In the latest issue of Inside Triathlon (March/April), the editor’s letter revisits 1991 with the Golden Gate Triathlon Club.
“In 1991 I was a founding member of the Golden Gate Triathlon Club in San Francisco. At Wednesday night track workouts at Kezar Stadium you could watch a drama unfold in its entirety…” writes T.J Murphy.
I read this with such excitement, as the 2009 season has just kicked off this week with Wednesday night track at Kezar. From reading the letter, it’s clear times have changed. Back in T.J’s day, a competitive yet dedicated group of runners came out to track every week. These days, our group runs the gamut; from age group winners to newbies just starting out. While the founding group elbowed each other through the laps, running into the red zone and bonking too soon, the current group of smiling faces were seen all over the track, not just from GGTC but many other groups whizzing around the track, and hardly a competitive bone could be found.
I’m really glad our club no longer sees these track rivalries, or the “intra-squad” brawl on group rides. But this little bit of history is pretty important to Golden Gate Triathlon Club. T.J was one of our founding members of the club, which began back in ’91 with Duane Franks, my current coach. It was a small group of guys running intervals at Kezar every week that eventually grew into GGTC.
Many years later and you can see how things have grown. T.J began writing for Competitor and has written or Ironman.com and now Inside Triathlon. Duane Franks started Trifiniti, and has become an established triathlon coach for several Kona bound athletes and recently became an Ultra Man finisher this last December. Now, if you come by Wednesday night track, you’ll see Duane’s other half, Dorette coaching the group!
The club now has many groups and programs to cater to the various distances of the members. We have our TAG (Tri and Give) group of triathletes out on the track with Coach Neil Fraser also out there on Wednesday night, as they gear up for Wildflower Olympic. There is also the Ironman group of athletes training for various Ironman races this year from Brazil, CDA, Canada, Nice and more.
Other famous GGTCers include Pro Triathlete and Ironman Coeur D’Alene 2006 winner, Chris Hauth. Eric Gilsenan, an announcer for Ironman and Escape from Alcatraz was also a member. Some of you might recall a certain Bachelor a few years ago who later made an appearance in Kona, Andy Baldwin was once a GGTC member.
And from time to time, as you browse through the pages of Triathlete Magazine, you will see flashes of Red and Black GGTCers featured. Our members make for excellent photography subjects of the sport. And apparently good stories too!