Race Previews

It's For Everybody!


GEAR WEST XXVI - For much of it's first quarter century, especially after the millennial turn, the Gear West Duathlon was recognized as one of America's most competitive run-bike-runs. That reputation served the event well until 2012ish, when multisport attendance stared to tumble. In 2018, the GWD left the calendar as had approximately half of our state's races over the last half-dozen years.

Thanks in part to positive signs concerning event enrollment, e.g. encouraging tournouts in 2019 were enjoyed by Buffalo, Trinona and Lake Minnetonka, and to a change of marketing focus, the Gear West Du has returned, it's 26th edition slated for thei Sunday, June 23.

It's very possible that focusing on "competition" has caused some race attendances to decline. It seems that a growing percentage of multisport newcomers are "recreational," in it for fun, fitness and the social benefits. Competitive races can be intimidating to this constituency; some may even conclude that they are not as welcome as those motivated by speed and placement....


The GWD organizers understand and respect this, and have changed their marketing focus to accommodate the trend. They have instituted what they call the "Friends & Family" wave: 

The Gear West Friends & Family (Short Course) Duathlon will take place on a shortened 5km run/15km bike/2km run course and participants will be allowed to run and bike together – the idea being that parents and children, couples, friends and groups can share in the experience together; not as a relay (that option is available on the Long Course) but side-by-side in a less competitive event. Any individuals preferring a shorter race are welcome to participate in the Friends & Family Duathlon too.

Sowhile Patrick P and Becky Y and Brooks G and Andy W and Scott M and Andrea M et al are getting their race on, a significant portion of the participants, the "Friends & Family" folks, will be enjoying the experience and its myriad benefits in a more casual, less stressful way. Pretty cool, huh?

We hope you'll be at Orono Middle School on Sunday to celebrate the GWD experience with us. RACE WEBSITE