In celebration of the Club’s 15th anniversary, we’ve produced a documentary video which captures the history of our Club. The documentary is an hour long and contains a wealth of stories in it (there is also an index if you want to jump to certain parts of the video), so we hope you will make time to enjoy it.

We also pulled together photos from over the years and put together a slideshow. Are you in the pictures? Take a look!

Club History

[The content below is a work in progress – let us know if you want to contribute content or make a correction]

The history of the club has largely been one of explosive growth, akin to a startup firm, and overwhelming to most that were there from its humble beginnings. What began as a listserv group by Matt Downs, Jane Callen and Matthew Higgins is now one of the largest triathlon clubs in the United States. Matt Downs handed the reins of the club to Nicolas Jafarieh in 2001. Nic led a dedicated group of fellow triathletes to create a cohesive group of attorneys, government workers, former and current military, and students who dabble in triathlon.

Some of the keys to the club’s success were the monthly happy hours (every 3rd Thursday), the monthly newsletter, and the web site, where members could ask questions, post information, and report on races. Membership dues were $35 for a basic membership and there were no corporate sponsors on the racing jerseys. Throughout the evolution of the DC Tri Club, merchant partners from the DC Metro area established solid and lasting relationships with club members by providing not just merchandise discounts but support and informational seminars on training, nutrition, proper bike handling skills, and staying healthy for your season.

~2001—The club’s first webmaster, John Zastrow, at his own time and expense, created an open forum and a highly sought after resource for new triathletes in the area. The previous version was a clunky Yahoo! driven listserve. John created an actual website, with functionality that allowed for open sharing of information and easy access to often asked questions.

2001-2002—DC Tri begins a tradition of large, long, boisterous happy hours on Thursday nights, usually around Capitol Hill where many early members and club officers reside.

2002(?)–After a crash of a club member at the Civil War Century, Marc Schneider rides 40 or so extra miles into cell phone range to call for an ambulance, giving him 140 miles and making him guardian angel for the year.

The leadership polls the membership to have a tagline.  “We’re Tri-Partisan” was the majority vote winner. It’s persisted as a tagline.

2002-2003(?)–The first club race clothes could be ordered, with a smashing red, white, and blue design. Heather Van Slooten managed the negotiation between Louis Garneau and the team to determine a first design and the team tops were sold at cost. They proved to be highly visible but hard to clean after a swim in murky water.

The original board of directors looked like this:

  • Nicolas Jafarieh (President)
  • Marc Schneider
  • John Zastrow
  • Cory Churches
  • Rob Falk
  • Heather Van Slooten
  • Jennifer Rausch
  • Mariana Pargana
  • Olwen Huxley
  • Dianne Hassleman
  • Greg Olsen

The club was formed in Heather Van Slooten’s living room in Dupont Circle. A few folks thought the region needed a new tri club that would be welcoming to all, not just hard core athletes.  We also thought that it was possible to bring a sense of collegiality to the sport. That was the real focus for the founding group.

An early popular triathlon was Spud, which later morphed into the General Smallwood Tri, held from the same locale.

A notable 2003 race is the Columbia Triathlon, the year of wild weather and Hurricane Isabel; it’s freezing temperatures cause some pros to drop out after the swim.  

2004—DCT hosts an annual presentation of club ironmen who speak on how to train for and race in an IM event. It was in the upstairs of Finn McCools and there were six or seven ironmen ranging from the “13-weeks to Ironman” to Kona qualifiers. Cory Churches moderated the original session and questions ranged from how to know if you’re overtrained to proper nutrition to how to get faster on (insert sport here). As with most club programs, the panel sprang from member interest and became a staple of the club.


2005

Board of Directors:

  • Marc Schneider (President)
  • Cory Churches (VP)
  • Peter Pellham (Treasurer)
  • Heather Van Slooten (Secretary)
  • Nic Jafarieh (Ex-Officio)
  • Dan Cassidy
  • Rob Falk
  • Kristy Smith
  • Olwen Huxley / Jen Jacobs
  • John Zastrow
  • Greg Olson

Club happenings this year:

  • The club formally went to a dues-based system, held formal elections, and adopted bylaws, a code of conduct and operating procedures.
  • Introduction of a regular brick workout on the weekends
  • First Mid-Atlantic Club Championship win at the Diamond in the Rough triathlon. More than 125 members raced at the event.
  • Club launches the New Triathlete Program (NTP). It becomes an efficiently run model for fun, inexpensive training for new participants in the sport. The DC Triathlon Club has proven again and again that 800+ members can still have a tight community feel. In its 4th year, NTP has allowed hundreds of new participants to the sport to learn from seasoned athletes, train together, and learn the skills required to cross the finish line in one piece and race with the support of their fellow club members.
  • 2005—Club webmaster Eric Goetz sets up one of the country’s premier long-distance bike events, Total 200. There were 10 riders the first year to see IF 200 miles was possible.
  • First big Christmas Party hosted at Lucky Strike at Gallery Place. The team collected donations for a local men’s homeless shelter and set some bowling PRs that night.
  • The club is by now putting on regular lectures around the region by experts on nutrition, bike maintenance, transition, running form, and more.
  • To help NTPers and others gain experience, and to defray the expense of the sport, Club is by now holding inexpensive, well-attended training tris at Hains Pt.

2006

Board of Directors:

  • Cory Churches (President)
  • Chad Lewis (Vice President)
  • Peter Pelham (Treasurer)
  • Wayne Broadfield (Secretary)
  • Marc Schneider (Ex Officio)
  • Nic Jafarieh
  • Jen Jacobs
  • Andrea Weubker
  • Christina Herold
  • Eric Goetz
  • Jonathan Eng / James Schweitzer

Club happenings this year:

  • Significant expansion of the merchant partners at the fingertips of club members, regular clinics and group training sessions
  • Second USAT-MA Club Championship at the Pittsburgh Triathlon.
  • The inaugural SavageMan triathlon is hosted in Deep Creek, MD. Founder, Kyle Yost, proposes a tri-club competition aiming to boost registration and volunteers. DC Tri Club fields two incredible relay teams (Team 1 — Lindsey Jerdonek (swim), Phil Schmidt (bike), Zach Britton (run); Team 2 — Andy Blatecky (swim), Mike Copeland (bike), Kip Pierson (run)). It is worth noting that Lindsey is now a pro triathlete competing in the ITU circuit. Phil Schmidt took a few tours of Kona as a qualifier in the Ironman world. All athletes go on to make notable impact on the sport of triathlon in one way or another.  
  • The club holds its first bric-nic, in Centennial Park in Columbia, MD. Gary Dean establishes the event as a favor to the club. The popular bric-nics are later expanded to Rock Creek Park, and held multiple times a year.
  • Major support (volunteers and racers) to the inaugural Nation’s Triathlon, organized by Chuck Brodsky. The race organizers worked tirelessly with city officials, the National Park Service, the Architect of the Capitol and other jurisdictions to determine the proper path to applying for and receiving a permit for an event for swimming in the Potomac. Contrary to popular belief, the swim permit omission had nothing to do with water quality and everything to do with it never having been done before. The first event had 500 registrants and ended up being a duathlon.
  • The NTP took more than 100 new triathletes through a well coordinated and supported training program to complete their first triathlon at Steelman.
  • The club has some spirited discussions on whether to focus on fast or regular triathletes. This leads in part to having both NTP and an Elite Team.
  • DC Tri Club hosted six training events — three duathlons and three triathlons.
  • 2006(?)—A precursor to today’s popular Montgomery County and NOVA subgroups of the Club, a southern Maryland group is established by Anathea Powell, “Lazy Bones” Mike Bowman, and others.
  • 2006-2007(?)—With a big boost from DCTCers like former club president Nic Jafarieh and Michelle Harburg, the Achieve charity for young, inner-city triathletes is set up. USA Triathlon supported the initiative over several years with significant financial support.
  • Chad Lewis will later marry and have kids with clubber Kristen Emory. This is the only recorded instance of clubbers going out together. 🙂

2007

Board of Directors

  • Chad Lewis (President)
  • Eric Goetz (VP)
  • James Schweitzer (Treasurer)
  • Jen Jacobs (Secretary)
  • Cory Churches (Ex-Officio)
  • Sean Ward
  • Zina La Budde / Travis Siendel
  • Christina Herold
  • Paul Contino
  • Joe Coyne
  • Hermes Soyez

Club happenings this year:

  • Expansion of DC Tri Club branded gear
  • Expansion of the New Triathlete Program
  • Revamp of the web site
  • Third USAT-MA Club Championship at the New Jersey State Triathlon.
  • With major administrative and participatory support from the Club, and triathlete mayor Adrian Fenty, the second Nation’s Tri is a big success.
  • The first, epic SavageMan training weekends are held in the wilds of Deep Creek, Maryland, on the course of the SavageMan Half, founded by Kyle Yost.
  • A popular group workout during this time was a swim and bike/run brick at Sandy Point, followed by brunch at Cantler’s Seafood in Annapolis.
  • The Off Season Spin Program roots were laid in the winter of 2007 with an informal gathering of cyclists and their neglected trainers at a local bike shop led by Andy MacDonald.  The initial group consisted of 8-10 members that gathered on Saturday mornings to get a quick workout during the dreary months of January and February.

2008

Board of Directors

  • Travis Siendel (President)
  • Joe Coyne/James Schweitzer (VP)
  • Kevin Oliver (Treasurer)
  • Liz Lewis (Secretary)
  • Chad Lewis (Ex-Officio)
  • Sean Ward
  • Laurel Brown
  • Philip Schmidt
  • Angie Devereaux
  • Nicole Shue
  • Simon Hernaez

Club happenings this year:

  • Signed MOU with Nation’s Triathlon naming DC Tri as the official volunteer organization for the race.
  • Sent four athletes (Kelzie Beebe, Lindsey Jerdonek, Andy Blatecky and Ryan Strohl) to PumpkinMan Triathlon in Boulder City, NV, the USAT National Club Championship race. This created controversy but eventually led to the idea of sponsoring an elite team. Lindsey won the women’s race and finished 9th overall. Lyndsey was the first (only?) NTPer to become a pro triathlete.
  • 4X USAT-MA Regional Club Champs at New Jersey State Triathlon which was also the featured race of a record sized NTP class. This was likely the largest club race event up to that point with 200+ racers making the trip.
  • Update to the newsletter to reflect the evolution of the club, its membership, and the content.
  • Continued revamping of website which was completed in 2009.
  • In Race Across America, the mixed team of clubbers Phil Schmidt, Andrea Vasquez, Eric Goetz, and Patrick Serfass plus a support crew of DC Tri members set wind the RAAM 4-person coed division in a  record in 6 days, 4 hours and 18 minutes, setting a speed record of 20.33 mph and beating 7 of 9 all male teams for 3rd overall 4-person team. Several have trouble sitting on their buns for some time afterwards. Clubbers eagerly followed them over the Web as they race across the country.

2009

Board of Directors

  • Joe Coyne (President)
  • Nicole Shue (VP)
  • Janice Kupiec (Secretary)
  • Travis Siehndel (Ex-Officio)
  • Hugh Harris
  • Angela Dilks
  • Julie Kennedy
  • Lori Strobl
  • Amanda Chadwick
  • Sandy Chiang
  • Angie Devereaux

Club happenings this year:

  • Building on the success of NTP, the club begins a Half Ironman training program. More training programs, staffed by elite coaches, will follow.
  • 5X USAT-MA Regional Club Champs at Northeast Triathlon
  • The club is a major supporter of the ITU World Championship, with D.C. its host city. The Potomac is extremely rough that day: pros can be viewed on viewing screens at the final line chopping their way through flotsam.
  • The International Triathlon Union (ITU) presented the Dextro Energy ITU World Championship Triathlon. Alistair Brownlee, Javier Gomez, Andy Potts, and Jan Frodeno were among top finishers. Emma Moffatt, Emma Snowskill, Daniella Ryf, and Sarah Groff were among the top female finishers. All raced on the streets of Washington DC.
  • Around this time the club takes the National Club Challenge (NCC) quite seriously, often competing with the San Diego and Anchorage, Alaska clubs for compiling the most off-season workout mileage. In one memorable group workout for this purpose at the Eastern Market Pool, Paul Contino swims most of a 10K with the butterfly stroke.

2010

Board of Directors (Officers only)

  • Julie Kennedy (President)
  • Angela Dilks (VP)
  • Patrick Serfass (Treasurer)
  • Amanda Chadwick (Secretary)

Club happenings this year:

  • Club volunteers and racers take part in large numbers for the Washington, D.C. Triathlon, for years (20010 – 2011) an early-season complement to the Nation’s Triathlon.
  • Under president Julie Kennedy and others, the club adds Ironman and Olympic Distance training programs. To reassert a stress on top performers, it also sets up an Elite Team (DC Tri Snapple Elite Team to come in 2012)
  • The inaugural PeasantMan tri, supported by many clubbers, is held at Maryland’s Sandy (Chiang) Point. Founder Tuan Nguyen is targeted by MD’s notorious, brown-shirted park police, who cancel the run the morning of the event after giving its approval months before. The event becomes a popular annual event for newbie triathletes and is now held at Lake Anna.
  • Following Andy MacDonald’s departure, the Club turned the winter saturday biking sessions over to Ron Benedict, who created a formal training program that became know as Off Season Spin (OSP) – which included handouts that detailed each weeks workouts.  While some members enjoyed knowing what was ahead for each weeks session, seeing the details made others want to crawl back under their warm covers to escape the 2 hour long sufferfests – which were offset by the upgraded DJ quality music system and group breakfast following the workout.
  • The club is known for training tris, held at Hains Point, and costing as little as $5.

2011

Board of Directors

  • Steve Carlson (President)
  • Amanda Chadwick (VP)
  • Patrick Serfass (Treasurer)
  • Sandy Chiang (Secretary)
  • Courtney Fulton (now Benedict) (Programs)
  • Adriana Anderson (Events & Social)
  • Abby Sanford (Training)
  • Hugh Harris (Race Director)
  • Kevin Markham (Comms/Web)
  • Ryan Troll (Marketing/Partner)

Club happenings this year:

  • Masters Swim Program started
  • 6-time Mid-Atlantic Regional Club Champions at Rockett’s Landing Triathlon

2012

Board of Directors

  • Ryan Troll (President)
  • Stephen Carlson (Vice-President)
  • Courtney Fulton (Director
  • Abby Sanford
  • Patrick Serfass
  • Alejandro Escobar
  • Andrea Fava
  • Julia Nagy
  • Dena Richardson
  • Adam Stolzberg

Club happenings this year:

  • Dues increased to $50 in June.
  • 7X Mid-Atlantic Regional Champions title at General Smallwood Triathlon
  • Officers reorganizes club leadership functions and roles. Updates byways and expands board seats.
  • Board establishes a more formalized volunteer structure for club
  • DC Tri Club and Snapple Tri Club formed a combined DC Tri Snapple Elite Team
  • The club breaks new ground by heading out to the ITU/Olympic Trials World championship in sunny San Diego. Club President Ryan Troll arranges for free shipment of bikes to the race
  • The club, with WaveOne, starts its own master’s swim team at Wilson High, led by Denis Crean, Jule Miata, Amanda Bauer, Cat Myung, Kate Tobin, Holli Finneren.
  • NTP is so popular that for the first time it puts on two programs in the same year, with leader Bryan Frank juggling the twin teams. 225 NTP participants completed their first triathlon!
  • The race year is notable for record heat at the General Smallwood Triathlon, which leads to cancellation of the sprint tri, due to the country’s overloaded EMS, and emergency care for club member Luke Holman, who faints while leading the race.
  • Club sets its annual new record with over 1,300 paid members
  • Winter 2012-2013: the club kit got a total overhaul with design, color, logo, and contracted with kit vendor Louis Garneau

2013

Board of Directors

  • Patrick Serfass (Treasurer)
  • Ryan Troll (President)
  • Abby Sanford
  • Bryan Frank (Programs)
  • Adam Stolzberg
  • Trevor Albert (Communications/Marketing)
  • Stephen Carlson (Social/Events Director)
  • Nik Pleisch
  • Julia Nagy
  • Dena Richardson

Club happenings this year:

  • 8-time Mid-Atlantic Regional Club Champions at Jamestown Triathlon
  • Olympic Distance Speed Program implemented
  • Winter 2012-2013: the club kit got a total overhaul with design, color, logo, and contracted with kit vendor Louis Garneau

2014

Board of Directors

  • Justin Bauer
  • Ryan Troll (President)
  • Abby Sanford
  • Bryan Frank (Programs)
  • Adam Stolzberg
  • Trevor Albert (Vice President)
  • Robin Myers (Partnerships)
  • Nik Pleisch
  • Meaghan Jennison
  • Elizabeth Corona
  • Angela Norcross
  • Stephen Carlson (Treasurer Advisor)

Club happenings this year:

  • 9-time Mid-Atlantic Regional Club Champions at Northeast Triathlon
  • Club strikes a deal with Competitor Group to offer an exclusive DC Tri wave at the Nation’s Triathlon
  • A large Club contingent races ITU in Chicago.
  • Ryan Troll’s third term leads to his nickname of “President for Life”

2015

Board of Directors

  • Meaghan Jennison (President)
  • Nik Pleisch (VP)
  • Rachel Dolan (Secretary)
  • Bryan Frank (Treasurer)
  • Justin Bauer (Web and Technology)
  • Elizabeth Corona (Community Development and Outreach)
  • Matt Ferguson (Programs)
  • Rachel Gottfried (Race Director)
  • Jennifer Hartz (Gear and Merchandise)
  • Becky Hirselj (Membership Development; Race Director)
  • Robin Myers (Volunteer Management)
  • Angela Norcross (Club Events)
  • Bryan Piacentini (Secretary; Communications)
  • Gabrielle Torres (Training)
  • Pablo Torres (Partnerships)

Club happenings this year:

  • 10x Mid-Atlantic Regional Club Champions at New Jersey State Triathlon
  • The Club decides to terminate its gear fulfillment contract with Nova Retail and transitions to API in Maryland.

2016

Board of Directors

  • Pablo Torres (President)
  • Nik Pleisch (VP)
  • Bryan Frank (Treasurer)
  • Rachel Dolan (Secretary)
  • Justin Bauer (Web and Technology)
  • Elizabeth Corona (Community Development and Outreach)
  • Matt Ferguson (Training Programs)
  • Liz Glomb (Communications)
  • Tania Grollman (Volunteer Management)
  • Jennifer Hartz / Sean Maloney (Gear and Merchandise)
  • Becky Hirselj (Race Director)
  • Amanda Melillo (Training)
  • Cat Myung (Membership Development)
  • Angela Norcross / Patrick Pannett (Club Events)
  • Gabrielle Torres (Partnerships)

Club happenings this year:

  • 11x Mid-Atlantic Regional Club Champions at Luray Triathlon
  • The Club renames the Spirit of the DC Tri award to the Brady Nelson Spirit of DC Tri award in honor of a long time member lost.
  • After a down year for organizing Club races (2015), this becomes a strategic priority and Club races come back in full swing in 2016.
  • Revamping the Club’s website, all patched up since 2009, also becomes a strategic priority for the year. The Club launches the new site build on WordPress in November 2016.
  • The year’s third strategic priority was to improve upon gear and merchandise operations, after transition to API.
  • The Club raised its dues to $60 (1 year), $95 (2 years), $130 (3 years), or $50 (1 year no kit).
  • The Off-season spin program has its best year yet, with increased number of coaches and date/time/venue options.
  • The Club organizes an additional member meeting in the summer, in addition to the one in February and the annual member meeting.
  • The Club hosts a screening of the movie “Tri” at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse, selling out the venue and bringing together the triathlon community.

2017

Board of Directors

  • Pablo Torres (President)
  • Nik Pleisch (VP)
  • Bryan Frank (Treasurer)
  • Rachel Dolan (Secretary)
  • Justin Bauer (Web and Technology)
  • Elizabeth Corona (Community Development and Outreach)
  • Matt Ferguson (Training Programs)
  • Liz Glomb (Communications)
  • Tania Grollman (Membership Development)
  • Becky Hirselj (Race Director)
  • Amanda Melillo (Training)
  • Patrick Pannett (Gear and Merchandise)
  • Gabrielle Torres (Partnerships)
  • Chris Wolforth (Club Events)

Club happenings this year:

  • The Club obtains a grant from the Ironman Foundation to promote Women in Triathlon
  • A third bricnic (in addition to Columbia and Nation’s) in the late summer at Belle Haven, Alexandria is added to the membership benefits
  • A third camping weekend in early Fall is added to the membership benefits
  • The Club continues to offer a summer member meeting.
  • 12 x USAT Mid-Atlantic Regional Club Champion (Division I) at Rock Hall triathlon

USAT – Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships Wins

  • 2017 – Rock Hall Triathlon
  • 2016 – Luray Triathlon
  • 2015 – New Jersey State Triathlon
  • 2014 – Northeast Triathlon
  • 2013 – Jamestown Triathlon
  • 2012 – General Smallwood Triathlon (the HOT year – swim cap optional)
  • 2011 – Rockett’s Landing Triathlon
  • 2009 – Northeast Triathlon
  • 2008 – New Jersey State Triathlon
  • 2007 – New Jersey State Triathlon
  • 2006 – Pittsburgh Triathlon
  • 2005 – Diamond in the Rough Triathlon

Presidents

  • 2017 – Pablo Torres
  • 2016 – Pablo Torres
  • 2015 – Meaghan Jennison
  • 2014 – Ryan Troll
  • 2013 – Ryan Troll
  • 2012 – Ryan Troll
  • 2011 – Stephen Carlson
  • 2010 – Julie Kennedy
  • 2009 – Joe Coyne
  • 2008 – Travis Siehndel
  • 2007 – Chad Lewis
  • 2006 – Cory Churches
  • 2005 – Marc Schneider
  • 2004 – Nicholas Jafarieh
  • 2003 – Nicholas Jafarieh
  • 2002 – Nicholas Jafarieh

Off-Season Spin Program

The Off Season Spin Program roots were laid in the winter of 2007 with an informal gathering of cyclists and their neglected trainers at a local bike shop led by Andy MacDonald.  The initial group consisted of 8-10 members that gathered on Saturday mornings to get a quick workout during the dreary months of January and February.  In 2010, following Andy’s departure, the club turned the program over to Ron Benedict, who created a formal training program that became know as Off Season Spin (OSP) – which included handouts that detailed each weeks workouts.  While some members enjoyed knowing what was ahead for each weeks session, seeing the details made others want to crawl back under their warm covers to escape the 2 hour long sufferfests – which were offset by the upgraded DJ quality music system and group breakfast following the workout.  Today the program has grown to include 7 coaches, 4 classes, and 125 athletes participating from not only the DC Tri Club, but also other local triathlon clubs in the area.  The club offers sessions Thursday evening and Saturday mornings at a local spin studio (Off Road DC) for those who prefer not to lug their bike and trainer, as well as two trainer sessions on Saturday and Sunday (Edgewood Arts Center).  Most importantly, the OSP program has led many to cycling PR’s in their events!