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Coaches

Liz Elliott
Liz Elliott

Liz brings years of competition, teaching and coaching experience to TVTC. Liz swam competitively through college, where she earned all-American honors in freestyle, the Coaches Award, and was Captain of her team. She began competing in triathlons in 2003, and has completed every distance of triathlon, including Ironman Canada in 2007 and again in 2011, where she improved her overall performance. She completed Ironman Coeur d'Alene in 2012, Ironman Arizona in 2013, and Ironman Cairns in 2014. Liz has taught and coached swimming for 20 years, including high school, seasonal, and year-round teams. At one point, she led a year-round swim team of over 350 swimmers at five pools, and coached an elite group of age group swimmers. She founded the Happy Fish Swim School in 1999, which now has indoor, year round locations in Fremont and Livermore. She led a management team of nine, wrote the curriculum, oversaw the hiring, trained and managed staff, and directed the company vision until 2011. Liz currently writes the monthly column "TriSteps" in SportStars Magazine which helps prepare athletes who are new to the sport.

Liz is a USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach, and has coached both group and individuals in triathlon since 2004. She spent 13 seasons with the Team in Training triathlon and run teams as a participant, mentor, captain and coach. Five of those seasons she spent coaching the Silicon Valley teams and another three coaching the East Bay teams. She has coached individuals of all skill levels to successfully complete Olympic, 1/2 and full Ironmans. She founded TVTC in January 2010 after a successful "Run Club" she led as a perk to her staff at Happy Fish. Liz's strengths lie in breaking down each skill into digestible pieces for athletes, and leading group workouts. Her technical coaching skills lie in swimming and running at all levels while she continues to expand her personal and coaching abilities in cycling. She believes in training for the long term in sport, and to constantly set goals and achieve them through small steps.

Liz graduated with honors from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology with emphasis in Exercise Physiology and the Social Aspects of Sport, and earned a Masters degree from the University of San Francisco in Sport Management. She also holds a teaching credential, and taught seventh grade English and history, and ninth grade PE.

Lael Heinig
Lael Heinig

Lael is an athlete, competitor, and leader. Lael played competitive soccer year-round and attended camps taught by professional European players for 12 years. In college, his passion changed as hockey consumed all of his time. He started playing roller hockey and then quickly moved to ice hockey. Lael attended several top level hockey camps which led to him coaching a women's hockey team for 2 years. In 2003, his passion changed again when he joined Team in Training (TNT) and ran his first marathon. Since 2004, he has completed many more running races, including 10 marathons and 25 half marathons. In 2005, he joined the TNT triathlon team and has since completed every distance triathlon from sprints to Ironman. In his 3rd Ironman at Ironman Barcelona he set a new personal best by 96 minutes to finish in 11:45:29.

Lael is a certified USA Triathlon Level 1 and USA Cycling Level 3 Coach and has been coaching triathletes for over 4 years. Lael is always learning and is a certified bike fitter from Bike Fit. While his strengths lie in endurance running and cycling, he has a passion for the science behind training and racing.

Lael graduated with honors from UC Davis with a BS and MS in Computer Science, and he was a teaching assistant for several undergraduate courses.

Dan Smedley
Dan Smedley

Dan has over 15 years triathlon racing experience and is passionate about triathlon. Dan grew up playing many traditional sports including football and baseball and even did some unconventional sports like BMX bike racing, motocross, and surfing. Dan loved the competition and he loved challenging himself to excel. Fun fact about Dan is that he ran a 5:12 minute mile in his middle school PE class which put him on the top 10 all time for his school. In College, he took up mountain biking and running to stay fit and started entering running races like 10Ks and ½ marathons to stoke his competitive fire. In 2002, one of Dan’s friends convinced him to sign up for a Sprint triathlon. Dan only had a mountain bike at the time and only did a minimal level of swim training, but after the very challenging event he was hooked! For many years Dan trained and competed in triathlons alone without the support of coaching, a club or community. In 2013, he joined TVTC and fully realized how important it was to be surrounded by community and have coaching support in order to help reach his goals. He is a self-professed finish line junkie and loves to watch and cheer on teammates and competitors cross the finish line, inspired by seeing the joy and emotion of people reaching their personal goals. Dan was recognized as a USAT All American athlete for his age group in 2016 and 2017 and qualified and competed in the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship. Dan believes in continual improvement and that his best years as an athlete are still ahead of him.

Dan is a USAT Level 1 Coach. He is excited and enthusiastic to help athletes progress in their triathlon journey and is a student of the science behind training and racing.

Dan graduated with honors from Cal Poly Pomona with an English degree and from Columbia University with a Masters in International Finance. He is currently working as a Transportation Program Manager at Google. One of his primary roles is managing Google’s many bike programs.

Andrew Wong
Andrew Wong

Andrew brings years of experience racing and competing in a variety of triathlon distances. Andrew grew up participating in several sports including soccer, skiing, tennis and golf. However, competitive swimming was his primary passion at an early age, despite being the last swimmer out of the water in his first 25-yard race. Andrew started his triathlon journey by signing up for a Sprint distance race and placed second in his age group using a rented bike. Since then he has completed over 30 races in distances ranging from Sprint to 70.3. Over the years Andrew has accumulated 7 podium finishes, qualified for USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship several times, and won the Roka First Out of The Water Award at Ironman 70.3 Oceanside.

Andrew joined Tri Valley Triathlon Club as an athlete in 2013 where he experienced the camaraderie and enthusiastic team environment that is engrained in its culture. Over the years Andrew’s role with the team has expanded from swim coach specialist, youth-elite coach, to full-time coach. Andrew coached the Performance Group, a subset of the overall TVTC team, during its inaugural season in 2018. He proudly watched as each athlete in the Performance Group achieved their own personal records during Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz. The cumulative effect resulted in a first-place trophy for TVTC in Division V of the Ironman TriClub Program.

Andrew is a USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach. He believes in incremental improvement through consistency and technique. He is enthusiastic about partnering with athletes to achieve their personal goals.

Andrew graduated from the University of Southern California with a BS in Business and from the University of Michigan with a Master of Business Administration.

Francisco Gomez
Francisco Gomez

Francisco is a running & fitness expert, an athlete, coach, academic, and motivator. Francisco coached three seasons at Holy Names College men's and women's cross country and track coach. Along with his brother, another fantastic athlete and coach, he founded The Fit Potato here in Dublin, and has led it for the last four years. As an athlete, he has qualified for and will be running the Boston Marathon. We're so excited to begin this partnership with a local coach and fitness professional with the same ideas of how fitness should be....fun and about you. And he's a great, local guy.

Francisco specializes in total body transformations, weight loss/ muscle toning, pre/post pregnancy fitness, senior fitness expert running coach, rehab/gait analysis, and nutritional guidance/habit changing

Francisco holds a B.S. in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition, and is currently working on his Master's degree in Kinesiology.