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TOUGHMAN Ambassadors

The TOUGHMAN Triathlon's Ambassadors are age group triathletes like yourself that will be racing and training in full TOUGHMAN race kits. They will represent the TOUGHMAN triathlon at workouts, races, etc. to promote The TOUGHMAN Triathlon's races and it's sponsors. These athletes can answer your questions about the race and let you know where they will be training and racing.

mike begg

Michael Begg - Captain

Begg lives in Trumbull, CT with his wife and two daughter. He played football at Penn. In October 2008, Michael Begg weighed 260 pounds. Deciding to make a life change, Michael started run and train both in the gym and outside. His brother, Tom, a Kona finisher, asked Michael to participate in a sprint triathlon in 2009; and Michael was hooked. With little experience or training, Begg finished Ironman Lake Placid and TOUGHMAN in 2009.

Michael has since completed The Disney Marathon,  The Disney Goofy Challenge (half marathon followed by a full marathon on two consecutive days), Ironman Lake Placid and TOUGHMAN in both 09 & 10 and Rev3 2010.

Michael has lost more than 60lbs, and is looking forward to the 2011 triathlon season. Email Mike



Born and raised in Minnesota, Travis now lives in Noblesville, IN, with his wife and two daughters. In 2009, overweight and dealing with back pain, Travis got off the couch and started training for a local sprint triathlon in an effort to get in shape to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. He finished at the back of the pack, but was hooked. A few mountain summits and over 50 multisport races later, he still races as often as possible - the harder the course, the better. He enjoys all race distances, but has become a bit of a half triathlon specialist, including two Toughman Indiana finishes.

When he's not training for the next race or at his day job, Travis enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, volunteering at races, and getting people comfortable on their bikes as a professional bike fitter. He enjoys taking the family on "racecations" and is excited about the opportunity to race in new states with the Toughman series!

Mimi Boyle

Mimi Boyle

Mimi has been competing in triathlons for just about 12 years. Having a base as a runner from playing soccer most of her life and then running marathons after college, the challenge was to learn how to bike and swim. After competing in sprint and Olympic Distance triathlons for a year, and then attempting a half ironman in year two, she was ready for the next step…ironman. Mimi has competed in 14 Ironmans including the World Championships in Hawaii. Some of Mimi’s highlights include holding the female course record in the marathon at Ironaman Wisconsin, winning The American Zofingen three years in a row, and finishing Top 10 in the women’s division at Ironman Lake Placid.  Above all, Mimi is an athlete who never takes herself too seriously and always has fun doing what she loves. Email Mimi

Mimi Boyle

Stephen Katz

Stephen is an attorney from Woodcliff Lake, NJ. Stephen raced his first triathlon in 1985 and has been an active participant in endurance sports ever since. He enjoys racing triathlons of all distances (2012 USAT Age Group (M45-49) All American Honorable Mention, 2012 Olympic Distance Age Group National Championships participant and three-time Toughman fnisher) Stephen also competes in marathons, half marathons and trail races. He currently races for Ridgewood Tri Athlete, based out of Ridgewood, NJ.

Stephen is the chairman of the corporate law practice group at Peckar & Abramson, PC with offices in River Edge, NJ and Manhattan. His biggest supporters are his wife, son and daughter. He can often be found training on the hills of Harriman State Park.

Dave Burgess

Dave Burgess

Dave Burgess is a 40-44 age grouper who resides in Westchester. With a competitive swimming background, Dave began participating in triathlons 5 years ago. Soon after, he joined the Westchester Triathlon Club and has improved from being a middle of the pack triathlete to having consistent age group podium performances. Dave placed 6th overall and won the 40-44 age group at the 2010 Sleepy Hollow Triathlon. He also placed 2nd at the 2009 HealthNet triathlon, and multiple age group wins at the NY Tri series races.

Dave writes about his training and other triathlon related topics on his blog. Email Dave

Dan Conroy

Dan Conroy

Dan was born in Ireland and graduated from Institute of Technology, Tallaght. His athletic background includes rugby, racket ball and tennis. In 2003 Dan competed in his first triathlon. That first sprint triathlon in 2003 changed his life. Since then, and his new lifestyle, Dan has competed in over 50 triathlons, including Ironman and endurance events around the world.

Personal Bests
Half Ironman • 4 hours 54 min | Olympic • 2 hours 4 min

Ireland National Team 2009 to Present
Gold Coast ITU Triathlon World Championships | European Triathlon Championships 2010

2nd overall in the Bronx Biathlon 2010
4th Litchfield Hills International Triathlon 2009
4th North Country Triathlon 2007
34th (1st age group ) ChesapeakeMan Ultra Distance Triathlon 2005

Email Dan

John Cook

John Cook

Born 1935 and married with five children, five grand children. John played football and ran track at Georgia Tech, before becoming a Naval officer and aviator from 1958-1967. John was a commercial pilot for Pan American and Delta Airlines for forty years.

While he was flying, he was also the owner of a marine business, owner/skipper of ocean racing sailboat "Night Flight," and did a number of races (Newport/Bermuda, Miami/Jamaica, SORC, and other long and short distance ocean races).

John has run a dozen marathons and numerous shorter road races; raced short track speed skating for five years in the early 90's and has raced 150 triathlons including nine Ironman, 7 in Hawaii. Email John

Stephanie Hucko

Stephanie Hucko

Stephanie Hucko was born and raised in Melbourne Australia. Since arriving in the United States she has worked as a personal trainer for fifteen years, specializing in strength and conditioning training for a wide variety of athletes.

She competed in her first triathlon in 1998 and went on to win the Connecticut age group division that same year. The very next year, she
successfully competed in Ironman Lake Placid, placing 6th in her age group. Stephanie took a number of years off from triathlons to pursue other interests, including boxing in the Golden Gloves NY. In 2005 she moved to Charlotte, NC with her husband. After the birth of their first son, she eagerly returned to competing in sprint and international distance triathlons. She won her age group title for the 2007, NC series. With another year off and another son, she once again returned to win the age group title for the 2009 NC series. Stephanie was recognized by the USAT which awarded her All American Triathlete for both of those years. She is looking forward to competing in her first TOUGHMAN this year. Email Stepanie

Andrea Ladany

Rich Barkin

Rich is a New York City science teacher, Jones Beach lifeguard, and creator of the MetroTri newsletter and website, a nationally recognized resource for multisport information since the mid 90's. Rich was an instructor and coach for Total Immersion swimming and has found nothing more satisfying in multisport than the relaxed smile on one of his swim student's faces as they finish the first leg of the race.

Rich found his athletic side as a swimmer at SUNY Geneseo and has been competing in multisport events since the mid 1980's. He has completed in open water swims, runs and triathlons at almost every distance offered, including Ironman Lake Placid four times with a personal best of 11:52 in 2001 and has run the NYC Marathon 11 times. Rich has been a Toughman competitor or volunteer since the race's inception, and could not have achieved half the accomplishments without the amazing support of his wife and three children.

Andrea Ladany

Stan Kroder

Stan has been a swimmer all his life. He swam at Texas Christian University and competed at the U.S. Nationals in 1986. Shortly after college, Stan switched gears first to running then to triathlon, and he has been hooked ever since.

He enjoys racing triathlons of all distance from sprint to Ironman (6-time finisher of Ironman Lake Placid).

Stan is the Executive Director of Finance and Planning for ABC News. He divides his training time between New York City (near work) and Hartsdale, NY (near home).

Andrea Ladany

Andrea Ladany

Mother, daughter, sister, runner, dancer, friend...  She never thought about adding Half Ironman to that list, but that's exactly what happened last year when she completed TOUGHMAN.  Andrea's started as a trained dancer — which she continues to do today. She had a short running career in high school track but didn't pick it back up until 2003. It didn't take long to get into it; since 2004 she's completed 8 marathons, including two Bostons! Andrea is fairly new to triathlon, and have competed in eight since 2007. TOUGHMAN 2010 was her first Half.

The new lifestyle and passion has been contagious; she shares so much with friends and other triathletes. It's so important to squeeze training between being a single mom to twin daughters and full time Human Resources professional.  She's proud of her active lifestyle and making a great impression on her daughters. Email Andrea


Andrea Ladany

Eliana Themistocleous

Eliana was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe (then known as Salisbury, Rhodesia) where she spent much of her early childhood swimming, biking and running in the African countryside. She is the Director of Creative Design for the Chateau Group in Manhattan and a proud mother of three children on Long Island.

Eliana has been actively engaged in multi-sport training and racing since 2005. She completed her first Ironman at Lake Placid in 2007 and competed in 39 races in 2011 including her first TOUGHMAN with a time of 5:52:31. She qualified for both the Boston and New York City Marathons in 2011 and is looking forward to her third consecutive Boston Marathon in 2012. She placed in the top 3 in her age group in 22 out of 39 races and finished first in her age group 8 times in 2011
Eliana has a passion for hard work, diligent training and serious racing. She is excited about spreading the spirit of triathlon to her peers and is especially proud of her daughter, Alexandra who is participating in TOUGHKids.

Andrea Ladany

Caitlin Begg

Caitlin has completed three half-iron distance triathlons along with one marathon. She did her first 70.3 at age 14 and competed at Toughman in 2010. Besides being an avid triathlete, Caitlin is also involved with Swim Across America, a charity dedicated to raising money and awareness for cancer research, prevention and treatment. Caitlin has raised over $65,000 to date for Swim Across America. She is attending and rowing for Harvard University as a member of the class of 2016.

As a contributor to Lava Magazine online and member of the Glen Rock Triathlon Club, Caitlin has experienced triathlon's growth over the past seven years. She founded YoungTri (an organization that connects young triathletes worldwide) to bring together young triathletes from all over the world and looks forward to spreading her passion for Toughman events and triathlons to others!

Andrea Ladany

Alexandra Feldstein - TOUGHKids Ambassador

In 2005 at the age of eight, Alexandra followed in her mother's footsteps and began her racing career by competing in the TOBAY KIDS TRI.  It was love at first race!   Since that time Alexandra has participated in the Diva 5k and numerous multi-sport events and her devotion to the sport and the discipline it helps develop has only grown. She is often seen at race venues with her mother and to see them race together one immediately understands why Alexandra has earned the nickname "mini-me".

2011 marked the first year Alexandra competed in the TOUGHKIDS event.

Alexandra's enthusiasm for training, her love of the sport and the camaraderie it brings no doubt that the future of Triathlon is in good hands with the next generation of racers.