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 2001 Athlete of the Month
Though he happens to be a Team Sheeper employee, we couldn't help ourselves in choosing Ed Owen as the June Athlete of the Month. In addition to being the glue that holds Team Sheeper together behind the scenes, Ed is also an incredibly loyal team member who participates in just about every workout and event on the schedule.
The month of June marked two breakthrough performances for Ed at the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon and at the San Jose International Triathlon. At Alcatraz, Ed was 6th in the highly competitive 30-34 age group, and 45th overall including a field of world-class professional triathletes. At San Jose, Ed posted the fastest age group swim, was 2nd in the 30-34 age group and was 11th overall amongst age-group men.
After 20 years of competitive swimming, Ed finds it a nice addition to have two other sports to do. He also likes the challenge of racing and training. A summer league swimmer starting from the age of six, Ed was a "tennis brat" into his early teens. After going out for the water polo team his freshman year in high school, he started swimming to stay in shape. Finding he was actually a much better swimmer than water polo player, he started training year-round for swimming with the West Valley Aquatic Team in addition to his four years of high school water polo. After making it to the Junior National level in USS swimming, Ed then headed to Harvard University, where he swam all four years and captained the team as a senior.
After swimming with Tim and the Menlo Masters for 4-5 years, people on the then-Beyond Barriers triathlon team continually encouraged Ed to try a triathlon. Not having a road-worthy bike, having had some embarrassing attempts at run training during pre-season college swimming, knowing he'd be pretty compulsive if he got started, and not thinking he had time to fit it all in, Ed was initially hesitant. Finally convinced, and with some free time after quitting his job at The Learning Company, Ed gave it a shot, and soon found himself a "budding triathlete," training with the group and eventually racing the Sentinel triathlon.
2001 was the year for Ed to step up and try the Half Ironman distance, which he did at Wildflower and will do again this month at the Half Vineman. He also got caught up in the Team Sheeper Ironman Florida bandwagon and will toe the line for the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run in November. By all accounts, Ed is now a "bona fide triathlete," though he says he is still in the honeymoon phase where he is improving steadily as he continues to get into cycling and running shape. Ed says he would like to see how well he can do in his age group at the big races in the future, which will mean improving his running. If the long races turn out to be his best suit, Ed says he'd like to qualify for Ironman Hawaii someday.
Memorable Team Sheeper moments for Ed include biking through the snow at Castle Rock on the Epic Ride 2001, turning the wrong way back down the hill on the Epic Ride 2000, Edition 1, the Dastardly Duathlon in 2001 and his first podium finish at San Jose.
In the future, Ed would like to continue to blend his vocation and his avocation as much as possible. In addition to swimming, biking and running, Ed enjoys tennis, snow skiing, reading, and spending time with girlfriend and Chief Cheerleader, Susie Grant. Apparently, he has also been known to collect Pez.