The club is run by a committee, appointed each year at the annual general meeting. The current committee for 2023 are below with a little bit about them.
Meet the Committee! First up our “GOG Father” – Rocky. Chairman since GOG was established in 2014.
He raced his first triathlon at Harlech in 2006. It was epic he said and was hooked!
He loves the bike, partial to a bit of lurid lycra, enjoys a good run and adores open water swimming. He’s seen the sport from every angle, from novice to training with some Elite triathletes, then finally to the rigours of trying to train and compete with a busy work and family life.
Simon is also Level 1 & 2 British Triathlon Coach with Strength & Conditioning and Indoor Bike CPD Credits.
He hopes he can pass on his love and knowledge of the last decade with us!
Vice Chair – Geri Angharad-Evans
The GOG Squad are happy to introduce our new Vice-Chair to the committee.
Please give a warm welcome to Geri.
Some words and inspiration from Geri.
“I’ve always wanted to compete in a triathlon but like many, I thought it was a sport only for the ridiculously fit.
If I was to share one thing today it would be that it is not!
I want to show that triathlon is accessible to all, not just the mega fit. If I can do it, anyone can. It is community like no other and I am so glad to have found it.
GOG Triathlon has provided me with so much support that I feel I want to give something back.
Here is a little swim, bike, run history about me!
I did a bit of running, on and off. Having a young family, it was my way to get some “me” time.
I liked swimming but open water was another thing. I have a terrible fish phobia. Even when in New Zealand I’d watch my husband Bleddyn swim from the safe fish-free beach!!
As for bike the last time I had been on a bike was when I was a young child.
In 2012 there was a perfect storm, a friend decided she wanted to go surfing for her birthday and I couldn’t let her down. I braved the sea! I was surprised that I managed to stay in the water. I was also inspired by the 2012 London Olympics and the Brownlee brothers. I decided to train for a sprint triathlon. I didn’t know anyone who had done one and I had no idea where to start…………
I heard about the Llanberis Tri training nights. Armed with my sister’s suspension mountain bike and my friend’s surfing wetsuit I turned up at Llyn Padarn!
It was a complete nightmare from the beginning. The wet suit was 3 sizes too big so as soon as I got in the water it filled with water, how I didn’t drown I have no idea!
When I got out of the lake I couldn’t unzip because my hands were stuck inside the suit. I had to knock on a car window and ask a lovely man who was having a quiet cup of tea to help me. I set off on the bike, but it was so heavy I struggled to get it going. When I came back from the bike everyone else had finished and was enjoying their cake.
I wasn’t sure what to do, it was getting dark, and I didn’t want to make them stay around so I put my trainers on and told them all to go home, but they all looked at me and said “we will be here with cake when you finish “, off I went to finish the run. It was dark when I got back but true to their word, they were all still there and yes, they had saved me cake. I got home and was completely buzzing, I was hooked. It was my first experience of the triathlon community but not the last.
Soon after I got my 1st road bike and entered my 1st Triathlon which was Pwllheli in April 2013. I set about training. I’d go to the gym at 5am and then swim when the pool opened at 6am. It is here that I bumped into Rhian who gave me some tips. There was no active club at this time, so I had to do all my training alone and learn it all as I went along. I did Pwllheli and dragged the whole family to watch me. It was Easter Sunday and it hailed while I was in transition, but I loved it and entered Ruthin soon after.
In July 2013 I braved open water and did the Deva Diva closely followed by the Sandman and the Snowman.
After dragging the family around to all the races, they were now catching the bug too.
I became a coach with the local junior tri club and in 2015 I attended the inaugural meeting of the GOG Triathlon Club.
I’ve been a member since. Having a local club made triathlon even better and I am lucky to have made so many great friends with similar goals, and levels of madness! I even got Bleddyn away from the 5 a side crowd and into triathlon.
It wasn’t until 2019 that I decided to push my comfort zone and step up from a sprint to a standard distance. I did the TATA Steelman and loved the longer distance so on a whim I entered the Sandman Legend which is a half iron distance. Unfortunately, I had a mechanical on the bike 5 mins into the ride and thought that I would get my first DNF but somehow, I managed to complete the bike with 3 gears! I kept thinking about all the hours of training I had done and the support Bledd and the boys had given me, and I just couldn’t give up.
This year I will be facing my biggest challenge yet …
Ironman Wales and I am hoping for no mishaps”.
Head Coach – Rhian Roxburgh
Rhian talked about doing triathlon for many years, before plucking up the courage to enter her first in 2005. She needn’t have worried! she came second overall and sparked a love for the sport! Many races and wins are now under her belt. Rhian competed as an age-grouper in the World Age Group Championships several times, winning a Bronze medal in Lausanne, 2006. She also won two Gold medals from the European Championships, claiming two consecutive European titles. This led to her winning the British Triathlon Age Group Athlete of the Year.
She’s raced on the British Elite Circuit back in 2008 competing in the British Elite series and ETU Series, placing in the top ten amongst some of the best triathletes of our time, racing the likes of Jodie Stimpson, Helen Jenkins, and Flora Duffy to name a few.
Rhian is a Level 1,2 and 3 Triathlon Coach. Full swim teachers award. Strength and Conditioning foundation level certificate from UKSCA, British Triathlon Indoor Bike CPD & Strength & Conditioning CPD Credits. BA (ed) Physical Education and is still adding to her knowledge recently receiving a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certificate too.
Rhian previously a teacher for 20 years, has now taken her love and passion for the sport to another level. She is Head Coach for us and is also a full-time triathlon coach with TriRox Training. Encouraging all abilities into the sport of Triathlon. She is also still a very strong competitor with many more successes to come. We are sure of that! A truly humble character. Rhian generally keeps quiet about all her accomplishments and her huge achievements, but she is an inspiration to us all!
Welfare Officer – Paula Stephens
Meet the Committee! Next up is our female Welfare Officer Paula Stevens. Paula’s triathlon journey started when she bought a bike off eBay! A complete novice: both petrified and excited in equal measure she was determined to complete a triathlon. She entered her first triathlon in Llanrwst in August 2015 and loved it so much; she thinks it changed the course of her life.
Paula has since competed in numerous triathlons from sprint up to half iron distance – halfway towards her ronman goal! Paula reports that ‘something amazing happened in 2019’…. she qualified to represent GB in the world championships in sprint distance! The challenges just keep coming for Paula.
She says the support and encouragement from the club has been unwavering and she wanted to give something back. So, she trained as a Level 1 coach and intends to keep training to achieve the Level 2 as soon as she can.Balancing training and competing with work and family life is tough but she finds triathlon provides an entirely different dimension and a real sense of achievement. Something she hadn’t expected in her 50’s.
A Family Law solicitor of some 22 years, Paula graduated in 2017 with an MA in Childcare Law. That year she achieved a Masters, trained and qualified as a Family Mediator, alongside a full-time job and raising 3 children. Nevertheless, Paula managed to train and compete in 8 triathlons! Any advice on time management needed? Paula is the lady!
She hopes on some level to be inspiring others, particularly her children, to challenge themselves in their own way to achieve their personal goals – whatever they may be.
Welfare Office – Andy Ellwood
Meet the Committee! Up next is our male Welfare Officer Andy Ellwood. Before GOGs Andy’s previous experience of competitive sport was rowing for York City. He tells us after moving to Wales, putting on a few kg’s, and having a child, it was time for him to take himself in hand and get fit again.
In 2017, he entered the Great North Run, and friendly GOG ‘Rob’ said, “come train with us”, and within that year he ended up successfully competing in the GOG Llanrwst Sprint Triathlon.
Andy says he still battles to swim front crawl faster than his breaststroke. He’s always been a cyclist, but competitive cycling has opened up a whole new world of tech and training and the run makes for his biggest sense of achievement, especially on the hills! Triathlon and GOGs has introduced this Yorkshireman to his kind of people in North Wales. He claims we are the most positive group, never worried about getting cold and wet, and always offering great encouragement.
In a short space of time, he’s entered various races, from running in freezing cross country leagues, cycling through tunnels in London, swimming in the Celtic Sea off the shores of Southern Ireland, to name but a few. It’s been an amazing experience so far for him and he looks forward to more challenges in the future. Andy’s booked on his first middle distance Tri in September with aspirations of a full Ironman the following year. He would then like to venture into more adventure races and San Francisco’ Escape Alcatraz Tri is on his bucket list!
Treasurer – Neil Vicars Harris
Meet the 2021 Committee! Treasurer & Welsh Athletics Club Contact – Neil Vicars-Harris.
Neil Joined the club at the end of 2017 and did his first triathlon in 2018, the Llanrwst Sprint. He loved it so much he signed up to do an Ironman in 2019! All the tough training had been done and Neil was ready! Due to extremely heavy rain, sadly the bike course was not! It was cancelled! Disappointing for Neil to have ‘just’ the swim and run to complete, especially after all the preparations. Great mental strength Neil. He will revisit the full distance again soon.
Neil has done numerous other distances. Helvellyn being a painful favourite of his. He loves running long distances and completed the Winter Pen Llyn Ultra. Neil is the one always out training and completing big miles and he does not seem to know what a rest day is!
He became a GOG Activator in 2019 and quotes “he is still waiting for that T-shirt!” He also signed up as British triathlon local technical officer in 2020.
Neil’s favourite part of triathlon is the swimming , haha!! just kidding it’s all about the cake and the people for Neil and he’ll be the one supporting you all with kudos on Strava. Neil’s goals are impressive. Any event that is a little different to the “norm” is what motivates him. He wants to go longer! A 100k ultra, another Ironman and hopefully, Alpe d’Huez triathlon this year too! We are confident he’ll smash them all!
Social Secretary – Carlo Galeotti
Meet the committee! May we introduce you to Carlo Galeotti our Social Secretary.
Carlo was introduced to the Tri life in 2011 after watching the Llandudno Triathlon. He thought it was nuts! A swim followed by cycling then running a 10k? He couldn’t believe it was possible. On another day, out and about on the Marin trail with his bike and his best mate Greig they witnessed the Llanrwst Triathlon. They observed in awe and challenged themselves to do the triathlon the following year in 2012.
Carlo’s speedos came out of retirement and his running career started! After doing his first event he couldn’t walk for a week, but he was still hooked! 5 years later he did the awesome ‘Challenge Roth’. It’s the original long course Triathlon and has a long-standing reputation as one of the best Triathlon events worldwide. A huge triathlon festival and lots of German beer! Carlo’s favourite tipple! Carlo then joined Carneddau Tri Club where he met Si, Rhian and many others. As time went and with founding members moving on, Carneddau Tri became neglected and lost its way. Around the same time Si came up with the idea of a Llandudno based club. Carlo was at the legendary famous night in the Rhos Fynach where GOG Tri was born, and many beers followed.
Carlo reckons the best thing about triathlon are the people. They come in all shapes and sizes, all abilities, all experiences and all ages. Everyone is friendly and having fun. Just as sport should be. Training for three different sports is also great, it keeps it interesting and you can usually always do one of them even if you have a frustrating injury, a new hip or the weather is against you. Carlo hopes in the future to race in the greatest Ironman! Wales of course!
The Kit Man! – Paul Sanders
Meet the Committee. “Kit Man”! Paul Sanders. Paul has been with the club since its inception, originally taking on the role of Vice Chairman with the promise of lots of cups of tea from Rocky during committee meetings. Very quickly however, crayons in hand, he was keen to be involved in the kit supply as his previous club never got round to sorting one out!
Paul completed his first triathlon at Harlech in 2008 and says he’s been an average, mid pack triathlete ever since. In 2017 he completed his first Middle Distance triathlon and blew up spectacularly during the run leg. Subsequent injuries have taught him more about his body and the need to ensure the ‘chassis’ is in good condition before the engine is primed. He has learned to love Zone 2 training. Paul is hoping to race both 70.3 Ironman Staffs and Weymouth, with the view to eventually competing a full Ironman. His aim is to get near to 5:15 finish at Weymouth. He is also chasing down the sub 20 club for 5k.
Paul is a Level 1 coach and has also coached junior athletics in the past. A teacher for 16 years, he likes to talk and uses humour to get him out of trouble at times, a lover not a fighter and he looks pretty damn good in the #bestkitinwales!!
Andy Brazier – Web Officer
Meet the Committee! Andy Brazier our Web Officer. Looking back Andy reports that signing up for the Llandudno standard distance with no previous triathlon experience was a bit ambitious. Being able to swim, ride a bike and run individually and not very far or fast was not enough; especially as he had no idea about how to train for a triathlon. He did finish it, but says he didn’t feel very well afterwards. He realised if he was going to do more triathlons, he would have to be much better prepared!
Again, looking back, the logic of signing up for the big three North Wales standard distance Triathlons (Slateman, Sandman, Snowman) in the same year was not clear to Andy. Luckily he said, this coincided with the GOGs being formed. Having some training, and more importantly some triathlon friends meant Andy was much better prepared.
The GOG effect had obviously rubbed off on Andy because the following year he signed up for the Chester middle distance. Then in 2018 he had a big year in triathlon terms, but he doesn’t like to talk about it! He only went and completed Ironman Wales! 2019 was also a proud moment for Andy and us GOGS. He represented his birth country of New Zealand at the ITU Worlds age group in Lausanne. Great achievement.
Andy is an Activator and helps behind the scenes at GOG – you will invariably receive a few emails with his name on. He is also a great photographer and enjoys capturing us GOGs in action.
Nicola Tomlinson – Secretary
Meet the Committee! Next up is Nicola Tomlinson our Club Secretary.
In 2013 Nicola was watching her husband Ashley and her friends Laurie and David Griffith complete the Llanrwst Triathlon. She stood there observing saying “I am NEVER doing THAT!’ Fast forward a year on and there she was stood on the start line of Llanrwst triathlon Her first ever triathlon and she never looked back!
Nicola joined GOG Triathlon in 2015 whilst she attended the run training sessions. A few weeks later she popped her nose clip on and gave the swim sessions a go. Initially she was unable to swim 50m without stopping. 2016 came and Nicola took on the challenge of the Abersoch Triple Crown described as the race series like no other. Combining your times from the Abersoch 10K, Sprint Triathlon & Half Marathon to provide your overall Triple Crown time. She stood proud on the podium in 2nd place and only missed out on winning that year to the great Mrs Roxburgh!
Nicola was then encouraged to join the committee in 2017 as our Secretary. Which we are very pleased she did. The minutes master!
Her first love is running, and her favourite distance is the half marathon. She has also completed the Snowdonia Marathon Eryri not once, not twice but three times! Saturday mornings are normally dedicated to a ‘Run and a Bun’ which is Parkrun followed by a toasted teacake with Big Chain Wayne (she says this is a long story, so you’ll need to remember to ask her about it)
Nicola’s first child Oliver came along in 2018 and another little addition in the name of Elliott came along in 2020. Whilst still competing she loves supporting Ashley, the Club and being a working Mum. She’s not retiring just yet and would like to try an Olympic distance one day. Nicola has been told she has a “Diesel” engine and needs to go long! She would also like to race another marathon….London! Nicola is a prime example of Never say Never!
Ceri Hughes – Press Officer
Meet the Committee. Last up we have the Press Officer, Ceri Hughes. Ceri will be looking forward to reporting our achievements and putting them out there in the big wide world! Her love is travel and adventure and her passions have taken her around the world from the age of 18. She has many challenges under her belt, and to name a few; she has completed the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, climbed 3 of Africa’s highest peaks. Walked 500 miles along the Camino Frances and cycled 930 miles through Vietnam.
Ceri loves to push her limits and decided she needed to bring this element into her day-to-day life and not just as a yearly adventure! In 2018 she joined a triathlon training course “She Rox” ran by GOGs and TRT’s head coach Rhian. She would compete in the Llanrwst Sprint Triathlon 3 months later. She did it and she loved it! She hadn’t swum for over 30 years! she replaced her walking boots for trainers, and she had never ridden a road bike until November 2017!
Although swimming is her weakness, she is beginning to embrace the feeling of freedom the open water gives her. The doggy paddle drill in training certainly helped her in the Sandman and Bala Triathlons!
Ceri’s biggest running achievement to date is completing the Snowdonia Marathon Eryri in October 2019. She has yet to increase the triathlon distances, but her goals are to race longer in the likes of Snowman and The Roc triathlons and also to begin her Ultra running journey.
Her bucket list is overflowing with dreams in every corner of the world, but a return to Nepal for the Everest Marathon and Ironman Wales are up there in the bucket. Ceri tells us “swimming and transitions have my head in a spin, my bike skills are questionable! and my running form is slowly improving!” She believes you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
Surround yourself with like-minded people, join the GOGs and sign up to a triathlon! You will not regret it!