Athlete of the Month

The Team Sheeper Athlete of the Month award is handed out to a member of the team on a monthly basis, 7 or 8 times a year. The AOM is someone who made a notable contribution to the team or did something remarkable. Selection is made by nomination and voting by the membership.

You can nominate anyone and the nomination period is usually during the first week or two of the month. Look for notification that nominations are being sought.  When nomination close, the voting starts and once all the votes are tallied, the new AOM is crowned.

Besides bragging rights for a month, our AOM gets some goodies from our gracious sponsors, such as free shoes from TRH, a massage from SMI, gift certificates from GoRide.

The Runner's High is proud to sponsor this month's athlete who embodies the spirit of Team Sheeper. We are about more than just improving athletic skills and performances.

Clarissa Turner

May 2002 Athlete of the Month

With the numerous fine team performances in May, we were having some difficulty picking our Athlete of the Month. That is, until we drilled a little deeper and discovered that Clarissa had dropped her Wildflower Half-Ironman time (6:07) by a whopping 57 minutes from 2001. Add to that her consistent workout attendance and her strong work ethic, and we had a hands-down choice for the May Athlete of the Month.

Clarissa first entered the sport of triathlon through Team In Training, then moved on to Team Sheeper. "After TNT, I was ready to challenge myself a bit more and take it to the next level," she says. She'll continue that transition this year when she tackles Ironman Canada, her first Ironman distance race. Along the way she'll throw in the Half-Vineman, and then later in the year she hopes to qualify for the Boston Marathon at the California International Marathon.

The multidisciplinary nature of triathlon is what Clarissa, a marketing manager for Palo Alto software company Responsys, finds most appealing about the sport. "I like the challenge of bringing it all together -- working on the details and fitness and strength of each sport, and then working to figure out how to excel in each of the areas when you pile one on top of the other," she says. On top of that, she observes, "you have to be completely in tune with your body and always monitor your pace. It constantly keeps me in check and keeps me on my toes."

This focus on triathlon is relatively new for Clarissa, whose primary passion before 2001 was soccer. "Like most kids, I played pretty much every after school sport you could imagine, but soccer was my passion," she says. That passion earned her a place on the team at U.C. Davis during her college years. She has also managed to complete four marathons.

Clarissa approaches triathlon as she does any other facet of her life. "In all aspects of my life, not just triathlon, the most important thing to me is to be able to continually set new goals for myself," she noted. "I want to be proud of my accomplishments, but I also want to always be tempted by the next level. I never want to take on new challenges half-heartedly. I always want to be able to look back and know that I honestly put in the best effort I possibly could and not live with any regrets." Which is not to say that she won't enjoy herself along the way: "I also want to make sure that I keep my priorities balanced and that I am having fun. If I am not having fun, then it is not worth it to me."

A prime example of this philosophy for Clarissa is this year's Epic Ride, her most memorable Team Sheeper experience to date. "Although it was the toughest and longest ride I had ever been on, Kathleen, Julie, and I truly had a fun, relaxing day -- all nine hours of it!" she says. "Our slogan that day was, 'Money in the bank -- cha ching!' after every hill. We pushed when we needed to, but held a very steady pace, talked, and even laughed quite a bit."

We look forward to seeing what Clarissa can do in Canada and to next year's time drop at Wildflower!