Our Coaches & Ambassadors have competed in 100+ local swim, bike & run events and 100+ triathlons over the past 5 years, often ranking in the top 10% of their field. In addition to local races, our Coaches have competed in major national and international races including Escape from Alcatraz, Ironman and 70.3 World Championship, NYC Marathon, NYC Triathlon, and the 50k National Championship. Our team has accrued 100+ lbs. of weight loss, more than 10 Ironman Finishes, and countless Sprint and Olympic distance races.
First and foremost, they are personable, knowledgeable, and here to help you accomplish your goals. So, let’s meet the team!
MEET THE TEAM
ALISON KREIDEWEIS is the Co-founder and Head Coach of the Empire Tri Club. In 2015 she was recognized as a USAT All American, and earned a spot on TEAM USA. In 2016, she competed in the ITU World Triathlon Championships, placing 33rd in her age group and 10th American (just 11 weeks after having a baby). In 2014, Alison was named “Best Personal Trainer” in the Northeast, along with fellow Empire Tri Club Coach Chris Mosier on Competitor.com. Alison is a national fitness expert who has been featured in Fitness Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Fox 5 News, TRI Magazine, The Active Times, Well & Good and more. She has been competing in triathlon for 15 years, ranging from Sprint to Ironman distance including the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, Ironman Lake Placid and Escape from Alcatraz. Alison is a multi-time overall female champion at local and regional races including the CityTri Duathlon and MightyMan Montauk Sprint Triathlon less than 3 months after giving birth. She has given over a dozen presentations at local and regional events. Alison has worked as a coach, manager, group fitness instructor and personal trainer for Equinox, New York Road Runners, Odyssey Athletic Center & SBR Multisports. Her certifications include NASM, USATF, USAT, Schwinn & Mad Dogg Cycling and a Pregnant and Postpartum Client Specialty Certification. As a new mom, she enjoys working with women who are pregnant or have recently given birth. Alison empowers others to feel strong & confident by pushing their physical limits and believes that training with a coach and team is far more fun than training alone.
SASCHA KREIDEWEIS is a USAT Level 1 Coach & competitive long distance triathlete who completed his first Ironman (IMFL) in 9:24. Sascha grew up in Germany, and competed in his first triathlon at age 14. His true passion is cycling. In 2009 he rode his bike over 1,100 miles in 9 days from Germany to Barcelona. He competed in 3 Ironman’s as well as the 70.3 World Championship. Sascha was named 2007 Best Male Triathlete by SBR Multisports, 2007 USAT All-American, and accrued many podium finishes. Sascha is a F.I.S.T. Certified Bike Fit Specialist & Competitive CRCA Road Racer, winning the Cat 5 Bear Mountain Time Trial. If you have questions about the bike, Sascha’s your man!
CHRIS MOSIER is a nationally-sponsored triathlete in his fourth year of coaching with Empire Tri Club. In 2015 he made history by becoming the first transgender man to make a Men’s US National Team. Chris is a 3x Ironman finisher, has accrued several first place finishes and age group wins, and is a Boston-qualified marathoner. Chris is an IRONMAN Certified Coach and holds coaching certifications from USAT and TRX, and is a NASM certified personal trainer, performance enhancement specialist, and fitness nutrition specialist. In 2014, he was named “Best Personal Trainer” in the Northeast by Competitor Magazine, along with fellow Empire Tri Club Coach Alison Kreideweis. Chris has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine, Triathlon Magazine Canada, Outside Magazine, BuzzFeed, The Advocate, and more.
CAMERON SMITH is a lifetime athlete who picked up the endurance bug in Charlotte, NC in 2010 where he completed his first sprint distance race. After his third season with Empire Tri Club in NYC, he has now participated in many Sprint, Olympic, and Half-Ironman races, attempting his first Ironman race this summer in Lake Placid, NY. In 2013, Cameron began competing in USA Cycling road and criterium races, and is currently a Category 4 racer. He is an early adopter of technology and known as a gear guy, always interested in sharing his knowledge and research with others. He is a firm believer in the concept of social fitness and currently serves as a global ambassador for Strava, a community of athletes that connect online to motivate one another through competition and camaraderie.
SONDRA MARTINEZ is a passionate runner & outdoor enthusiast. An avid hiker, snowboarder, and rock climber, Sondra found it difficult to exercise regularly after moving to New York City in 2004. Her husband and Empire Ambassador, Matthew, decided to sign them both up for the New York City marathon in 2008 and her passion for running was born. Since 2008, she has run 7 marathons (including NYC 3 times), one ultra- marathon, and countless other trail and road races. Sondra enjoys sharing her love of running and encouraging new runners to participate in the sport. After running with Team for Kids for two years in a row, Sondra became a Team for Kids mentor to new runners tackling their first half and full marathons. Once again, with a little push and encouragement from her husband, Sondra took up triathlons in 2012 and has since participated in several sprint and Olympic distance races. Sondra is excited to be an Empire Ambassador and help others find their inner runner.
Harry Neuhaus is a USAT Level 1 Coach as well as a RRCA Certified Coach. He began his running career in January 2010 by training for a 5 mile race. He completed that race and immediately began training for his first half-marathon and upon completing that, he ran his first marathon, New York, with Team for Kids. Harry was asked to be in the first TFK Mentor class and he continues to be a TFK Mentor. He is also a pacer for NYRR Half Marathons. To date, he’s lost 40 pounds, has participated in 8 marathons (PR 3:21:07), four 70.3 (PR 5:11:26) and many half marathons and Olympic triathlons. He strongly believes that the best results will be achieved with patience, good coaching and a group of like-minded individuals to enjoy the process. Harry lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and children. 2015 will be his second season as a coach with Empire Tri Club.
OLOF DALLNER is an ultra endurance and triathlon athlete. He is a Level I USAT certified triathlon coach and currently a category 3 road cycling. He has won 3 Spartan Death Races and completed several 48+ hour challenges. In 2013 he finished 2nd in the Spartan World Championship Ultra Beast obstacle race, 3rd in Worlds Toughest Mudder, and 1st in Quintuple Anvil (5x continuous Ironman distance) triathlon. In 2015 he ran a 2:47 marathon and finished 3rd overall at the NYRR 60k (4:35). In 2016 Olof finished 3rd overall at IM Louisville (9:09) and qualified for Kona. Olof is a firm believer that everyone can go beyond their perceived limits, and he is passionate about showing you how.
CAITLIN ALEXANDER is a Level I USAT certified triathlon coach in her second year of coaching with Empire, and holds a Certification in Applied Functional Science from the Gray Institute. Coming from a swimming and cross country running background, she dove (pun intended) into the sport of triathlon at the age of 14 (after too many running injuries) and has since completed 10 marathons, 2 ultra-marathons, 8 half Ironman and two full Ironman-distance triathlons (her favorite distance). In 2015, she finished top 10 AG at Ironman Mont-Tremblant with a time of 11:19. After a bike accident in 2013, Caitlin made a career change towards promoting health, fitness and mobility, and helping others to improve the quality of their lives. Caitlin works at Finish Line Physical Therapy and will be applying to Doctor of Physical Therapy programs this summer.
HALLIE NICOLL is a former All-State high school and collegiate 800m runner. In 2014, after years of battling running related injuries, she decided to join Empire Tri Club and give triathlons a shot. Hallie immediately fell in love with the sport. The training, the challenge and the excitement of learning a new sport, sparked her competitive drive. In her first year, she won her age group in all but one race, where she came in 2nd. This past year she placed 3rd in her age group at NYC Triathlon, and at Challenge Maine Half, her first and only 70.3 thus far, she placed 2nd in her age group and 10th female overall. A true passion and dedication to the sport was born, and she is very excited to see what the future holds. This is her first year as an Empire Ambassador and she hopes to push, inspire and help other athletes find their own inner passion and drive.
DOC GOLDEN’s gateway into triathlon was running track & field in high school. She started doing road races in 2011 with the New York Road Runners and then ventured into the world of Obstacle Course Racing, including the challenging Tough Mudder series. In 2015 Doc set her sights on completing her first triathlon and joined our renowned Beginner Program. While she had only set out to do one triathlon in her first season, she ended up finishing FIVE before the season was out. With three Olympic distances triathlons and six sprints under her belt, midway through her second season (!), she is now gearing up for a 70.3 Half Ironman. Also in 2015, Doc ran her first marathon (NYC) and is looking forward to continuing the marathon journey. Doc is a true testament to the power of positivity and her energy and passion for pushing herself and her peers to their limits is contagious to everyone around her. Her enthusiasm and vivacious spirit make her a natural fit to mentor and lead our next generation of Beginners. Doc believes strongly that “teamwork makes the dream work” and that training with a team not only challenges you more, but helps you improve faster. According to Doc, “training with a team helps make achieving your goals a lot more fun and much less “work!”
BRAD GANSBERG is a guru when it comes to helping people battle the challenges of losing weight and living a healthy, balanced life. Don’t believe me? Check out his #7daychip group on Twitter. He transformed his own life by signing up for a triathlon and losing 80+ lbs. Since then, Brad’s gone on to tackle IM Lake Placid and accrue many cycling podium finishes. He has taught numerous people of all abilities to run their first race, including his wife Leigh. Brad believes that slow change is the best route to lasting change.
JUGURTHA (GINO) AIT is a former Olympian. He began swimming at the age of 4 and competing at the National Level by 14. Gino won numerous medals in the individual 100M & 200M breaststroke event and championship medals as a member of the National Swim and Water Polo Team. Gino’s coaching career began 25 years ago when he lead the Algerian National Swim Team in the African Championships. Gino is an ASCA Level 3 Swimming Coach and holds 2 FINA Swimming Coach Certificates. Gino was a coach at the Brigantine Aquatic Center and the FasTracKids School in Queens. Gino enjoys working with students at all levels and is passionate about helping every student surpass their swimming goal.
TYRONE HUTCHINSON is a New York City native. He started swimming competitively at age seven at the local YMCA in the Bronx. At age twelve he joined the West Side Y Marlins. There he became a 2-time YMCA State Champion in the 100 fly, YMCA National qualifier, and Junior National qualifier. Tyrone graduated from Saint Bonaventure University in 1997 where he won two A-10 championships and was a perennial finalist in the 100 and 200 fly.
He joined Red Tide in November 2005 as a swimmer and began coaching in September 2006. He believes that technique and the nuances of swimming make a faster and smarter swimmer. Tyrone started coaching Empire Tri Club’s Instructional Swim Classes in Spring 2016.
LEILA VAZIRI brings her experience as a competitive swimmer for over fifteen years and her love of the water to her coaching. Growing up in South Florida, Leila started in the sport of swimming at the age of 7. Over the next two decades her career led her to swim at Indiana University, win National and World Championships and World Record Holder titles. Being coached by the best in the sport, Leila pulls from her swimming mentors placing the highest significance on good form and practicing stroke awareness in the water. She believes you’ll benefit from the sport whether it be for cross training, preparing for your first triathlon, or learning to swim as an adult.
Megan Happ began competitive swimming at age 7 within the YMCA community in
Pennsylvania. She finished her high school career at the Upper Main
Line YMCA and went on to swim for four years at Boston University,
swimming countless laps in the distance lane and captaining her senior
year. After graduating from Boston University in 2013, Megan quickly realized her
life was not complete without a pool. And so began her time in the
world of Masters swimming. Megan has been a coach at Red Tide since
Sara Bryant is a running enthusiast who found her inner triathlete in 2016. She began her athletic journey in High School as a soccer player first and a track and cross country runner second (far second). It wasn’t until several years out of college that she began “recreational” running and fell in love with the sport. In search of something more, Sara found herself signed up for her first sprint triathlon. Six sprint and two Olympic distance triathlons later (with podium appearances at six) Sara is gearing up to tackle her first two Ironman 70.3 races in 2017. In the midst of a busy triathlon schedule, Sara gained a newfound love of marathons and finished the 2016 NYC Marathon in under 3:35, a Boston Marathon qualifying time. She now has a new (lifetime) goal of completing all six World Majors (New York, Boston, Chicago, London, Tokyo, Berlin). Sara loves to share her enthusiasm for triathlon (and running), and can’t wait to help others find their inner triathlete, too!
George Marroig-Tagle Is in his 10th season doing Triathlons. He remembers doing his first NYC Tri not having trained with a club. His swim took longer than 35 minutes and it was the hardest race he’d ever completed. After joining the Empire club, he did the NYC Tri again and PR’d by 40 minutes, so he can attest to the advantage of training with the club! Since that point he has never looked back. He has about 40 plus triathlons under his belt as well as having completed Marathons, raced with the Empire cycling team, and will compete in the USAT Age Group Nationals. They call him “Zone 5 George” for a reason!
His training philosophy is that the weakest muscle in the body is the one between the ears, & if you can train that muscle, we can help you with the others and everything else will fall right into place….
Nick Hernandez began swimming in high school and moved on to compete at Saddleback College and the University of Southern California under Dave Salo. While prepping at USC, Nick began coaching with Southern California Aquatics (SCAQ), the largest masters program in the country. Upon graduation, Nick came to New York City to study law at Fordham University.