Board Members

President

Suzanne Kraus

I have been involved in triathlons since 2013 in that time I have completed 6 sprint triathlons, 1 Olympic triathlon and 1 Half IronMan. While the Augusta 70.3 was difficult in its own right I think the hardest triathlon I have done is the Reverse Sprint held at Ft. Benning. There is a reason the swim is last people.

I am one of the original Couch 2 Tri ‘ers!  Mike Brown told me about the program.I was interested so I went to the informational meeting not knowing much at all and thinking I was going to be one and done. Then I fell in love with the sport. I love the way it challenges me. I joined CTC because of the wonderful people I met during my couch 2 tri experience. I think you would be hard pressed to find a better group of people than the triathletes of CTC. The love of the sport and the encouragement they share is amazing.

I started off as the Secretary then moved into dual roles as the Social Director and Vice President. I wanted to help out in anyway possible and loved being “behind the scenes” Most people never give any thought to how much work is actually involved in these volunteer positions. I learned a lot. I was working with the founding members and I carry their original plan of a family oriented social club with me and I strive to build up the club while maintaining their vision.

 

Vice President

Michelle Furney

I have completed numerous sprint triathlons. I even managed to podium at one. Because of bad thunderstorms , everyone left. Storms cleared and the race went on with a delay of start time. For longer distance tris, I am usually on a relay team as the runner. Oh, and I run for sweet tea!

I got involved with CTC summer of 2015 when I heard about the Couch to Tri program. My husband, Dave, joined with me the 3 times a week to meet and train to encourage me to go. I must say I have come a long way from doggie paddle to actually now being able to put my face in the water.

I am hoping to contribute by providing new ideas. I have done numerous volunteering from secretary, treasurer, to committee chair for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, PTA, Women’s Conference, Santa’s Castle, and Thrift store.

 

Secretary

Darlene Akom

My newfound passion for triathlons is very new but one that develops each and every day.  I completed my very first mini-sprint triathlon in September of 2017 alongside my youngest daughter, and I was hooked.  Because the event was late in the season I ran out of time to give other distances a try, but I now know that I am capable and I look forward to the 2018 Tri Season.  I’ve even signed up for my very first Ironman 70.3.

 

While I am new to CTC I have been warmly embraced and I hope I can help others feel the same.  I feel so lucky to be in Columbus, GA surrounded by such an active community that inspires me each and every day.

 

Over the years, I have coached kids sports, been a fervent advocate of health and fitness, participated in many running events and have strongly encouraged my family to Be Active. I also volunteer as the secretary for another local organization, which will help me fulfill my responsibilities as a CTC Board member.

 

Treasurer

Jennifer Peters

I’ve done several sprints and Olympic triathlons but I don’t train. I wing it. Every time. Just kidding! I tend to throw in an occasional joke from time to time.

I got involved because Candy told me to. Again, just kidding! I have a lot of friends who are members.

I was a financial advisor for 8 years. I’m currently the assistant director for a non-profit which requires me to work directly with their board as well as manage our budget. My knowledge in finance and budgeting as well as working with non-profit organizations will help CTC as they continue to grow.

 

Sports Director

Keith Hedger

I’ve completed several sprint and olympic distance triathlons. I’ve completed Ironman 70.3 Augusta twice (2015, 2016. Yes, the year of the heatwave). I completed Ironman Louisville in 2015. I’m currently training for Ironman Florida 2017. Additionally, I’ve completed a ridiculous number of half-marathons, marathons and ultramarathons (races longer than 26.2 miles).

I came out of the ultramarathon and trail community due to an injury. Having recovered and built back up to the half marathon distance, a friend of mine pointed out that I owned a bike, and had done some sprint and olympic triathlons. Clearly, I needed to do a full Ironman. 12 hours later I was signed up for IM Louisville. At that point I realized that I had no idea what I was doing in triathlons, so I started training, and looking for some local groups that might be able to explain these strange terms I kept coming across. Also, maybe someone who could explain the whole wetsuit piece. I encountered CTC and went through the Couch to Tri program (which served well for learning the basics for things like Open Water Swims, transition strategies, how to approach the bike ride, and equipment). With that as introduction to the sport of triathlon, I participated in the local sprint and olympic triathlons (the Chattahoochee Challenge Half Iron was, unfortunately, cancelled due to the weather), and went on to complete Ironman 70.3 Augusta with Scott Rigby’s Team IronFreedom, and then Ironman Louisville two weeks later. I was asked if I would be interested in the Sports Director position shortly after that, and I’ve been here since.

I have an extensive background in long distance running, and I’ve learned a lot about triathlon and the metrics and skills involved. I’m good at organizing training opportunities. I’ve learned a lot about the needs of triathletes in both training (group runs, group rides, supported open water swims) and post training activities (meaning we all really like to eat.). Additionally, I’ve worked on developing coaching skills and knowledge so I can help develop training for club members, whether new to triathlon or experienced.

 

Mentorship Program Director

Alfonso Ahuja

I have been involved with Multisport training and racing since the early 90’s racing in the Coors Light Duathlon Series and other races in the Southeast.  After a hiatus from racing due to Army assignments and transition to a new career, I returned to Multisport in 2012 and have been racing triathlons since then, competing in every distance from Sprint to Ironman distance races.  Last year I transitioned from being a triathlete to also being a coach.  I currently hold certifications from USA Triathlon, USA Cycling, US Masters Swimming, Road Runners Club of America and Training Peaks University.

When the club first got off the ground in 2013, I joined and participated in many of the events the club hosted including racing my first 70.3 in Augusta in 2013 under the CTC banner.  I have been a member for 4 of the last 5 years.

My 30+ year professional career in the Army and Corporate America has taught me the value of mentorship.  I hope to harness all the lessons learned in those professional relationships to help steer the CTC Mentorship program.  My goal is to be a facilitator and allow the members to find and develop these meaningful relationships that will be beneficial to both a mentor and mentee.

 

Merchandising Director

Kim Long

I completed my first triathlon in November of 2014 and have not stopped since then. I have completed 5 sprint triathlons, 2 Olympics, Ironman Augusta 70.3 and over 5 half marathons and a full marathon.

I joined CTC late in 2015 after meeting numerous members that always had a good spirit about them no matter where I saw them.

I have prior experience with merchandising from 2016 that I hope to carry over into 2017.

 

Social Director

Candy Martin

Everyone knows me as the girl on the Dee Armstrong show. I was introduced to the world of triathlon in 2015 when I was talking to Charlie Lindsey about doing a segment when he told me I should call Joanne Cogle and do a triathlon. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I called her and showed up to a Couch to Tri meeting the following week. I’ll never forget the first week. I had no bike and showed up late to the ride with everyone waiting on me. One of the members, Thomas Shwerin, taught me what I needed to know to ride like changing gears and all that. If it weren’t for him, I would have died! I didn’t have water, nothing! Two days later, I showed up for the run and met another member, Sandra Barnes, who commented on my eyelashes. We hit it off and I wound up running and swimming with her a lot that first year. Now the swim is a whole other story. I showed up in a bikini and heels down at the Chattahoochee with my hair done and make up. Joanne looked at me and said, “nuh-uh” and held up a tri kit. It was the funniest thing! We actually planned it out like that because I filmed it as part of the segment. I learned a lot that first year and have since gone on to do 2 sprint tris, 2 Olympic relays, and a marathon! Triathlon has opened me up to a whole new world of activities.

One thing a lot of people don’t know is that in the middle of my first Couch to Tri, my brother committed suicide. Doing tris and being active has really been the one thing that has helped me get by. I joined CTC because I feel like the people in the club look out for each other. I think about my first training week and all the help I got and I wanted to be a part of that. I love the social aspect and you know me, I love to talk!

I bring to the club my experience of all the awesome things there are to do out here. The segment I do on the Dee Armstrong show is all about the different things there are to do in Columbus, so I’m your girl when it comes to finding all the fun things our club will do for socials this year!