Meet The Team: 2012 Lake Placid

We have 40 or so TeamEN members ready to make it happen this weekend at Ironman® Lake Placid.   There are a host of Ironman® Stories leading up to this weekend and a host of other very cool stuff.  Below are some of those stories.  Enjoy!

Woody Freese

2012 Lake Placid Race Captain

Woodrow “Woody” Freese – 2012 is the 27th season of multi-sport events (started as a powerhouse in the 5-9 year old age group) and Lake Placid is my 26th Ironman.  As I understand it, I am one of five athletes who have participated in every Ironman® USA event.  I am a middle-of-the-pack hack who is better designed to play rugby vs. doing the long-course triathlon thing.  When not counting pace or watts, I am a father to an amazing 16 year old daughter (Keegan) and an administrator at Boston University.  My partner Sue will be in LP to root for all of the EN Gang.

Kevin Walter

2012 Lake Placid Race C0-Captain

I am a 44yo husband and father making my 8th trip around the Lake Placid Course. I love Ironman® Lake Placid. I grew up nearby in Plattsburgh and now live as a part-time resident of Lake Placid. Cheering me on are my wife, Ellie, and my girls Sara (11) and Emily (8), all of whom will be cheering loudly for all EN jerseys going by. Our dog, Nilla the yellow lab, will also get into the game. My goal for the day is to best my PR set back in 2006 of 12:48. So far I’ve made it around the Galveston 70.3® and Mooseman 70.3® courses this year and will be following up Lake Placid with tours of Muskoka 70.3® and IM-Florida before a much needed break. While you are in Placid, feel free to stop by our house to put your feet up, watch the Tour de France in HD, and enjoy an Ubu if so inclined!

Cassie Winter

A former couch potato, I started running in 2007 to set a better example for my children and escape from three decades of obesity that threatened my health. Those first few breathless steps lead me to discover a whole new lifestyle of running, biking and swimming. With each adventure – from the first 5K to the first marathon, I wanted to challenge myself with more. So, here I am ready to embark upon my first full Ironman® in Lake Placid surrounded by friends and family, including my brother, who has completed several IM races. I’m grateful to EN for getting me to the starting line, healthy and well-prepared.

Antonia Noonan

I am a 45-year-old wife of a super cool Irishman, mother of a wild-n-crazy 10-year-old boy, and yoga instructor for kids and adults. One of my favorite quotes, which is from Corita Kent, and which basically sums up my take on life is: “Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries.”

Doing my first full Ironman® this year, and couldn’t be more excited. This will be my fourth season enjoying the super fun game of triathlon. Was a swimmer in high school, and did a little MTB for fun, but it wasn’t until I started running five years ago that I thought about actually doing a triathlon. After a friend dared me to try a Sprint, I bought a road bike and have been hooked on the sport ever since. (My husband keeps asking when this all ends…silly man.)

Joined EN in the Fall of 2011, and as a couple of friends have told me, I drank the EN Kool Aid. I really love Coach P & R’s philosophy and way of doing things, and have been enjoying the entire training journey on the way to IMLP.

Kelley Hamlin

I’m Kelley Hamlin.  Been doing triathlons since 2008.  First met Coach Patrick on the bank by the LP swim in 2010 – my first Ironman.  Mezmerized by the wisdom he was sharing, I watched that 4 Keys video at least 5 times between Friday afternoon and 7am on Sunday.  AWESOME race!  Smile on my face the entire way.  Just about tackled Coach P on the run course at mile 8 or so… “THANK YOU FOR MAKING MY DAY SO WONDERFUL!”  Came home from Lake Placid and signed on with Team EN about a week later.  Been putting up PRs ever since …even with a stress fracture in my shin 8 weeks out from Placid last year – I was SO on my game with ENs help that I PR’d Lake Placid by 36 min without a stitch of running in the last 8 weeks!  Good times.  This year was supposed to be a breakthrough year until I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2012.  Had to take some time off but got the “two thumbs up n give um hell” from my Dr. last week and again… in such good condition that I’m headed to LP once again!!  It may not be a PR but I WILL bring it home before Midnight.  🙂  GOOD LUCK TO ALL EN’ers out there!!!

Monika Hill

Hi, I’m Monika Hill from outside of Philadelphia PA.  I’m a 40ish (still 29 in my own mind), Human Resources Director for a renewable energy company.  I’m not married, but I’ve been with my current boyfriend Kevin (in pic) for over 10 years.  I have three children of the four legged persuasion, two rescue pups (Hunter & Chloe) and one rescued turtle (Cheech – he had a buddy Chong, but that’s a long story).  I’ve been doing tri’s for many years and I’ve stopped counting the miles.  This will be my 4th attempt at Lake Placid and I’m looking forward to all the shout-outs to my EN peeps on the course.

Dottie Catlin

I’m not sure I’ll spend the money to buy a Lake Placid Finishers jacket, but I sure hope I’m as happy after Lake Placid as I was after my first experience at Florida ’11!

My name is Dottie Catlin. This is my 2nd year with EN, and I have improved my finishing times at every race since joining the team. Work Works. I’m a total believer. I love seeing the EN kit on race day!

I’m married with three kids. Many family members and friends will be there to support me on race day. I seriously cannot wait for the big day.

I have some goals that I am keeping to myself this time around, but I want to enjoy the experience too. I’ve trained hard on my focus re: execution strategy. I went to camp and have visualized myself in all aspects of the race. Now it’s time to do my best and execute. Hoping for great weather, great focus and a whole lot of good karma. Go team Go!!

Kori Martini

Hi! I’m Kori Martini Retzbach from Novi, MI. Proud mom to 1-year-old twins, Lucas & Chloe and a 2 ½ year old daughter, Mia. I’ve been doing triathlons since about 2007 and work full-time as an engineer. My husband is a firefighter as well, making our schedule a tad hectic at times. I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am today without the support and encouragement of my family to get back out there and do what I love after a twin pregnancy! Endurance Nation has helped me focus on the key workouts that will give me the biggest bang for my training buck in terms of time commitment. I can feel the team energy building as race day gets closer! I’m excited, and honored, to be able to get out on that course with so many other talented athletes, especially my EN teammates! See y’all in Lake Placid!

Lauren Parello

My name is Lauren McDonald.  This is my second full season with EN and Lake Placid will be my 7th Ironman® race.  This year is really exciting for me because I am racing alongside my husband, Mike, and father-in-law, Fred (also an EN racer!).  Lake Placid has been a bucket-list race for me, and I am really excited to take in the beauty of the course.  Unfortunately, life got pretty busy this year and I was not able to get in the type of training I usually can when preparing for an IM, so my “one-thing” this year is to ENJOY every minute out there.  I’m definitely not in my best Ironman® shape so I’m not expecting a PR-but I’ll probably never be out in Lake Placid again so I want to take in as much as I can from the experience.  As always, I can’t wait to meet all my EN teammates!

Jeff Sullivan

Hi I’m Jeff Sullivan a 56 yro and IM virgin. I have a Wife of 32 yrs, Mary Ann, and two grown sons (26 & 24). Both sons are short course speed demons posting sub 2:00 Oly’s and are serving our country in the USMC & USAF. I got interested in triathlons while watching my younger son compete @ IM Wisconsin 2009. I joined EN in fall of 2010 in an effort to prepare for my 1st IM. I’m a MOP guy looking to finish LP with my head held high and if the temps are favorable sub 14 hrs. My one thing is “I’m gonna be one of Rich’s 11 minute Superstars”

Cary Blanco

I live in a beach town on Long Island and do Marketing and Artist Relations for a Musical Equipment manufacturer. 2012 will be my fifth year in triathlon and Lake Placid will be my second Ironman. I completed Lake Placid in 2010 with the help of Endurance Nation and I’m looking forward to this year’s race.  This year I’ve got some health issues to overcome so I’ll have to race even smarter than I did in 2010. I’ll be wearing my local tri club’s (Runner’s Edge) kit, so if you’re on the course looking out for me, keep that in mind. My goal for the event is to enjoy the day as much as i did in 2010, if you see me smiling, I’m probably doing just that.

Jonathan Lieberman

My name is Jonathan Lieberman and I’m 40 years old.  I will be uncharacteristically brief here.  This will be my third Ironman® and second IMLP, and for me this race is all about Pain.  As in, how much can one person take and keep moving forward?  That may sound negative or grandiose.  It’s not really.  Every one of us have tons of adversity in our lives to overcome every single day.  This has never been hammered home to me, and to those important to me, like it has this entire past year.  For us, both athletes and nonathletes alike, Ironman® has become a daily simile for life.  So to me just the Act of toeing the starting line in the face of adversity, in and of itself, has become a small miracle.  And putting one foot in front of the other – to keep moving forward no matter how much it hurts – well, that’s what Relentless means to me, and that’s my One Thing. – Liebs

Adrian de Klerk

Howdy, I am a 41 year old doing my 4’th Ironman, first Placid.  Have not raced in 2 years, I took some time off to work on my biking.  Originally planned to smash this race but had several mishaps that screwed with my training.  I fell of my bike twice, yes twice within a span of 6 weeks.  Once going 22mph and the other 45mph so I guess I can be lucky to be racing at all!  As it stands now, a super dooper day will be to have as much fun as I can and finish.  My amazing family and support team are, Marise my wife, Samuel  our 17 year old son, Luke our 11 year old son and Mia our 6 year old daughter.  We are making a road trip out of the race and starting our 1900 mile journey towards Placid early tomorrow morning, looking forward to meeting you all!

Mike Biarnesen

Hi, I’m Mike Biarnesen, one of the founding members of the EN Chicago Sleeper Cell. I have been with Endurance Nation since the beginning, and then some (Crucible Fitness, Wisconsin 2006), and this will be my 5th IM. I am married to Vicki (who also has the Tri bug, with her first Oly this year), and we have 2 great kids – Caitlin, 23 and Christian, 21 coming out with us to Lake Placid. I’ll also be supported in LP by my Mom Denise, my Mother-In-Law Gloria, and Caitlin’s BF Jason. I want to thank my family for their support and tolerance, and my local EN friends who will also be out there racing with us – Lisa McCauley, Selina Carpenter, Anna Clausen, Al Schlebecker, and Don Schmitt for their dedication and enthusiasm!

Greg Bassett

Greg Bassett – Age 50.  Competing in my 5th IM and 3rd time at LP.  After spending 2 years away from structured training & racing to complete graduate school, I’m coming back to my favorite IM venue:  Lake Placid.  Even though my wife and I prefer the beach, there is something magical about the LP area.  Every time I train or race in the area, I come home physically, mentally and emotionally renewed!
This is my first year with EN and I’ve learned an awful lot about racing with power, and the importance of race execution. I’m looking forward to putting it all together on race day!
Even though I’ve gone through IM races in the past, I’m just as excited about race day as I was the very first time I lined up at the start.

James Miller

I am James Miller, 37 years old and from Massillon Ohio. I work as a plastic welding consultant showing folks how to make products like tarpaulins, billboards, inflatables and even Navy Seal attack boats.  This is my 4th season in what has really become a passion in my life, triathlon.  I am so excited and proud to be racing at Lake Placid, which will be my first go at the full distance. This has been my first season with Endurance Nation, and I can’t express my gratitude enough to the community for all the sharing and encouraging in helped me along this journey.

Ryan Miller

I am a mid-30’s technical consultant in the backup & storage industry.  I have been doing triathlons since the spring of 2009, when my first was a local sprint.  I’ve never been fast, usually finishing in the bottom 1/3 of my age group – but as I’ve learned how to swim and improved my running, I’ve scratched, clawed, scraped and pulled myself to… the top half of my age group.  Sometimes higher depending on who shows up on that day.  After several sprints, olympics and a couple half’s, Lake Placid 2012 will be my first full iron, and my goal is to finish and enjoy the experience.  I only recently joined EN, so I’ll save actually racing for the next time, when I’ve had the benefit of the full outseason and training programs.

Gordon Cherwoniak

I’ve been with EN since Oct 2009 heading in to my 3rd IM and second with EN. This will be my 2nd time at Lake Placid, previously in 2004 I look to correct very poor execution.  I’m looking forward to applying some ninja like execution skills and having fun out on the course.  My wife Patti will be my support crew throughout the week.  I currently work for the government of Canada on animal traceability.  There is a huge contingent of EN’ers at the race, the team support will be epic.

Keith Wick Family

Hi EN peeps.  I’m Keith Wick and I live just south of Boston with my wife, Juliet and two great kids, Ian (7) and Ila (5).  This is my 2nd IM, with the first being last year at this same race where I just wanted to finish before dark, which I did.  I want to enter this year with the same attitude, but have put pressure on myself to do better, although I’m still fighting with myself to just enjoy the day.  I’ve been with EN since almost the beginning- missed OG status by 1 month.  Thanks for everyone who tracking us and for being such a great bunch of people who keep the EN kool-aid vibe going!!!  It’s all just a game.

Paul Takac

Paul Takac, 47 years old. Hi everyone! I’m an Apple Education sales rep and live in State College, PA with my wife (Regan) and three kids (ages 15, 10, and 7) – all of whom will be in Lake Placid cheering on me and the entire EN team! This is my second IM, the first being Texas last year (although the kids couldn’t be there for that one). I’ve also completed three 70.3’s (Galveston, Austin, and Poconos). I’ve been a member of EN since late 2009 and love being in ‘da Haus even though I can’t participate as much in the forums, etc. as I’d like to. Due to the demands of job, travel, family stuff, etc. I haven’t been able to train as hard or as much as I’d like to but nonetheless feel fit and ready to tackle IMLP. I’ve been actively recruiting my local training buddy, Frank Zaffino, who also attended the Lake Placid training camp with me in May. We had a great time – especially meeting so many teammates! Frank and his family will be there cheering us all on too. My goal is to just execute well and “spend what I got” to have a great race and an even better memory for the family.

Adam Capretta

Adam Capretta from Youngstown Ohio.  I am newly AND happily married to my awesome wife Mallory.  I am a self-employed personal trainer…until I can find a way to get paid to train for these races!
Lake Placid will be my third Ironman® Challenge, but my first with Team EN.  I began my triathlon career back in 2007 where I completed the olympic distance swim doing the breast stroke the entire time.  Needless to say I have come a LONG WAY!  My journey from race one to Lake Placid has been the best experiences of my life.  The people I have met, the places I have gone, and the challenges I have conquered I would not trade for anything.  But the way I see it, I have only just begun.
“Everything you need to succeed, is already inside.”

Eric Rueppel

I’m Eric Rueppel, 40 years old, father of two.  I live in Sturgis, Michigan.  My daughter Anna is 16 years old and my son Aaron is 13 years old.  My day job is running my electrical contracting company Prime Quality Electric, LLC.  I have been a triathlete since 2008.  I have been with Endurance Nation since 2009.  I have completed two half  Iron races and one full (Ironman® Wisconsin in 2010).  I love the challenge of Ironman® and plan on competing in many more.  I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the team and cheering on my teammates on race day.  Ironman® is about the journey to me.  Time and place are such a small part when compared with the journey that it took to get to the finish line.

Dave Walsh

Hi I’m Dave Walsh from Georgetown Ontario – yes Canada, and no not the other Georgetown:).   This is my first Ironman® event and after training and training with EN really looking forward to playing on the Lake Placid course!  My patient wife and three boys are also interested in seeing what this is all about.  My one son will be volunteering so he’ll keep an eye out for EN members and hand out the colder, tastier drinks.  I thought the previous Rally weekend was a big confidence builder and great to meet some of the EN team.  I feel very fortunate to participate in this event and I plan to enjoy the experience i.e. replace the nerves with focused energy and execution! [race in the box].  Let the games begin!

Davis Kennedy

David Kennedy Bib #2636
Age: 49(50 in Oct.)
Live: Hampton, NH
Family: Wife Maureen, three daughters Catherine, Colleen & Elizabeth and dog Teddy
Profession: Restaurant Owner of the Holy Grail in Epping, NH.  Converted an old Church into an Irish Pub in 2008
Triathlon: 2 years, completed 2 HIM’s, 2 Olympic’s & 8 Sprints.  Lake Placid 2012 first Ironman
Running: 25 years completed 8 Marathons, 4 Half Marathons & 75+ 10K’s and 5K’s

Tina Brinkerhoff

I’m Tina and I’m a runner. Mostly, I like  the social a.k.a. “party” aspects of marathons and Ironman® events, more than the actual events. I travel the world searching for the best “event after-party”. The weekend before Lake Placid  I am running the Stockholm marathon, then traveling to Copenhagen, and then directly to Lake Placid. I look forward to seeing old friends and hopefully meeting some new. My only goal for the day is to finish, which is directly dependent on making the bike cut-off(which is highly in question). If I make the bike cut-off, I will be ecstatic and celebrating every mile during the marathon.

Mike Fleckenstein

Mike Fleckenstein, 33 years old, lives in Sterling, Virginia (DC Suburbs).  I am married to my wife Shannon (a former track and field All American in college herself… but hasn’t bitten the triathlon bullet just yet!!!) and we have a five year old son, Braden.  I played basketball in college and have been doing triathlons for about 4 years now.  I have a couple of Age Group victories in local sprint triathlons and have competed in one HIM event — Kinetic Half Iron at Lake Anna State Park.  I attended the Lake Placid EN Rally this June and soaked up as much information as humanly possible!!!  When I’m not training, I enjoy playing basketball with my son, spending time with my family, experimenting with photography, and anything associated with basketball!!!


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Coach P

All stories by: Coach P
  • Jason Amoriell

    Appreciate the chance to read everyone’s description. I live about 45 minutes from Lake Placid (not too far from where Kevin Walter grew up apparently) and enjoy the Monday night sprints there during the summer. I’ve stuck with the sprints due to training time, but I might eventually try to fit in the half in Tupper Lake, so I’ve started looking at EN.

    Good luck everyone. Enjoy your week and have a great race.

  • Jason Amoriell

    Appreciate the chance to read everyone’s description. I live about 45 minutes from Lake Placid (not too far from where Kevin Walter grew up apparently) and enjoy the Monday night sprints there during the summer. I’ve stuck with the sprints due to training time, but I might eventually try to fit in the half in Tupper Lake, so I’ve started looking at EN.

    Good luck everyone. Enjoy your week and have a great race.

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