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.
June 2002 Athlete of the Month
Like a lot of the summer months, June was packed with races and events where Team Sheeper members excelled. Alison stood out as our June Athlete of the Month because of her breakthrough performance at the San Jose International Tri on June 23 and her continued dominance in our Summer Run Series, which kicked off June 26.
Always a consistent presence at workouts throughout the year, Alison saw that hard work pay off at San Jose, where she recorded her lifetime best Olympic distance race in 2:30:02. She came back three days later to successfully open the defense of her Summer Run Series title by dominating the field in the 3-mile cross country race in a time of 19:22. She won the series last year by winning two events and placing second in a third. Alison tends to compile great results like this with little fanfare, so we are pleased to have this opportunity to create some well-deserved ruckus for her as our June Athlete of the Month.
Like many, Alison came to triathlon by way of a running problem. She's been a self-described run "addict" since middle school -- "after I was cut from every team sport involving a ball," she jokes -- and ran track and cross country in high school and then trained and ran road races on her own after that, eventually working her way up to marathons. After doing three marathons in less than a year ("a little much," she admits), she developed some hip muscle tightness that was affecting her running. To help loosen the hip, she returned to the swimming pool after an eight-year hiatus. From there, it was the usual slippery slope of doing two sports already, long-brewing thoughts of doing a triathlon, friends (Elivra Hooijimaaijer, Mark Douglas, and Karen Louie) on Team Sheeper, etc. "I finally got out on the bike and I have been having a great time ever since!" she says.
The variety triathlon training provides is what Alison likes most about the sport. "I have always loved endurance activities and the mental aspect that goes along with them," she says. But, she says, "I was getting really burnt out just running every day and my pace was getting slower and slower, but now after a year or so of triathlon training, my running has improved back to where I was a few years ago. And it is a lot eaiser on my body than just running."
The team provides Alison with a much-needed support group of people who enjoy working out and being active as much as she does. "Everyone I work with and my non-triathlete friends all think I am crazy," she says. The team environment also helps her push herself harder: "There are some days where I think the only reason I make it through the workout is because of my teammates. And there is always someone there to push you harder."
Currently a project engineer at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Alison eventually hopes to either work for the FBI or do something where she would be encouraging young girls to become interested in math, science and engineering. She likes to ski, hike, mountain bike, watch movies, and travel, and she's trying to squeeze in learning woodworking.
Alison's goal this year is to complete a half-Ironman race (either Barb's Race or the Big Kahuna), and in the longer term she wants to get back into marathons and do a full Ironman distance triathlon.
And of course you should look for her in the three remaining Summer Run Series events -- will anyone dispute her for her second overall title?