: Joe Pautler, Jeri Olson (treasurer), Kate Leary, Joe Grey (secretary), & Justin Adamek.

Because we had so many folks nominated we created a bio page for each individual. Click on the images of each nominee below and it will take you to their bio page to learn more. Keep an eye out in your email as we will be sending everyone a ballot to make their choices for the 2015 board.

Joe Pautler

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George Hackford

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Sharon Winiewicz – BTC Election Bio

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 2.28.46 PMI have been a member of the BTC since 2011 and my husband Mike is also a member. We live in Elma, NY. I am very passionate about our sport and our club – The BTC, and have strong organizational and computer skills. I came from a body building background, prior to becoming a runner. I discovered Triathlons when I met Nancy Gworek and after watching people ride bikes wired to computers, and swimming in a small endless pool. I was hooked – so I bought a tri-bike and a wetsuit.

I still consider myself a newbie to the sport; taking a while to progress from sprints to an Olympic. I have raced at the Nationals and made the USA team for Worlds. This past year was a big one for me: I did my first half-Ironman, first full marathon and volunteered at the Lake Placid Ironman. Next year, I have signed up for my first full Ironman at Lake Placid.

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 2.28.37 PMDuring my time with the BTC, I have not only participated in many races, but have also volunteered to help at races, including the Para-triathlete championship race.

What I can bring to this club – is a very hard work ethic, a desire to assist the club and its members, and a compassion for people. As an example, I stopped during my first full marathon to help someone who fell and needed assistance to get to the medical tent. I later found out she was from Buffalo (she knew who I was since I had a BTC shirt on).

Thank you for considering me. Go BTC!!!!!!

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Joe Pautler – BTC Election Bio

JP-1My 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.  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 one of our club apparel orders in 2008.  Approximately 50 members placed orders for approximately 100 pieces of apparel.
  • Have written approximately 20 articles for the BTC newsletter over the years, covering topics such as race reports, gear reviews, commuting via bicycle, etc.

Although I had to take a little break from racing in 2014, due to rupturing my ACL playing indoor lacrosse, my racing history includes approximately 70 5k/8k/10k/15k running races , 15 half-marathons, 4 full marathons, 25 Sprint and Olympic triathlons, 5 70.3 triathlons, and IRONMAN 140.6 in Wisconsin.

JP-2When 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 Snickers 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 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.

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David Federspiel – BTC Election Bio

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 12.33.12 PMHello 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, college and club teams in the BDSL. 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. The transition from team sports to triathlon was intriguing and I wanted to learn more about the sport so I joined the BTC in December of 2013.I have met some wonderful people in the club that have always lent a helping hand on and off the course as well as answering any questions I had. Knowing that I have a great team behind me makes it all a bit easier. 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 PMI’ve always tried to bring  positive enthusiasm and will continue that with the opportunity to serve on the board. I believe the BTC should be an active and visible part of the community through volunteerism, community events and on the race course.

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

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Heather McIntyre – BTC Election Bio

HM-5As I sit down to write this bio it’s hard to believe I’ve been involved with triathlons for 7 years.  Who knew 7 years later I’d be running for a position on Board of Directors for the Buffalo Triathlon Club?  Competing in triathlons has become more than a sport to me, it has become a way of life.  My social calendar works around my workouts, my family vacations incorporate Ironman competitions and my base of friends are mostly triathletes.  I strive to do the best I can whenever I commit to something and this is very true of triathlons.  I put 100% effort into my training and focus on my A race so when that day comes I know I am prepared.  I would do the same as a member of the Board.  To date I have completed 4 Ironman competitions, 2 World Champion 70.3 competitions, numerous ½ Ironman competitions and even more finishes in the intermediate distances.  I was also named an All-American Triathlete by USAT for finishing in the top 5% of all woman 40-44 in 2012.

I believe I bring experience to the table for this group and I would love to be a part of planning events that benefit the new members of the BTC.  I am familiar with all aspects of the sport and with many of the venues where the races are held.  I would like to see more time allotted to the preparation of new triathletes for their races by taking a day and going to certain local venues and holding training clinics that mimic the race itself.  I remember my first triathlon, Tri In the Buff, and how lost I felt (it didn’t help that the swells were 4-5 ft in the swim) and wish I had gotten down there at least once before participating. 

HM-1One of the best perks of belonging to this club is the connections and social networking that take place.  I’ve already headed up several TriGirl happy hours throughout the past two years and would continue to do so periodically.  I think it is important to socialize off the race course too.

I have been a member of the BTC for quite a few years and have made so many amazing friends through this club and I proudly wear the black, red and white.  This club and the people in it are a big part of my life and I consider these people part of my family.  It’s my goal to make others feel the same way. 

Triathlons are my passion and creating interest in the sport is my mission. 

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Joseph Rogalski – BTC Election Bio

JR-2Paying it forward and my sincere appreciation for the Buffalo Triathlon Club is why I am seeking election to the BTC Board of Directors.

My name is Joe Rogalski I am new to the club and triathlon in the last year but I am not new to hard work and to helping others.  I am a husband and father of two, for my day job I am an internet security consultant but I also own a successful real estate business as well.

About 18 months ago I found myself 40-50lbs overweight and I was that way for the good part of 20 years.  I tried many different diets and workouts routines I just couldn’t find the right combination.  Being a former runner, 20 years ago I ran D1 cross country my freshman year, I decided that I was going to run a marathon the next January about 9 months later.  I started to run and eat right amazingly the weight started coming off.  I ended up injuring my IT band playing golf of all things.  No more running for the foreseeable future, at that point I started swimming and riding.  Hey triathlon looks cool I’ll try that and I fell in love.  Then I joined BTC and fell head over heels in love.  It has been a rocket ride since then I have lost over 60lbs and I am performing beyond my wildest expectation.  We are now scheduling family vacations around race, my daughter has been seen wearing the BTC swim cap and has done a few kids tris even being on training wheels.  The passion club member have is incredible and I feel such pride in wearing the BTC jersey. 

JR-1The club made me feel so welcome I want to continue that moving forward for others that join and share my experience and all I have learned.  I can help in multiple areas for the club including financial as well as in technology.  I will work tirelessly for the club and bring my passion for triathlon to board paying it forward.

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Denise Perry Salmons – BTC Election Bio

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 11.13.27 AMI have been a member of BTC since 2013, when I decided to enter the world of Triathlons.  It suggested by my coach that I join BTC- so I did.   I was a nervous wreck just thinking about attending a group workout- so much that I made my husband join and go with me!  Part of the mission of this club to promote a healthy, active lifestyle in a friendly and supportive environment- and that is exactly what they do.  Everyone was so welcoming and friendly to us at the first brick workout.  Whether you are a veteran or someone brand new to the sport- this group welcomes you aboard .  They provide the encouragement and support to help you reach your goals.

Serving on the Board is an opportunity to give back to the club that has given me personally, the support and encouragement to accomplish things I never dreamed possible.   

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Josh Harris – BTC Election Bio

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I joined the BTC in 2012 and originally signed up to do some group open water swims, meet a few people, learn how to train for triathlons, etc. Did I get what I expected? Not exactly, I got that plus a lot more – great friends, a great community, positive encouragement, and a bee and ambulance story that will probably not be forgotten any time soon.

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 11.05.01 AMAs I have grown as a runner and triathlete, I have gained valuable insight and motivation from sources all over and as such have looked for ways to give back. I feel being elected is a way I can give back to the BTC and triathlon community and offer the same encouragement as I have received.

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George Hackford – BTC Election Bio 2014

GH-2Hi, my name is George Hackford. I am a business owner and a lifelong resident of The Buffalo Area. I’m also a Certified Spinning Instructor, I teach twice a week at Hive Lifespan Center in Amherst.I’ve been a BTC member for two years. I make it a priority to attend as many BTC Events as possible. Rarely do I miss a TT or Brick at our Northtown site. I’ve volunteered at our Buffalo Marathon 3mi water stop each of the last two yrs. I’ve also volunteered at several other local races.

GH-1BTC is like family to me. Since day one the more experienced members have welcomed me with open arms and helped me with my training. I’ve made dozens of new friends. Because of this I feel the need to give back to the club, and am running for a position of Board Member.

Please consider voting for me! ThankYou!

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