This week’s Posse highlight is Anna Wheeler.
As our volunteer co-coordinator of 2 years with her good friend Ema Armstrong, she’s in constant contact with the volunteers before, during, and after races. Often behind the scenes, she’s the one who makes sure those aid stations have enough supplies, those intersections are safe, and that medal ends up around your neck at the finish line. She’s a student at OSU studying Biology and hoping to pursue a degree in Veterinary Medicine. Anna is a legendary horseback rider and is specifically a master of the highly skilled form of riding known as Dressage. Although she loves horseback riding, she spends a fair amount of time riding her mountain bike with friends. Anna has an extreme affinity for bikes and when she’s racing, not surprisingly, her favorite leg of a triathlon is the bike. When you check in to volunteer at one of our races, you'll likely meet Anna and her friendly disposition and cheery smile will warm your heart.
Anna’s motivational quote: “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain” -Jack Kerouac
Meet Aaron Seipel, one of our run course specialists. When we say specialist, we mean that he is both an incredible runner and an incredible run course coordinator. Born in British Columbia and raised in Oregon since he was 6, Aaron is a dual-citizen. He came into his active lifestyle through weight loss in his sophomore year of high school and, by his senior year, decided he wanted to run Cross-Country and Track. Without enough experience to compete at an NCAA level, Aaron joined the Oregon State University Triathlon Club. From there, his love of the sport grew substantially and he continues to race triathlons and duathlons at a higher level every year. He has helped out at our races for many years, but officially joined the Posse in 2015. Aaron is on a mission to find the world's best cup of coffee and when he’s not doing that, he’s a PhD student studying Exercise Physiology at OSU, enjoys petting adorable fuzzy animals, and indulges in the occasional (okay, maybe frequent) chocolate chip cookie. Aaron is very quiet about his achievements, because he is driven by the process rather than the results. He loves getting out and training hard, working on his weaknesses, and dialing himself in as a an even more well-rounded athlete while maintaining consistent training. While Aaron is a stellar athlete with may accolades, he is also a very down-to-earth person who is always willing to help out and encourage others. 🤠
Aaron’s inspirational quote: “Concentrate on what will produce the results rather than on the results, the process rather than the prize” -Bill Walsh
Posse Ramón Martinez and Émile Chol both recently set PR’s!
Ramón came in at California International Marathon with a time of 2:49:30 qualifying him for the Boston Marathon!
Émile finished 70.3 Indian Wells/La Quinta with a time of 4:21:11 ending up 2nd in his age group. Nice work out there!
This weekend Ramón Martinez absolutely crushed the USA Triathlon Long Course Duathlon Nationals in Miami! With 18th overall, and 4th in his age group, Ramón secured a spot at the ITU world championships for duathlon in Switzerland next year!
Way to go Ramón! We’re proud to call you a friend.
This week’s posse highlight is Melissa ‘Mel’ Norland!
Mel and her family have been frequent volunteers with us for 6 years! She grew up playing ball sports, primarily soccer, but always ran for fitness. She got involved with endurance sports when she met Clem LaCava, the race director and founder of a local ultramarathon, the McDonald Forest 50k. Running that race was one of the best crazy decisions she’s ever made because it introduced her to the very wide world of endurance sports!
While her favorite leg of the triathlon changes year to year, she’s currently loving the swim because she’s the type of person who embraces her fears and weaknesses and does her best to overcome them. When she’s volunteering with us you’ll find her doing pretty much anything that needs to be done, but she loves being out on the paddle board as swim course safety.
When the going gets tough in a race she focuses on keeping moving one stroke/step/pedal stroke at a time. She’s a full time stay at home parent for her two boys and she has two other part time jobs meaning she’s one busy person! Before a race, she likes to have oatmeal with fruit and nuts in it, but after a race she LOVES eggs. By far, her love for the triathlon community and the connection that she feels with the Best in the West Posse shines through when she volunteers with us. Raising her family around such a positive group of like-minded, hard working, and awesome people has been an immensely positive impact on her own life.
If you see Mel before a race, stop and have a chat with her. You will find that your pre-race nerves will be eased and your attitude will swing dramatically in the positive direction!
Meet Quincy Gill, our bike course master, salad specialist, beer mile ace in the hole, and internationally respected “cone-oisseur”. He got involved with Best in the West Events in 2014 after working closely with Staci to coordinate the Beaver Freezer Triathlon. While his favorite leg of the triathlon is the bike, because picking off the faster swimmers is fun, his favorite race is Oregon Dunes Triathlon because of the epic run course! When he’s not hanging around a triathlon or educating the youth as an environmental science high school para-educator, he’s an avid mountain biker and trail runner. No matter how hard the times get, Quincy always keeps a positive perspective and lifts up those who are lucky enough to be around him. Stop and have a chat with Quincy next time you see him. You won’t regret it!
PS: Quincy stresses the importance of exercising your right to vote!