Announcing 'GearJunkie/WEDALI' Race Team!

GearJunkie.com is proud to announce a partnership with Minnesota-based Team WEDALI! Beginning in January, the champion squad will be renamed ‘Team GearJunkie/WEDALI’ for the 2012 adventure racing season. For the past year, captained by veteran racer Justin Bakken, WEDALI dominated the domestic AR scene, including a huge first-place finish in the 2011 Checkpoint Tracker Adventure Racing Championship. In 2010, WEDALI was also crowned the nation’s No. 1 team, winning the United States Adventure Racing National Championship event by beating the best teams in the country in a tough 24-hour race.

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Not as mean as they look! WEDALI strikes a pose (tongue-in-cheek) after winning the 2011 AR Championships

WEDALI has been a top team in the United States for years,” said Stephen Regenold, editor and founder of GearJunkie.com. “We are psyched to sponsor this world-class squad and have WEDALI on the ‘Team GJ’ roster.” GearJunkie/WEDALI joins GearJunkie/YogaSlackers underneath the publication’s “Team GearJunkie” umbrella. Each squad will have its own roster (and potentially even race against each other in events next year!) but the squads will remain distinct on the GearJunkie Team micro-site.

WEDALI is thrilled to be joining forces with our friends at GearJunkie,” said Justin Bakken, who co-founded WEDALI in 2003 and now serves as captain. “We appreciate GJ’s enthusiasm for adventure racing and the commitment to bringing our sport to the masses.”

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Scott Erlandson, Molly Moilanen, and Justin Bakken of WEDALI after winning the United States Adventure Racing National Championship race in 2010

The 2012 GearJunkie/WEDALI core team will include Bakken, Scott Erlandson, Molly Moilanen, Scott Lund, Jason Nielsen and Andrea Nielsen. In addition to a full season of racing, the members of GearJunkie/WEDALI will be tasked with pushing limits in races while also testing new gear along the way to contribute to the publication’s rigorous gear tests and reviews. “In adventure racing, having the right gear is as critical as knowing how to read a map,” Bakken said.

As with Team GearJunkie/YogaSlackers, which raced all over the world in 2011, the new GearJunkie/WEDALI squad will contribute to published gear reviews. Additionally, GearJunkie.com will feature race reports, articles, and videos from both squads.

GearJunkie/WEDALI and GearJunkie/YogaSlackers will each register as a distinct team in the Checkpoint Tracker national ranking system. Jason Magness will continue to captain GearJunkie/YogaSlackers along with the core team of Daniel Staudigel and Chelsey Magness. Additional Team GJ racers Tom Puzak, Kelly Brinkman, Andrei Karpov, and Stephen Regenold will alternatively race with both Team GearJunkie squads in 2012.

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Bakken, arms raised, leads his team on an orienteering leg at the Adventure Racing Championships

Like 2010 and 2011, Team GearJunkie kicks off the season again in full speed in South America, where in February the GearJunkie/YogaSlackers squad returns to the Patagonian Expedition Race, an 8-day event. (Team GearJunkie/YogaSlackers took 2nd place in the 2011 Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race.) Top domestic racer Kyle Peter of Team Tecnu Extreme Staphaseptic will join GearJunkie/YogaSlackers in Patagonia in 2012.

“We have made a big commitment to adventure racing,” said Stephen Regenold, himself a veteran racer. “The sport of AR pushes limits like nothing else in the outdoors, including an athlete’s physical limits and the utter limits of gear. This combination is a perfect storm for GearJunkie’s mantra of ‘testing equipment to death’ and reporting to readers with the results.”

—Follow Team GearJunkie, both GearJunkie/WEDALI and GearJunkie/YogaSlackers, on the publication’s micro-site channel throughout 2012.

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Finish line: WEDALI completes the 2009 ‘Primal Quest,’ a weeklong expedition race

Related Content:
> “U.S. Adventure Race Championship: WEDALI Wins!”

> WEDALI Wins Adventure Racing Championship”

> “Q&A: Team WEDALI

> “Primal Quest Underdog Champions”

> “Year in Review: Team GearJunkie/YogaSlackers”

> “Adventure Racing’s Dysfunction and ‘Dueling National Champs”

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