Athlete of the Month
The Team Sheeper Athlete of the Month award is handed out to a member of the team on a monthly basis, 7 or 8 times a year. The AOM is someone who made a notable contribution to the team or did something remarkable. Selection is made by nomination and voting by the membership.
You can nominate anyone and the nomination period is usually during the first week or two of the month. Look for notification that nominations are being sought. When nomination close, the voting starts and once all the votes are tallied, the new AOM is crowned.
Besides bragging rights for a month, our AOM gets some goodies from our gracious sponsors, such as free shoes from TRH, a massage from SMI, gift certificates from GoRide.
October 2003 Athlete of the Month
Dave Mandelkern is our October 2003 Athlete of The Month! Dave has been one of our most prolific racers this year, having competed in over 11 races. This year he ticked off 5 from his 50x50x50 challenge, a personal challenge to race 50 triathlons in 50 states by the time he's 50! In addition, the challenge is also to raise $50,000 each for the following charities: Team in Training (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society), Challenged Athletes Foundation, and World T.E.A.M. Sports. You can find out more on his website www.50x50x50.org
We are honored to have Dave on the team and wish him much luck in 2004 where he hopes to tick off 9 more from his list!
I'm currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Docent, Inc.; a company that my partner and I started in 1996, took public in 2000, and are now merging into a bigger entity in early 2004. Docent is an enterprise software company that facilitates the distribution and exchange of knowledge throughout an organization to improve its competitiveness. This was my 6th startup company over the past 25 years in Silicon Valley. In September 2000 I took three days off from our company's IPO road show to compete in the Triathlon at Pacific Grove; our investment bankers wanted to give me a pair of gold glitter-covered running shoes to wear in the race, but they wound up buying and painting basketball shoes by mistake. Shows you how much the rest of the world knows about triathlon gear! The basketball shoes are still sitting on my desk at work; you'd think the high-tops would have been a clue that they weren’t for running. . . duh!
Do you have any specific career aspirations?
Yes. I'll be leaving Docent after the merger is completed but I'd like to continue being involved in building organizations that help improve individuals' lives and also give back to the communities we live in. I'm already starting to think about startup company number 7!
Do you have a spouse and/or children to make note of?
My wife Terilyn is certainly noteworthy. She provided the original motivation for me to get more physically fit so that I could keep up with her swimming and biking; now I'm encouraging her to try her first triathlon in 2004 (I've got to get her to try out the new running shoes I bought her). Terilyn has been an incredibly good sport at humoring the monster that she created, including spending several wedding anniversaries and assorted vacations watching me compete, and eating more pasta carbo-loading dinners than she really wanted to. Please don't tell her that other people go on vacation without taking their bike boxes along! We also have one 'child;' a beautiful but vicious killer long-haired cat.
What other hobbies do you have?
Normal people collect stamps or baseball cards. . . I have a crazy habit of getting involved in community organizations and politics. Most of you probably have heard by now that I was just elected to the board of trustees of the San Mateo County Community College District (Skyline, Cañada, and College of San Mateo). For the past seven years I've worked on various councils, committees, and task forces to try and improve the quality of public schools in San Mateo County, a topic I am really passionate about. I also serve on the board of the California State Parks Foundation (our state parks are the second largest provider of K-12 education in the state after the public school system). Oh, and I do collect US coins and antique toy soldiers.
How did you become involved with Team Sheeper/Tattersols?
In late 1999 three of our Docent employees completed their first (and only) marathon through Team in Training. In a delusional just-turned-40 mid-life-crisis moment, I decided that I could, too. A friend of mine who had done a triathlon convinced me that running 26.2 miles was too hard; a tri would be much easier! So in the winter of 2000 I signed up for the TNT Wildflower season. Tim was the head coach, and Rick Peterson was the swim coach, and there I was on my mountain bike with knobby tires. In spite of getting a stress fracture in my leg that first season, I was hooked. Even bought a new bike. After three years and 8 TNT triathlon team seasons, I was getting a little frustrated with the repeating 14-week cycle through the same events every year and wanted to find a training program where I could work on improving my own performance over a longer timeframe. I really liked Tim and Rick's coaching styles, so Team Sheeper was a natural choice. I joined the team in the fall of 2002.
Can you spell "couch potato?" Seriously, I stand in awe of all the former collegiate champion runners, swimmers, soccer team members, and all-around natural athletes on Team Sheeper. I'm not one! As a kid I played little league baseball for one season and spent one season on the JV tennis team in high school. I also developed a severe allergy to coaches who blow whistles and say "drop and give me 20" or "go run a lap around the field." In college I was on the sailing team for three years, but dinghy racing is not exactly an aerobic activity (although it did provide me with my first brief experience of swimming in 55 degree Bay water, without a wetsuit). But because of that, Stanford considers me to be a varsity athlete alumnus, right up there with Tiger Woods (only I have the degree)! Over the years since college I tried running, weight lifting, racquetball, golf, and cross-country skiing, but nothing really stuck until I stumbled (literally) into training for triathlons as part of a team.
What is it you like most about triathlons:
Four things: 1) The built-in cross training nature of the sport, so it doesn't ever get boring (doesn't everyone say that?); 2) I love being able to train as part of a team; the peer encouragement and support is the reason I've been able to continually improve at this for the past four years; 3) I like the fact that I can always compete to improve my own performance and strive to exceed my own goals in races, even if I'm at the back of my age group; and 4) it allows me to combine athletics with helping other people. It seems that I'm reasonably adept at raising money, so some of my most enjoyable and meaningful athletic experiences have been centered around helping the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society find a cure through TNT, raising money to support challenged athletes at the San Diego Triathlon Challenge (and meeting Robin Williams - ask me about his Osama bin Laden joke), and being part of a combined team of enabled and disabled athletes competing in the Havana Marathon (and donating hand cycles to 5 disabled Cuban athletes) as part of World T.E.A.M. Sports last November.
What races are you planning for the remainder of this year, or the future, that you are gearing up for?
I'm very excited about the 2004 Diversity Tour and (among other point-earning events) am planning on competing in nine sprint, Olympic, and Half Ironman events (including Kona and Pacific Crest), and training for (and hopefully finishing at) Ironman Florida next November. I think 24 points is a realistic goal!
What are your triathlon, running, or personal goals or aspirations?
The big triathlon goal that I'm working towards at the moment is my 50x50x50 Challenge project (see www.50x50x50.org for preliminary details). My goal is to finish 50 triathlons, one in each of the 50 states, by the time I turn 50. So far I've finished 5 states, have 9 new states on the 2004 race calendar, and 9 races each year scheduled for the following four years. Target completion date is mid-August 2008 at the New York City Triathlon. Put it on your race calendars; we'll have a great party afterwards. Oh, and just to make it more of a challenge, I'm trying to raise $1000 in individual contributions from each state, match them 2:1 with corporate donations, and thus be able to give $50,000 each (50x50x50 again!) to three charities that encourage and support endurance athletes: the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and World T.E.A.M. Sports.
Outside of triathlon, I just try to be a better person every year that I am fortunate enough to be alive.
What is your favorite Team Sheeper workout or memorable moment?
My favorite Team Sheeper workout was this summer when we played team freeze-tag at the end of a Thursday night combo workout at H-P Park. I really like how Tim keeps the workouts fresh, fun, and capable of capturing the "inner kid" in us. The most memorable moment had to be one of those cold Saturday morning Wildflower training rides in the winter of 2001 when we went from rain to sleet to hail bouncing off our helmets, followed a few weeks later by a rainy practice weekend run down at Lake San Antonio where I was scraping about three inches of mud off my shoes; great preparation for my first long course race day at Wildflower that turned out to be a blazing hot hundred degrees or so!
Is there anything else we should know about you?
I just want to take the opportunity to thank Tim for creating such a positive team environment and for being a innovative and inspirational writer and coach (who doesn't blow a whistle). I also want to acknowledge everyone on the team for being so friendly, supportive, and inclusive, both during workouts and at races. It's incredible how much it helps to hear a "Hi Dave" or "Way to go" during a race. And (speaking as someone who regularly gets to see the whole team out in front of him during rides or runs), you all are great!