2016 Athlete Bios

2016 Ultraman World Championships
Athlete Bios

Patrick Almas Patrick Almas, M29, Atlanta, GA, USA
Occupation: Consultant
Races: 1st time Ultraman, IM Chattanooga.
Entering Ultraman because: I think the race is as much about the person competing as it is about the people surrounding the competitor. For each event, I plan on bringing someone who will aid me through the prep and mental aspect.
CREW: Swim Escort: Rena Ekmanis; Land Crew: Meaghan Almas (Team Captain), Jim Almas, Suzanne Almas
Armando Armellini Armando Armellini, M46, Houston, TX, USA
Occupation: Executive Coach
Races: 2nd time Ultraman, UM Florida 2016. 8xIronman Finisher, 5 x 70.3 and mutiple marathon finish. Looking forward to completing an stand alone Ultramarathon this year or early next year. In addition to Ultraman Florida, I completed Ironman Texas 2015, Ironman MontTremblant 2015 and Ironman Cozumel 2015. Scheduled to complete Ironman Mont Tremblant in August 2016.
Entering Ultraman because:I find internal peace and purpose in Doing Ultra-Distance Sports, not in a selfish way but also as way to inspire others and show them that if a normal -chubby-guy like me can do this, anybody (with the appropriate training) can do it too!. The Ohana spirit of Ultraman is the main reason for me to participate inthis event. Sharing so much of ourselves with others as well as receiving love and support is an amazing experience, and one I hope we can replicate in our communities, not only the triathlon.
CREW: Swim Escort: Sue Roberts; Land Crew: Kristin Yoshida (Team Captain), Will Rogers, Kevin Malone, Jenni Tranweaver
Chad Bentley Chad Bentley, M43, British Columbia, CANADA
Occupation: Project Manager
Races: 2nd time Ultraman, I have completed 3 iron distance races, ultra marathons, marathons, Ultraman Canada 2014 and Ultra520k Canada.
Entering Ultraman because: I love doing ultra distance events because of the endurance test that comes from training and racing for such a long period of time. I love the planning and adaptation of race plans during the weekend of racing. Also, I truly love the comraderie and family feeling you get from Ultra racing. I want to participate in the UMWC because I want to experience the Ohana of Hawaii and push myself where the race began. I want to experience racing in the beautiful location of Hawaii. I have also crewed for UM Canada in 2013. This was my initial introduction to this aweome race.
CREW: Swim Escort: Tim Wiley, Matt Hill; Land Crew: Rick Ellery (Team Captain), Matt Hill, Greg Veitch
Kate Bevilaqua Kate Bevilaqua, F39, ID, USA
Occupation: Professional Triathlete
Races: 1st time Ultraman, 3time Ironman Champion, Ironman Lanzarote, Ironman Malaysia, Ultra520k Canada 1st Overall.
Entering Ultraman because: I love the challenge of the Ultra-Distance Events and the multi day aspect to them. Plus the amazing camaraderie between those that partake in such an experience.
CREW: Swim Escort: Guy Crawford; Land Crew: Ruth Change (Team Captain), Guy Crawford, Janine Kaye
Ailie Coulter Ailie Coulter, F34, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
Occupation: School Sports Project Officer
Races: 2nd time Ultraman, 2016 Ultraman Australia (5th Place), 50k surf coast ultra run. 100k Mountain run.
Entering Ultraman because: I love what ultras teach you about yourself and life. Not just during the event but in the lead up to the event where you have to become this awesomely organised well oiled machine to fit the training, work and life locked down. As for this event, I think my crew are equally excited about coming to Hawaii to support me as I am about doing it. I love sharing this event with my favourite people , I just couldn’t do it so well without them.
CREW: Swim Escort: Ben Payne; Land Crew: Tamara Allen (Team Captain), Ben Payne, Luke Sefton
Juan Craveri Juan Craveri , M48, Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA
Occupation: Business Owner
Races: 11th time Ultraman. Hawaii: 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014. Canada: 2010 and 2011, UK: 2011, Florida: 2014, Australia 2015, 2012 Ultraman World Championships finish time 27:55:09; 2011 Ultraman World Championships finish time 31:14:15. 1x Badwater, 2x BR135, Epic5, 47x Ironman. 2011 Ultraman United Kingdom finish time 30:18:56, 2011 Ultraman Canada 30:19:16, BR135 Ultramarathon 2013 & 2014, IM Barcelona, IM Copenhagen, IM Kalmar, 2012 Ironman NYC, Ironman Mont Tremblant, Ironman Lanzarote.
Entering Ultraman because: I love the Ohana spirit. More distance, less people and you get to meet almost everyone.
CREW: Swim Escort: Christine O’Gorman; Land Crew: Rod “Shrek” Smith, Molly Sutherland, Summer Maxwell
Inaki De la Parra Inaki De la Parra, M33, Distrito Federal, MEXICO
Occupation: Coach and Ultra-endurance Athlete
Races: 5th time Ultraman Finisher. ULTRAMAN UK, CANADA, FLORIDA & HAWAII; Last year: Hawaii World Championships, and several 70.3 & Olympics.
Entering Ultraman because: I Love Ultraman!
CREW: Swim Escort: Glee Jewell; Land Crew: Kasia Sanetra (Team Captain), Filip Matoskzo
Jochen Dembeck Jochen Dembeck, M49, Nordrhein-Westfalen, GERMANY
Occupation: Cycling Instructor
Races: 5th time Ultraman World Championships. 2015, 2013, 2009, 1999 Ultraman World Championships finisher (2009–24:25:31), +30 Ironman Finishs (PB 9h20) — Race Around Switzerland (nonstop Cycling), RATA (Race Across The Alps), TransAlpine Run.
Entering Ultraman because: To meet my OHANA, celebrate with my RAT PACK brothers, share ALOHA during race & my stay on Big Island. Have three great days with the other athletes. My three Angels will guide me and bring me to the finish line!
CREW:  Swim Escort: Annalee Akagi; Land Crew: Judith Hartl (Team Captain) Julie Vernon (Team Co-Captain)
Diogo Donadoni Santos Diogo Donadoni Santos, M35, Sao Paulo, BRAZIL
Occupation: IT Manager
Races: 1st time Ultraman, Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Australia (September 4th 2016), UB515 (320 Mile Ultra Triathon in Brazil), 2 Full Ironman Finisher, half ironman Finisher, 24 Hours Running Endurance Trail Mountain Races 21km (13 Miles) / 50KM (31 Miles) -I create a charity organisation since 2012 in order to support begginners athletes to be part of run or triathlon races. I will race the Swissman Extreme Triathlon in 2 Weeks (June 25th 2016) and my biggest race in 2016 will be the Ultraman Hawaii 🙂
Entering Ultraman because: I love ultra-distance sports !!! I enjoy every moment during the ultraman race and I’m always looking to overcome challenges I want to participate because I want to share the Ultraman lessons learned to people who think they can never participate in such event for only having time to work and take care of the family. With dedication and focus you can achieve any goal. I CAN, YOU CAN & WE CAN!!!
CREW: Swim Escort: Weston Kile; Land Crew: Sergio Cordeiro (Team Captain), Enoch Friere, Gabriela & Veronika Friere
Patricio Doucet Patricio Doucet, M41, Islas Baleares, SPAIN
Occupation: Technical Service
Races: 3rd time Ultraman, 2015 UM Florida, 7 Ironman distance in 7 days in 7 Islands, Apart of this Big Event of 7 Ironman in 7 days (October 2015), I did the Super Randonee Paris-Brest-Paris in August 2015 (1200 Km biking) in less than 90 hours, Ironman Lanzarote 7 times (this year I will participate again in May), Challenge Roth in July 2015, Super Randonee Madrid-Gijón-Madrid (1200 Km bike) in 2014, Ultraman UK (September 2014)
Entering Ultraman because: I started with the ultra-distance events some years ago and I know that they are what I love, much more than the other categories. My dream is to participate in the World championship because it woudl be like a prize for finishing this successful year and I know I am prepared to do it.
CREW: Swim Escort: Jeff Benavides; Land Crew: Lorea Santos (Team Captain), Jeff Benavides, Isabel & Patricio Doucet
Brian Fredley Brian Fredley , M48, Daytona Beach, FL, USA
Occupation: Business Owner
Races: 2nd time Ultraman World Championships, 2014 Ultraman Florida time 26:44 10th overall.
Entering Ultraman because: I love the challenge and to test my physical and mental limits, I met so many wonderful friends in the Florida event that I found are wired very similar to myself which is wonderful to share the experience with. The group dynamic is amazing.. Such a great event.
CREW: Swim Escort: Ryan Rinear; Land Crew: Art Zimmett (Team Captain), Ryan Rinear, Alexis Martin
Enrique Galindo Romero Enrique Galindo Romero, M33, Islas Baleares, SPAIN
Occupation: Empresario
Races: 1st time Ultraman, epic5 challenge 2016, uk 2015, ironman mallorca 2015, ironman 70,3 mallorca 2015, transtramuntana 2014, irontrimallorca2014, Challenge Mallorca ( Amateur), Transtramuntana, Mountain Trails, I just finished the Epic 5 Challenge and it was a really unique experience; for now the longest distance I ever did.
Entering Ultraman because: Over the last few years I have been exploring the ultra distance for me and I discovered the value and you get to know yourself in another way and overall you feel like you can do thingd you never imagined to be available to do. Every Challenge is a different lesson of live and you get to know a huge familiy in which you are getting big friends.
CREW: Swim Escort: Iris Ekmanis; Land Crew: Stefanie Roemer (Team Captain), Antonia Valespir, Jeff Snyder & Norm Carter
Rob Gray Rob Gray, M40, Boulder, CO, USA
Occupation: Endurance Coach
Races: 2nd time Ultraman, Winner Ultraman Florida 2016.
Entering Ultraman because: For me, Ultraman represents a true test of physical capability, character and teamwork. To be successful, you need to be very well prepared physically, logistically, and your team needs to embody the true sense of “Ohana”, acting together as a highly-effective family unit to achieve your goals.
CREW: Swim Escort:John Roberts; Land Crew: Chris Blick (Team Captain), Ian Hersey
Juanma Gutierrez Munoz Juanma Gutierrez Munoz, M35, Jaén, SPAIN
Occupation: Fitness Instructor
Races: 2nd time Ultraman, UM Florida in February 2016, -Ultra-Distance Wales 2014 Ultra-Tri Motril (Ultraman-distance) in May 2016.
Entering Ultraman because: ULTRAMAN IT’S A LIFESTYLE. I have a Foundation for the chrildren with cancer. All my challenges are solidarity for the kids.
CREW: Swim Escort: Jose Lara; Land Crew: Jose Lara (Team Captain), Francisco Gutierrez
John Howerton John Howerton, M36, Kailua-Kona, HI, USA
Occupation: Sales
Races: 3rd time Ultraman. 2015, 2014 UM Hawaii0, Cinco De Mayo Burrito Eating Champion 2014, 2014 Team Mango Monster. Mini Mango, Honu, Lavaman.
Entering Ultraman because: Because this event saved my life. I’m greatful to Hawaii for giving me a second chance at life, and I’m proud to represent her and even more in the future as I continue to become stronger.
CREW: Swim Escort: Wendy Minor; Land Crew: Glen Parsons (Team Captain), Acela Parsons
Joseph Jaffe Joseph Jaffe, M52, New York, USA
Occupation: Physician
Races: 2nd time Ultraman, UM Florida 2016, 21 Ironman finishes including The Ironman Hawaii World Championship in Kona October 2015. I am also an accomplished ultra runner, finishing four 50 miles ultra marathons, first place male in one of them and first place overall in the CanLake 50 10/10/09. I have also ran a 100 mile ultra trail marathon. Ran a 100 mile Ultra trail Marathon January 2016, The Long Haul Ultra 100 in Land O’ Lakes, Florida. Also biked The La Vuelta Cycle Tour in Puerto Rico. It was an average of 125 miles a day for three days. It was considered a tour and not a race. However, riders were in one of three Pelotons riding at race pace. Day one was 155 miles. Day 2 was 81 miles, and Day 3 was 131 miles. We rode around the entire Island of Puerto Rico.
Entering Ultraman because: It is a dream race of mine. I fell in love with Ironman Hawaii through years of watching it on television. When I finally got to race it the Island lived up to all of my expectations. It is a mystical, magical, spiritual place. I loved every moment of being there. I first heard of Ultraman Hawaii about 10 years ago. I was immediately both fascinated and intrigued with it. The prospect of a 6.2 mile ocean swim captivated and frightened me at the same time. My priority was racing Ironman Hawaii but that changed.
CREW: Swim Escort: Andrew Gale; Land Crew: Andrew Gale (Team Captain), Mark & Suzanne Hartman, Mary Ann Jaffee
Miro Kregar Miro Kregar, M54, Kamnik, SLOVENIA
Occupation: Event Organizer/Coach
Races: 10th time Ultraman. 1st Place 2013 Ultraman World Championship. 3 times second place overall, 2 times third place – PB 22:35, Finished 21 Ironmans – PB 8:52.
Entering Ultraman because: I like to race triathlon, from sprint to ultra distance.
CREW: Swim Escorts: Elliot Parsons & Tina Flower; Land Crew: Jennifer “Quickie” Watt (Team Captain), Kerri Tobin
Peter Lopinski Peter Lopinski, M46, British Columbia, CANADA
Occupation: Construction
Races: 4th time Ultraman. 2015 UMWC, 2014-2013 UM Canada
Entering Ultraman because: Because I find it relaxing. Have a better time this year!
CREW: Swim Escort: Denise Boatwright; Land Crew: Helena Kaziierz (Team Captain), Thomas Lopinski, Richard Khrys, Billy Rickards (run pacer)
Iona MacKenzie Iona MacKenzie, F44, Northwest Territories, CANADA
Occupation: Metallurgist
Races: 5th time Ultraman. 2015, 2014 UM Hawaii, 2007 UM Hawaii, 12 time Ironman finisher, Ultraman Canada finisher, 2 time Primal Quest Expedition Adventure Race Finisher, 2013 UM Canada, Gold Rush 70 hr Adventure Race 2013, Ironman Los Cabos 2013, Whistler 50 mile run 2012.
Entering Ultraman because: I love the Ohana and the challenge. I live and work in a sub-arctic diamond mine half of the year.
CREW: Swim Escorts: Donna Martinson & Marcy Rogers; Land Crew: Malanie Williams (Team Captain), Ken Jones
Tara Norton Tara Norton, F45, Ontario, CANADA
Occupation: Tri coach, massage therapist
Races: 1st time Ultraman, Crewed at Ultraman Florida – soooooooo much fun! I have done 2x50k trail runs and the 50mile trail run listed above. I have done 21 ironman races. Signed up for Embrunman in August, recently cycled over 800k/ran 80k/swam 20k in 7 days in Kona at Epic Woman Camp. I love triathlon and have always loved the long distance triathlons, enough to make a career out of it. I have also loves the harder races like ironman Lanzatote. I have competed at the Hawaii Ironman 6 times with a pb of 12th and 9:41. My ironman pb is 9:32. I am now addicted to ultra running. Crewing at Ultraman Florida sealed the deal for me – I have ALWAYS wanted to one day do Ultraman but the crewing experience was something so special that I am even more inspired to do this event.
Entering Ultraman because: I love going long. I love to push my limits and ultra distance sports allow me to learn about my limits. I also learned so much crewing at this event in Florida and especially love the team aspect and the feeling of support and respect within the Ultraman community. I have a 4 year old daughter who never got to see me race and I want her to experience this with me. I want to show her there are no limits, only limits imposed by yourself. I also love Kona – it feels like a 2nd home.
CREW: Swim Escort: Tom Arban; Land Crew: Donna Vakalis (Team Captain), Bruce & Maya Greenwood
Tony O'Keeffe Tony O’Keeffe , M55, CANADA
Occupation: Coach
Races: 8th time Ultraman World Championships. 2015, 2014 Ultraman WC, Kona, 3rd Overall 2014 Ironman North American Championship, Mont Tremblant, 1st Place Age Group. 2012 Ultraman World Championships finish time 25:56:29 4th overall, 2008 Ultraman World Championships finish time 22:31:54. UMWC 2002, 03, 04, 08, 12, Solo RAAM 2010, 4th place overall.
Entering Ultraman because: To hang out with David Cobb.
CREW: Swim Escort: Brandon Braam & Gil Ayoub; Land Crew: Jackie Cowley (Team Captain), Gil & Arlene Ayoub
Roland Patzina Roland Patzina, M50, Bayern, GERMANY
Occupation: Truckdriver
Races: 12th time WC Ultraman. European Record.
Entering Ultraman because: It is my Dream event.
CREW: Swim Escort: Danielle Behnke; Land Crew: Paul Aguirre (Team Captain), Franz Weber.
Ignacio Quiles Lara Ignacio Quiles Lara, M37, New Jersey, USA
Occupation: Marketing Director
Races: 1st time Ultraman, Ironman Cozumel (Nov15), Challenge Endurance 50Mi (Apr16), Ironman Lanzarote (May16), Ultra520K Canada / Aug 16 / 520K / 30hrs, Challenge Amazonia (Mar16), Aquathlon Coney Island (Jun16)
Entering Ultraman because: The breathtaking landscapes you will put on my path, the challenges we will face and the friends we will make during this amazing experience will stay on my heart and soul for the rest of my live. That’s my reason why I do ultrasports and why I want to do the greatest in the world.
CREW: Swim Escort: Jamie Pardau; Land Crew: Mariana Fernandez (Team Captain), Phil Makin, Ellis Andrews
Bernardo Ribeiro Bernardo Ribeiro, M34, Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL
Occupation: Coach
Races: 2nd time Ultraman, 2015 Ultraman Florida, Ironman Kona 2011/ half Ironman world championship 2013, 10 Ironman and 2 multidays adventure races since 2003
Entering Ultraman because: Because this kind of race make me feel stronger for the life.
CREW: Swim Escort: ; Land Crew: Rafael Clemente (Team Captain), Suyanne Frietas, Livia Lima, Fabiola DeLaurentis, Regina Zanier
Akifumi Sawada Akifumi Sawada, M41, Sakai-shi, Osaka, JAPAN
Occupation: Company President
Races: 1st time Ultraman, Trailrunning 2015, Japan Hasetune Trail Running Cup 74km, Ultramarathon 2013 Japan, Miyakojima 100km, 2016 Japan Miyakojima TRIATHLONS 202km, IRONMAN JAPAN Hokkaido 2015/23Aug2015/14h44m07s.
Entering Ultraman because: To challenge one’s limit in a world’s best ultra man race and Japanese pride.
CREW: Swim Escort: Karen Crawford & Don Coskran; Land Crew: Kantaro Oishi (Team Captain), Tatsuo Hamaguchi
Nat Smitobol Nat Smitobol, M40, Connecticut, USA
Occupation: Father
Races: 1st time Ultraman, crewed at Ultraman Florida, I am crewing and pacing Vermont100 in July this summer, I traversed the Grand Canyon and back with two friends in April. This was an incredible journey physically, spiritually, and mentally! One month after that, I ran a Ragnar Race as part of a three-person team. I logged 60 miles total and our team finished on the podium. Last August I was honored to receive the Sportsmanship award after finishing Ultra520KCanada. This was certainly the biggest honor of my life within the last 18 months. I have four 70.3 and one 140.6 race planned this summer.
Entering Ultraman because: The number one reason I do ultra events is for the people in this community. There is so much inspiration to draw from everyone involved- not just the athletes competing. I found crewing for Western States 100 and Ultraman Florida to be two of the most satisfying/rewarding experiences of my life. The ability to support someone at a time where there is no possible way for them to pay you back in that moment is the epitome of kindness, and Ultra events allows for this repeatedly.
CREW: Swim Escort: Bo Pardau; Land Crew: Shannon Whipple (Team Captain), James Whipple, Mia & Paige
Staci Studer Staci Studer, F43, Kailua-Kona, HI, USA
Occupation: Physical Therapist
Races: 2nd time Ultraman World Championship. 2015 Ultraman World Championships 28:29. Monster Mango Full 2015, overall winner, completed 11 ironman distance races, including 4 Kona qualifications (raced Kona 3 times), Ali’i Challenge 10K Swim 2015, 2014 1st F, 2013 2nd F Older than 3 yrs: Hilo to Volcano 50k 2011 1st F, 2nd OA; IMWC 2009, 2008, 2007; IMLP 2009 3rd AG, 2008 2nd or 3rd AG; IMCDA 2007 2nd AG, 2006 1st AG; GFT 2006 1st F OA, 2005 2nd F OA, 2004 1st F OA.
Entering Ultraman because: I love the UM ohana, kokua, and aloha that is shared, not only race weekend, but throughout the year. Thanksgiving weekend is about family and giving thanks. I am grateful and thankful to be a part of this family. I love my Island home and cannot think of a better way to share the weekend and home with other athletes, volunteers, crew members, visiting families, and the local community that supports and helps me.
CREW: Swim Escort: Dan Gampon & Mercedes DeCarli; Land Crew:  Dene Sturm (Team Captain), Mike DeCarli
Meredith Terranova Meredith Terranova, F43, Austin, TX, USA
Occupation: Sports Nutritionist
Races: 2nd time Ultraman World Championships, 2014 Ultraman Florida time 27:43:37 16th overall. IM Cabo.
Entering Ultraman because: I love the training for ultra-distance sports and feel that racing is just the celebration of the training. I love the family I have created to UM races. It has reminded me of everything I love about racing.
CREW: Swim Escort: Deb West & Paulo Terranova; Land Crew: Paul Terranova (Team Captain), Adam & Amelia Ellenstein
Renato Valler Renato Valler, M37, Sao Paulo, BRAZIL
Occupation: Business
Races: 3rd time Ultraman, Ultraman Florida 2015, Ultraman UK 2011, 24km swim, Ironman Brazil 2011.
Entering Ultraman because: Because I like long distance!!!! Feel good!!!!
CREW: Swim Escort: Dick Roberts; Land Crew: Todd Weinmann (Team Captain), Guila Valler
Gary Wang, M49, Corte Madera, CA, USA
Occupation: Engineer
Races: 16th time Ultraman. 2015, 2014, 2013 Ultraman World Championships finisher (27:58:09);2012 Ultraman World Championships finisher (26:35:30); 2001 – 2013 Ultraman World Championships finisher; 13 times Western States 100 Finisher.
Entering Ultraman because: To share the aloha. To be thankful.
CREW: Swim Escort: Apryl Sasaki; Land Crew: Jackie Hofmann (Team Captain), Ardis Bow
Travis Travis “Trout” Wayth, M46, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
Occupation: Self Employed.
Races: 3rd time Ultraman. 2015 Ultraman World Championships. UMOZ 2016, 2015. IM Melbourne 2015, IM Cairnes 2014 . IM NZ 2014. IM Australia 2014
Entering Ultraman because: I love the Island!
CREW: Swim Escort: George Abood; Land Crew: Rosie Spicer (Team Captain), Dave Williamson, Sandy Smith