Meet the Team
DOUG TUTTLE // USAT CERTIFIED RACE DIRECTOR
Doug oversees the Staff and Champions for the race. He is also responsible for the race day operations.
Doug completed his first triathlon in 2008, and like so many others he was hooked. Five years later, he has competed in several road races and triathlons including Sprint, Olympic and Half Ironman. In September 2010 Doug accomplished a major goal when he finished the Wisconsin Ironman. He is involved in the Grand Rapids Triathlon, since its inception, overseeing the course Aid Stations. Susan is his wife and lifelong best friend. Together they have 3 children (Corydon, Ella & Raleigh) who are up and coming triathletes. Doug and his family are very involved in their local church, Grand Rapids First. Doug is also the third generation co-owner of Johnson Carpet One in Grandville.
ANDY VIDRO // USAT CERTIFIED RACE DIRECTOR
Andy is responsible for handling the technical side of the race ensuring all course details are followed and sanctioning rules are adhered to. He also works closely with the different communities, organizations and Police departments for race day.
Andy represents Cranson Insurance as an insurance executive. He has also been involved with several businesses on the East side of the state and locally, successfully promoting and improving their market share. Andy has always enjoyed organized sports, 5k’s, 10k’s and half-marathons. Since entering the triathlon world, he has taken home several first place wins from MI to Las Vegas.
Andy is also the president of the O’Hara Foundation – a group that raises funds and awards scholarships for athletes.
ANN VIDRO // CPA & LEVEL II USAT CERTIFIED RACE DIRECTOR
Ann is uniquely qualified to handle both the financial and marketing operations of the race. She also uses her incredible project management skills to keep everyone on task.
Enthusiastic and focused, Ann has a passion for the details and the drive to ensure each athlete has a positive experience during their race. This is evident in the fact that Ann recently passed her USA Triathlon Level 2 Race Director certification. She has participated in organized races since 1996, and joined the triathlon world fives years ago. She also recently completed her first half Marathon. A small business owner and resident in the Grand Rapids area for several years, Ann enjoys giving back to the local community in many ways. She actively leads a weekly bible study group for women, holds a position of Treasurer for Grand Rapids Initiative for Leaders and sits on the Alumni Board for Davenport University.
ADMINISTRATIVE // LORI OTT
I’ve volunteered in transition at the MI Titanium since the first race. I’ve loved watching hundreds of athletes work towards a goal that I consider to be amazing. After volunteering for my first MiTi, I decided it was something I just had to try for myself, so last year I became a triathlete myself, competing in sprint distance tris. This summer I’m going to step it up a bit by joining a half iron relay team and completing the swim portion in Lake Michigan. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to have a bigger role behind the scenes of this year’s race. I’ve loved helping the race directors with administrative tasks and especially the parts where I get to deal with the amazing athletes competing in this race. When I’m not helping with Tris4Health races, I’m training for races, coaching my 6 year old son’s soccer team, cheering for my twin 11 year old all-star baseball playing sons, competing with my husband in Adventure Races or providing a sag vehicle for him as he runs ultramarathons. We’ve just added to our family by adopting a German Shepard/Boxer puppy we named Kona (had to stick with the triathlon theme!)
AID STATIONS/BIKE // MARIANNE MAXIUM
After my children graduated high school I went been back to swimming and cycling in 2009. In 2010, I decided to try a sprint triathlon and was immediately addicted. Fall of 2011 a friend approach me and suggested I run a marathon. I have to admit my first reaction was to laugh at her. In 2012 I competed in many halves and a marathon. It shows what you put your mind to you can do. I got the idea I should compete in my first half iron man at Grand Rapids Tri. I was so impressed by the organization and friendliness of the volunteers. I knew I wanted to be part of something so awesome.
AID STATIONS/RUN //FRANK MALOTT
Why do I race triathlon? I love the competition. I have always competed in sports from high school to local golf tournaments. After I finished my first tri, I was only partly satisfied. I knew I had more in me, each race I enter; I aim to beat my time from the previous year or race.Training has also become routine that is very enjoyable as well. I like to push during workouts and do each workout with a purpose. I am getting my family into fitness as well and they enjoy trying new exercises I come up for them. This year I have cofounded the Triathlon Team “Threshold Multisport” in hopes to continue to spread the love of the sport. The team is involved in community events as well as volunteering and donating to other worthy events. My main goal for this year is to qualify for USAT Age Group Nationals for the second year in a row. I went last year to Burlington, VT and it was a great experience. Smaller goals are to run a sub 45 minute 10k, finish top 3 in the Grand Rapids triathlon and the regional qualifier in Waterloo.
AID STATIONS/SUPPLY // DIANE & TONY PAYNE
A few years ago I remember someone explaining to me what a triathlon was. My first thought; why would anyone do that to themselves? Then in 2009 my husband told me they were holding the first annual GR Tri right in our backyard of Ada, Mi. He thought we should give it a shot since it was so close to home. I have to admit i think I had a glass of wine or two when i actually agreed to do it. We set out for some training with a few neighbors and competed in the race. It was tough, but more fun than anything I had ever done. Having a swimming background it wasn’t as “crazy” as I thought it would be. I took second in my age group, had a blast and was instantly hooked. Since then I have competed in 7 triathlons and 4 relays. I hope it is a positive influence on my daughters who I love with all my heart. I mostly race for them, and a little bit for me. I encourage anyone I meet to at least give it a “tri”. It is an incredibly rewarding experience.
AWARDS // JIM VIDRO
My involvement with triathlons began with the participation of my sons and their wives. I found the people involved in and around the events to be so enthusiastic and friendly. When my son and his wife offered me the opportunity to become involved in planning triathlons, I jumped at the opportunity! I am able to offer my experiences as retired educator, adminstrator, and coach. It has been, and continues to be, great fun assisting in the organization of these events.
BIKE COURSE // JASON MILLER
Back in 2006 I saw a race where people were swimming, biking and running. I thought those people are nuts, but I always like new adventures and I said to myself, “I can do that.” Since then I have spent a lot of money on special shoes, watches, bikes and tight clothes. I have completed many races from sprint distance to full Ironman. I enjoy seeing people accomplish their goals and finish races that I once thought was nuts. I am thankful to have the support from my wife Sara and our two girls Marysa and Samantha. Without their support I wouldn”t be able to be involved in this great sport.
CLINICS & COACHING // CHERYL OLSON, USAT CERTIFIED COACH, ATHLETIC MENTORS
CLINICS & TRAINING LOGISTICS // CHUCK HURST
After moving to Michigan in the fall of 2010 I couldn’t help but notice the strong cycling and triathlon culture in the community which I was instantly drawn to. Michigan has a great mix of urban area, green space and access to the remote wilderness which makes getting outdoors and running/ cycling/ swimming easy and enjoyable. For me, triathlon began as a personal challenge and the result has exceeded my expectations. It’s funny how something as challenging as a triathlon can be reduced to doing the things we enjoyed as kids…. but just a little further and faster! This area has a tremendous community that is very supportive of the sport and I’m grateful for the opportunity to connect with this movement by volunteering for the 2nd annual MI Titanium!! With a little luck we will all inspire the forever curious to get out there and someday compete in this event!!
ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION // COURTNEY JONES
Triathlon has always been in my blood. As both a swimmer and runner, and thought it would be easy to just pick up the Bike part (I was somewhat wrong on that one!). When I was 17 I completed my first Triathlon, and like most other Triathletes, It stuck. Now my life really does revolve around running, biking, and swimming (and eating and sleeping and more eating), and I absolutely LOVE it! I race for Grand Valley State University, where we have a team of not only great athletes, but absolutely amazing people. This is one reason why I wanted to get involved with MI Titanium- The Triathlon community, especially in Grand Rapids, is so motivating and inspiring, and I want to be part of that, in order to motivate myself, as well as inspire others to keep moving!
EQUIPMENT SET-UP & TEAR DOWN // MIKE KOETSIER
While having a few beers with a buddy, he asked me to join him at one of his “triathlons”. I said “Well, I’ve raced bicycles for years and I’m a pretty good runner but I’m not really a swimmer”. “Oh, don’t worry. That’s the shortest part”. After nearly drowning in the Thornapple river, I had crossed the finish line and I was instantly hooked! Twelve months later I had entered over 15 triathlons, completed my first Half Ironman and earned age group wins in the Sprint and Olympic categories. I believe MiTitanium is Michigan’s “premier” event. After participating the previous 2 years I jumped at the opportunity to help out.
EXPO // RICH BOMAN
I have been competing in triathlons since 1987 as a middle-of-the-pack age grouper and loving it. It is addictive and has become a lifestyle. Fortunately I am married to a wonderful woman who may not always understand, but does accept my addiction. Over the years I have managed to improve within my age group and now find myself finishing higher than middle of the pack, which just motivates me to train more. I have competed in virtually every distance from Indoor to Ironman including Sprint, Olympic, Half Ironman, Ironman and even the Long Course World Championship. I am excited to be a part of organizing the only full distance to be held in Michigan.
FINISH LINE // CHAD TUTTLE
I completed my first triathlon (Johan’s) in 2007 and think it forever changed my DNA. Since then, I’ve competed at every distance and, although I’m not fast and will never win my age group, I LOVE every second of it. I became an Ironman in 2010 and am looking to repeat in 2013. Being a not-for-profit CEO by day though, I appreciate the amount of work and volunteers it takes to make an event successful. With that in mind, I began giving back to the sport and volunteering in 2009. I’ve enjoyed working finish lines at various distances, including Ironman, and am really looking forward to seeing the faces of the finishers at the MiTi! It’s an amazing accomplishment and I hope that our Finish Line team at the MiTi leaves a lasting impression on the participants, family members, and spectators who all come out to enjoy this event. As a reminder, this event is FAMILY FRIENDLY and your special loved ones are welcomed to cross with you if you’d like!
FOOD/FINISH LINE // GAIL VIDRO
I taught elementary children for 32 years in Lowell and then taught preschool at Forest Hills Presbyterian Church for 5 more years. I witnessed my first triathlon watching Andy participate. I was drawn in further to the triathlon world by listening as Andy and Ann began to work on their dream of a triathlon in Grand Rapids. Now, by volunteering, I am able to become a part of this amazing event.
FOOD/VOLUNTEERS // LYDIA STUBBS
My first tri over seven years ago hooked me into the sport, and I participate in several triathlons a season plus a few running events. Biking is still my greatest passion, but organizing events is another one. Giving back to a wonderful community and watching incredible athletes compete is the highlight of the MiTi. I will do my best to feed this amazing crowd of great volunteers.
MARKETING // KAT GILLESPIE
I am in training for my first marathon, and in my free time I love Latin dancing.
MOTO-PATROL // TODD BRADFORD
Todd Bradford is an avid cyclist with a passion for all things two wheeled. Between weekend rides and commuting to work on either his bike or his motorcycle, he often forgets what it’s like to drive a car during the summer months. He is a hard working family man, is active in his church and is a lifelong resident of the Grand Rapids area. Todd is a certified Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCoach and teaches basic and advanced courses through
PACKET PICKUP // CHERYL BRITCHER
Setting stretch fitness goals led me into triathlons. The 2011 Grand Rapids Triathlon was my first tri and the start of many more to come. I also believe in contributing to a healthy community and that’s why I love being part of the MiTi event team!
ROAD CLOSURES // ANDY DAUKSTS
I never have actually ran a race or a TRI but I love to help out and volunteer when I can. I have been married to my wife Jenna for 6 years with a three year old son named Logan. I am a manager at a traffic control company and am also the head coach for Jenison varsity hockey. My sister Katie Belland and mom Barb have always asked me to help with races, the first one I helped with was the first GR Tri.
RUN COURSE // CHRIS GEORGE
This is my third year on the MiTi team. It’s always an inspiration to see all of the athletes giving it their all to achieve something so great. The sport of triathlon has been an extremely positive influence in my life and I feel very fortunate to be able to give back by helping out with the run portion of this fantastic event.
SECURITY // TIM GUIKEMA
I have been involved in Triathlons since 2010. Starting off with a neighborhood Tri, Lech Lecha, cross the finish line and fell in love with this type of racing. I found out through some friends that the GR Tri and MiTi were some new races that were starting and I should look at helping out and getting involved. This is my second year with the GR Tri, and third year with the MiTi. Last year I was landing in Ethiopia on the dates of each race last year, 1st trip for meeting our new son and again in Aug for picking up our son. I was bummed to miss the races, but Asa was well worth it.
Besides racing for Team Traction3 and Ascension Cycling, I have a wife of 13 years, a 8 and 5 year old daughters and a 2 year son from Ethiopia. I hope to finish a 1/2 Ironman distance this Spring. I do Sales and Production Management for Summit Tree Service, a local tree company. I hope to someday finish a full Ironman distance.
SIGNAGE // JUSTIN STEMPLE
I had talked about triathlon for a number of years until my wife finally told me to quit talking and start training! I did my first sprint tri and loved it. I’ve competed in several sprint and olympic tris and have thrown in a few 25ks and half-marathons for good measure. Participating in triathlon and endurance sports has been a great experience and I’ve enjoyed meeting the many wonderful people who participate in and put on these events. The opportunity to volunteer with a full distance triathlon and see the joy/pain/excitement up close and personal was too much to pass up, so here I am!
SPLASH & DASH // DON GOETCHEUS
In 2007 I was minding my own business swimming laps a couple days a week and mountain biking to stay in shape. Along came a girl I wanted to impress so I started running for the first time in my life. Within a year I had finished my first full marathon. In 2008 a friend, I swam with on the high school swim team, asked me to join him at a Master swim practice. While at practice, he mentioned a group that was getting together to transport handicapped individuals around at triathlons and he wanted me to be a part of the running leg. That was the beginning of My Team Triumph. My experience with My Team Triumph proved life changing, as I had been bitten by the triathlon bug. As a result, I have worked my way up to multiple Half-Ironman distance tris, multiple marathons, and a few bike races each year. My down time is spent with my two teenage boys, still trying to impress that girl, and as a financial advisor with Amerprise Financial Services. In the future, I plan to tackle the full Ironman distance triathlon after my boys are off to college.
SPECTATOR EXPERIENCE // EMMA BARANOWSKI
Compared to other Champions on the team, my racing journey is still in the baby stages. I have just started running and have only run a handful of races. People often ask me what inspires me and the answer is simple: watching others follows their dreams. Nothing gets me more excited than seeing others achieve things they never thought possible. For some, it is lowering their time at a race while others it is simply finishing. No matter what the reasons for competing are I enjoy encouraging others on their journey. It gives me the inspiration to follow my dreams and goals. Last summer I volunteered for a few races on the “cheering” squad and loved every minute of it. This year I am excited to be the Spectator Experience Champion and cheer, encourage, and watching others follow their dreams.
SPONSORSHIP // KARI STUART
The sport of triathlon found me in 2010. The training and preparation, excitement of race day, cheering of the crowd and the triumph of reaching a goal had me hooked. I now regularly compete in triathlon with the 2013 Mi Titanium being my first Half Iron distance event! My husband and I participate in many races throughout the state, and I have found that the endurance community we have here in Grand Rapids is unmatched. There’s a reason why GR was named the best city for triathlon, and it’s the amazing crowd support, enthusiastic athletes and awesome events like MiTitanium and GR Triathlon.
Health and community is a integral part of my life, and working for the Mi Titanium and GR Triathlon is a very natural fit! So, I am thrilled to be a part of the team. As both an athlete and a business owner, I see both sides of the sponsorship coin. I look forward to customizing sponsorship opportunities that give the business the maximum amount of exposure while also improving the athlete race experience. Let’s come up with a plan to help grow YOUR business by supporting the fastest growing sport in America.
SWIM COURSE // RACHEL KRUG
Coordinating the swim course at both the Michigan Titanium and the Grand Rapids Triathlon, I have such respect and admiration for the many triathletes who take part. As a swimmer, lifeguard, and swim lesson teacher I hope to bring others to appreciate the water and to provide a safe and organized place to race. My goal is to make the swim leg of triathlons less intimidating and more fun! I am a student at Grand Valley State University and a part-time Catholic Youth Minister, looking forward to a career in ministry.
TRANSITION // DAVID BRADY
Since the inception of the Michigan Titanium in 2012 I have been a Champion for Transition. Each year a few tweaks have been made to improve the experience for all athletes participating in the race – and this year will be no different. I am a lifetime fitness believer and recently became hooked on triathlon. My experience in participating in Sprint through Half-Iron distance races gives me an understanding of what it takes to provide the necessary assistance athletes want to help them throughout their race day. I enjoy spending time with his wife Michelle and their 4 college and high school age kids. David is the National Sales Manager for Ninth Brain.
TRANSITION // BRIAN JIROUS
I returned to running in 2010 with a goal to run the River Bank Run in May of 2011. I completed the 5/3 River Bank Run in May of 2011 and went on the quest for a new challenge and found triathlon. I completed the Barefoot triathlon and Reeds Lake triathlon on 2011 and set my sights towards Steelhead ½ Ironman race in August of 2012. I completed my first ½ Ironman at Steelhead and have already signed up for two more this year. I coach girls basketball as well and encourage them to stay healthy and be fit by setting the example in my own life. I am very active in the healthy-living community in West Michigan as a member of RUN GR and a Priority Health Champion. I love working with and encouraging people to set and achieve PR’s and to “tri” something new. I really look forward to getting to know the other side of the sport in a support role with MiTi. I am supported by my wife Liz and three girls who I do my best to keep up with through this sport.
VIP // MATT SCHMUKER
Matt is the owner of Apex Landscape based in Grand Rapids. He is married with two amazing sons. Matt has been been cycling for four years and has competed in road, gravel, cyclocross and mountain bike races. In 2013 he completed his first triathlon. Matt is also the creator and director of the Battle at the Burg mountain bike race and outdoor expo held annually at Cannonsburg Ski Area as well as Team Apex Multisport. A 55 person Multisport team based in Grand Rapids.
VOLUNTEER // PRISCILLA HANSMA
Although I’ve have not done a triathlon, I have raced a few 1/2 marathons, several 5/3 River Bank Runs and have signed up to run my first full marathon. I joined the Miti to give back to the community and am excited to watch the athletics participate. I love Grand Rapids and don’t want to take it for granted. I am very involved in my church community and the insurance (health and life) community.
VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT // CHRIS GATES
As a young boy I remember watching my father compete in triathlons, cheering him on from the sidelines I had no idea that someday we’d be doing them together.
5 years ago my father challenged me to 3 months of sobriety. I challenged him with 3 months of a healthier lifestyle and a fitness program, we agreed to compete in the reeds lake triathlon together after or 90 days was up. We had such a blast together we wanted to take it to the next level. The next year we did the Grand Rapids Tri Olympic Distance together. Last year we did the MiTi Half-Iron distance together, and this year we’ll complete the MiTi Full-Iron distance together. It’s been such an experience to be able to compete in these events with my father, pushing the limits of our bodies and improving our mental and physical health every step, pedal, and stroke of the way. I’m a Network Engineer for S. Abraham & Sons during the day and dabble in semi-professional photography on the side. I live in Grandville with my good friend Evan, who also participates in the triathlon events with my father and I.