Team Director, Head Swim Coach - Jim Vance

Jim is the founder, Team Director and Head Swim Coach of Formula Endurance, a USAT High Performance Team and USA Swimming Program in San Diego, focused on developing youth and junior elite swimmers and triathletes. He is also a Level 2 and Youth & Junior Certified Coach for USA Triathlon, as well as an Elite Coach for TrainingBible Coaching. Jim holds a BS in Physical and Health Education, K-12, from the University of Nebraska, where he ran track and cross country. He was a school teacher for 6 years, before committing to triathlon full-time.

Jim is also a former professional triathlete, who spent time at the US Olympic Training Center, training under the guidance of the National Team Coaching Staff, as well as saw success with two World Championship titles as an amateur, in both XTERRA and ITU. His range of performances also stretch to Ironman, where he finished 3rd overall at the 2006 Ironman Florida, in a time of 8:37:09.

He has coached National Champions, and World Championship podium finishers, for both amateurs and elites. In 2011, Jim was named US National Elite Team Head Coach for the Duathlon World Championships, leading the US to one of its best team performances ever at the event.

Jim uses his knowledge of the sport, training theory, and education with his teaching experience to be a high performance coach.

In 2013, Jim co-edited the book, Triathlon Science with best selling endurance training author Joe Friel. 

Education & Career Experience:

B.S. Physical and Health Education, K-12, University of Nebraska, 1999
USA Triathlon Level 2 Certified Coach, 2007 
USA Triathlon Youth & Junior Certified Coach 2011
USA Track and Field Level 1 Coach 2000
1999-2005 - Elementary and high school teacher, Physical Education, Math, Technology

Coaching Highlights:

2011-2012 US National Elite Team Head Coach, Duathlon World Championships
2010-2012 USA Triathlon webinar presenter, featured coach in educational programs
2008-2011 Triathlete Magazine, LAVA, Inside Triathlon freelance contributor
2009 writer, featured coach
2009 featured writer
2008-2010 - Author of monthly column on training for Competitor Magazine, nationally published
2005-present - Presenter at countless clinics, camps, lectures
2004-present Coach to numerous triathletes, including a USAT National Champion, Kona Qualifiers, Elites

Jim has been involved in coaching at the high school, collegiate and post-collegiate level for over 18 years, in the sports of running, swimming, cycling and triathlon.

Notable Athletes Jim has or is currently coaching:

Matt Hoover, winner of NBC’s The Biggest Loser
   Parvati Shallow, winner of CBS’s Survivor
   Renata Bucher, 3-time XTERRA European Tour Champion
Adam Zucco, 2011 Amateur Champion Oceanside & Kansas 70.3, 9:16 Ironman, #1 ranked athlete USAT Men 35-39
Scott Iott, 2009 30-34 Men Champion, Chicago Tri, 2xKona qualifier, 8:59 Ironman, Racine 70.3 Champ Men 35-39
Emma Garrard, US Elite Winter Tri Champ, 3rd ITU Cross Worlds 2011
Jon Tumilson, US Navy Seal, 2005 Half Max Clydesdale National Champion
Numerous nationally ranked Youth Elite and Junior Elite athletes 

Career Athletic Highlights:

2006 3rd at Ironman Florida 8:37:09, 1st American
2005 ITU World Champion Men 25-29, 3rd overall
2005 Inside Triathlon Magazine – Amateur/Pro Triathlete of the Year
2005 USAT Male Age-Group Triathlete of the Year - Honorable Mention
2004 XTERRA Amateur World Champion
1994-1999 4-year letter-winner at University of Nebraska - Cross Country, Track and Field



Youth Swim & Triathlon Coach - Bobbie Solomon

Bobbie is the head coach of the Formula Endurance Youth Team.  She is a USAT Level 1 Certified Coach, USAT Youth and Junior Certified Coach, USAT Certified Official, ITU Technical Official and Ironman Bike Marshal. She holds a Bachelors of Arts from San Diego State University with a major in Journalism with an emphasis in Advertising.

Bobbie’s extensive coaching background began 40 years ago.  She started teaching and coaching swimming and eventually became a USA Diving Coach.  She coached for several high schools and created the first USA Diving Team in Marin County, CA.  Once she discovered triathlon and open water swimming she began her path to coaching the sport and to get involved in officiating.

s education, love for the sport and passion to promote triathlon to youth and juniors makes her the perfect addition to the Formula Endurance team!

Education & Career Experience

ITU Technical Official, 2012
USA Triathlon Certified Official 2011
USA Triathlon Youth and Junior Certified Coach, 2011
USA Triathlon Level 1 Certified Coach, 2010
Ironman Bike Marshal, 2010
USA Diving Coach 2000
B.A. Journalism with an emphasis in Advertising, San Diego State, 1979

Coaching Highlights:

2012 – Diving Coach for St. Augustine and Our Lady of Peace High Schools
2010 – Started working with Formula
2008 – Became the TCSD Beginner Open Water Swim Coach
2008-2009 – Volunteer Diving Coach at Grossmont Junior College
2006-2007 – Volunteer Diving Coach at UCSD
2001 – Created first USA Diving Team in Marin County, CA
2000-2002 – Head Diving Coach for Tamalpais and Redwood High Schools, Marin County, CA

Officiating Highlights:

2012 – Ironman World Championships
2012 – USAT Official – Malibu International & Sprint
2012 – ITU Technical Official – Pan American Cup
2012 – ITU Technical Official – Canadian Provincial Junior Elite Championships
2012 – USAT Official – Vineman Full
2012 – Ironman Vineman 70.3
2012 – ITU Technical Official – ITU World Triathlon San Diego
2012 – Ironman Oceanside 70.3 – Captain of Bike Marshals
2011 – USAT Official – Orangeman Triathlon
2011 – USAT Youth and Junior Championships
2011 – Ironman Oceanside 70.3 – Captain of Bike Marshals
2010 – USAT Youth and Junior Championships
2010 – Ironman Oceanside 70.3 – Captain of Bike Marshals

Career Athletic Highlights:

2007 – Completed 1st triathlon at age 50
1998 – Started competing diving as a age group diver
1977 – Placed 4th in CA
1975 – Only woman on all male diving team at California State University, Chico


Assistant Swim Coach - Ryan Petker

Ryan Petker grew up in the waters off the California Central Coast; surfing, swimming, kayaking, etc. At age 10 he began to swim competitively and eventually transitioned into water polo, competing within both sports throughout high school and community college. In 2006, Ryan accepted the Head Coach position with the Peninsula Family YMCA and within a year built the young team of 26 swimmers to 150, the maximum the YMCA would allow in the 6 lane pool. During his 6 year tenure as Head Coach Ryan chartered a USA Swimming Club Team within the YMCA Swim Team, coached 7 consecutive YMCA of San Diego County Swim League Championship Teams, developed dozens of Junior Olympic Qualifiers, and produced a handful of Far Western Qualifiers. 

In 2012 Ryan graduated from S.D.S.U. with a Master of Arts Degree in Economics and reluctantly resigned as Head Coach to pursue a career in banking. Currently, he is employed as a Portfolio Manager with U.S. Bank and is a member of the Peninsula Family YMCA Board of Directors. In the past two years Ryan has begun competing in various endurance events such as centuries, half and full marathons, ocean swims and olympic distance triathlons. His current goal is to complete an Ironman. 

Education & Career Experience

  • ASCA Level 1 - The Foundations of Coaching

  • ASCA Level 2 - Stroke School

  • ASCA Level 3 - Physiology School

  • YMCA Swim Official - Level 2

  • YMCA Trainer - Principles of YMCA Swimming and Diving

  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Science

  • Master of Arts in Economics