Team Wins End-of-Season Events
For the first time in the sport of adventure racing, a team has won both U.S. National Championship races.
Each autumn, the United States Adventure Racing Association and Checkpoint Tracker, the two domestic adventure-racing leagues, each host a National Championship race.
This year, the Minnesota-based Team GearJunkie/WEDALI won first place overall in both of the National Championship events.
“Winning both National Championships is unprecedented,” said Stephen Regenold, founder and editor of GearJunkie.com. Regenold, also a racer, competed with Team GearJunkie/WEDALI in the Checkpoint Tracker Championship Race in West Virginia.
More than 50 teams from around the country competed in the end-of-season events, held in late September and early October in West Virginia’s New River Gorge and the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York.
Challenges on the wilderness courses included trail running, mountain biking, paddling, riverboarding, and navigation with map and compass. Both events required more than 24 hours of constant racing and more than 100 miles of human-powered travel through the wilderness.
For the championship events, GearJunkie/WEDALI beat many of the nation’s top teams — twice. Said Regenold, “Some of our team members have been involved in the sport of adventure racing for nearly a decade. The dual National Championship win is truly the result of years of training and racing around the country and the world.”
Team GearJunkie/WEDALI is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Its sponsors include Wenger North America, Fenix Lighting, and Platypus Hydration.
On GearJunkie.com, the team has a dedicated micro-site (GearJunkie.com/Team) where it publishes race reports, videos, gear reviews, and athlete interviews from the 20+ events it competes in each year.
Team GearJunkie/WEDALI is comprised of 10 athletes who rotate to race in various events, from “sprint” adventure races that last six hours to the 24-hour+ events.
Team Captain Justin Bakken leads the squad. Bakken raced in both the USARA and the Checkpoint Tracker championships this year, and he has also captained teams to victories in these races in years past, though never winning both in one year.
For the USARA championship race, the team was comprised of Justin Bakken, Scott Erlandson and Molly Moilanen. For the Checkpoint Tracker championship race it was Bakken, Editor/Founder of GearJunkie.com, Stephen Regenold, and athletes Kelly Brinkman and Thomas Puzak.
Full details on each race are found on GearJunkie.com:
Beyond the Nationals wins, the team had a successful season, including victories around the country in regional events. The squad also finished in First Place in the cumulative Checkpoint Tracker Season Rankings, beating more than 200 teams.
GearJunkie/WEDALI would like to thank its fans, supporters, and sponsors. “We are so psyched and happy with the race season this year!” Regenold said. “Truly unbelievable to come away with these results.”
Logo courtesy Outside PR/ Gear Junkie and Wedali