The "Certs" of Special Events...


GEAR WEST DUATHLON - In the 60s and 70s , pre Tic-Tacs, Certs had a popular and successful advertising campaign in which one impossibly good-looking person stridently asserted to another impossibly good-looking person, "It's a breath mint!" The other good-looking person then argued, "It's a candy mint!" Then an unseen announcer halted the argument, claiming: "It's two, two, two mints in one." Visually punctuating the two-two-twos were two rolls of Certs smacking together....

Beware of Fast Teenagers...


GRANITEMAN CLEARWATER SPRINT - The original Graniteman Triathlon happened in 2004 in Rockville, a bucolic berg southwest of St. Cloud. JOHN SHELP and SARAH FOLEY were the winners that year.

The race soon outgrew its venue, and organizers wanted a site that was closer to the Twin Cities. So, after just six years in Rockville, the event was moved to Warner Lake near Clearwater. 2019 marks the 16th anniversary of the event, and 10th anniversary of it at its current venue.

According to the race website, the event features the following:

It offers both sprint and olympic distances and features a unique point to point sprint distance swim, a beautiful bike ride through rolling country roads, and finishes with an out & back run that includes both paved and natural surfaces.  There is also a park for the kids, live music, great food, fantastic race swag, great awards, and awesome door prizes!

In other words, Graniteman Clearwater is awesome.

It's fun for us to make some predictions, which we do to stimulate interest and conversation, so, according to the registration list we saw last week, let's do some name-dropping....

"I Became Stronger"....


By Erin Ladendorf


"It never gets easier, you just get faster...."


IRONMAN MADISON 70.3 (NOT A) RACE REPORT - Thank you Greg LeMond for that amazing quote. And thank you to coach Mike for reminding me of it post race. Because I have never actually felt those words truer than when I raced Ironman 70.3 Madison this last weekend.

I have been racing for going on 6 years. And every single year I am a better athlete than the year before in one way or another. Some year its speed. Other years its mental toughness. Other years it's just learning how to race and maintain my sanity. 2019 is another year of monumental gains for me in several areas of my racing. I am part of an incredible team of people on the Elite Wattie Ink team for starters. And knowing that group for the last year has given me more inspiration than I have had in the last 6 years combined....

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....

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