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.
September 2002 Athlete of the Month
At Team Sheeper, we love to see it when someone who works hard and consistently at our sport over time has that breakthrough season when it all starts to pay off. That's what we've seen from Elvira Hooijmaaijer all season, and especially in September. After starting her race season in May at the Keauhou-Kona Half, she's compiled four consecutive top-ten age group finishes: tenth at San Jose International, sixth at Monterey Bay Challenge, seventh at Big Kahuna Half, and a season-best fifth at Sentinel (2:30:17), her final race of the year.
Elvira started triathlons back in 2000, when she was a captain on the TNT run team and entered Wildflower as part of a relay team. "I started lap swimming for cross-training ... and I had heard great things about Tim, so I joined Menlo Masters in the spring of 2000 training for Wildflower," she says, "and I really enjoyed the workouts." When she gave up her captain duties after that year, she finally had time for Team Sheeper, what she calls the "logical next step." Doing Sentinel with a group of six friends had hooked her on the sport.
A native of the Netherlands, Elvira grew up active, but explains that she doesn't have any athletic background "in the American sense anyway; sports are organized a little differently in the Netherlands." She speed-skated ("of course") in high school, played water polo in college, and ran to stay in shape. What she enjoys most about triathlon is doing it with friends, but she also says, "I like to go out and see what I have that given day, giving it my best and ... competing with myself."
Elvira works at Roche Bioscience in Palo Alto as a senior quality assurance auditor. Roche Bioscience is a pharmaceutical research and development company aiming to develop new medicines in areas such as osteoporosis, arthritis, asthma, HIV, and Alzheimer's. She started out in the lab because of her chemistry background, and moved to quality assurance about two years ago, where she says she still has a lot to learn about the tasks of complying with FDA regulations. In the future, she hopes to perhaps move on to regulatory affairs or project management.
When she's not training or working, Elvira likes to be creative, to sew, to entertain, to travel, and attend the theater (she has season tickets). She's been in the U.S. since after college, when she came for a six-month visit that has been extended indefinitely.
The camaraderie and encouragement of the team are the highlight of Elvira's Team Sheeper experience, along with Tim's amazing creativity and coaching -- although she says she will always remember stopping on the Ep Ride for hot chocolate at Carole and Fernando's house.
Next season, Elvira will be tackling her first Ironman at Canada -- a long term personal goal -- as well as Wildflower Long Course, Pacific Crest, and probably San Jose International again. She might throw in Monterey Bay again, too. We congratulate Elvira on her great season and look forward to her 2003!