Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fundraise for Clean Water Project in Kenya

Team World Vision allows runners to dedicate ANY event they run to raising funds for clean water projects in Kenya. We do not have a minimum fundraising requirement, and you can STILL register for Twin Cities Marathon with us! Simply visit THIS LINK and use the code CHPTWV10M to register. Registration CLOSES FRIDAY, SO HURRY!

Visit to set up your fundraising page or find out more about Team World Vision. Contact Bradley Hofbauer at or 612.217.2723 for more details. See you on October 3rd!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gear West Minneapolis 13.1 Marathon Race Recap

On Sunday, August 22nd, the inaugural Minneapolis 13.1 Marathon was held. The race ran from St. Anthony Main along the Mississippi River down to the finish at Lake Nokomis. Almost 1,900 runners completed the half marathon on a beautiful morning and the winner of the entire race was Chad Ernst of the Gear West Racing Team. Chad, from Richfield, MN, had a great performance leading nearly the entire race and crossing the finish line in a winning time of 1:13:50, a pace of 5:39 per mile. His time was good enough to win the race by nearly 3 minutes over second place!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Jenny "Employee of the Moment"

Full Name: Jenny Beckman
Age(optional): 21 years
GW Position: Part Timer
Weight (optional):
Height (optional): 5’ 11”
Athletic Ability: I like to think I have some

Where did you grow up? Hometown?

Maple Grove, MN

How long have you been working at Gear West?

A little over a year

What do you do at Gear West?
Whatever I’m asked to do? Primarily on the sales floor

What is the most interesting aspect of working at Gear West?
Getting to know the products better, and seeing all of the new innovations and changes in technology.

Not the people?
The people here definitely make it an interesting job, it’s a very friendly, fun working environment.

What drives you in this business?
The fact that I am a part of the active community that uses the products we sell. Because I am passionate about the sports we cater to, I can better relate the customer and help them to find a product that will best suit his/her needs.

Color coordination is key to any great racer

Through your life experiences, how d
id you find your way to Gear West?
When I was 14 I (or should I say my parents) purchased my first pair of race skis, fit by Speedy. The same year I had some troubles finding a good pair of running shoes for track, I had a gait analysis done by Wendi and I haven’t had any running related injuries since. After experiencing the superior level of service provided by the staff here, I can remember wishing that someday I could have the knowledge that they did, and thinking that working here would be the best job ever. Livin’ the dream.

I think that it is safe to say that Gear West helped make the dream come alive. Is it the BEST job ever?

For me at this point, absolutely.

Was this the first time on skinny skis?

Not even close. I’ve been on skis since I could stand. My parents would take us (my older siblings and I) out to Elm Creek often, the Northern Lights loop was our favorite. It was hard work for us when we were small, but we enjoyed it because we knew our parents would let us have hot chocolate when we got home. When I was really little (3 years old or so) my mom would keep M&M’s in her pockets and share them with me as long as kept moving. I started racing when I was in 8th grade.

At 3yrs old, Jenny demonstrates the M&M No-Pole Training Method

Were there any other childhood sports that you participated in?

Basketball, Soccer, Swimming, Dance, Cross-Country, Track, Cycling, and Nordic Skiing

Wow!! That is impressive. How did you manage to keep it all straight? Did you ever show up to basketball in a swim cap?
Haha…thankfully no. I owe it to my very, very organized mother.

Maple Grove Senior Photo: Skis...check. letters of achievement...check. Smile...check.

Any sweet sports achievements or personal victories?

I’ve won a couple Elm Creek time trials, does that count? MVP of the SCSU Nordic team for both 2008-09 and 2009-10.

Elm Creek victories are just a stepping stone to something greater. Do you have any major goals for the season or beyond?
This being my final year at the collegiate level I’m hoping to stay healthy. The goal is always the same, improve from last year’s results and of course, have fun.

If you are a prospective student/athlete please contact Jeremy Frost at SCSU

Do you have any strengths/weaknesses?
In relation to what? I have weak arms and pretty strong legs? A little better classic skier than skater?

Well, I meant it as a general question to see your response. Are you a better classic skier than a skater? Do you have weak arms and strong legs?
Yes. When it comes to my schedule I’m generally pretty organized, however if you saw my room, you might think otherwise.

Where are you attending college? What are you majoring in?
Currently attending Saint Cloud State University, will be graduating in May 2011 with a degree in communication studies with an emphasis on leadership and organization with minors in marketing and intercultural communication.

Do you have an idea of what you would like to do with your major? It’s ok to say NO. I majored in Economics and work at a ski shop, soooo…
I’m not entirely sure, I do know that I’d like to stay in this industry, I love being able to tie my favorite activities with my work.

Family supported

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lynne "Employee of the Moment"

Full Name: Lynne Joy Cecil
Age (optional): no way... 48
GW Position: sales
Weight (optional):125lbs.
Height (optional):5’4"
Athletic Ability: above average... and stealing from Leibsch - DEPENDS ON THE SPORT

Where did you grow up? Hometown?

I was born in Montana…yeah, that's the Wild West, and raised in Plymouth. I went to Wayzata High School. I currently live in Bloomington. There were a few years when I lived in Crested Butte, CO; telemark skiing, mountain biking and running wild.

Why would you ever want to move from the Wild West to Plymouth, MN?
I played and experimented a little too hard… it was the wild part that got the best of me

What childhood sports did you or didn’t you do?
CHEERLEADING... is that a sport??

OOOh…pom-poms and everything! Where were you in the Cheerleader pyramid?

No pyramid back then. I think we were called “unathletic big mouths.”

Where's Lynne?

Any sweet sports achievements or personal victories?
I had a blast on the Fischer/Salomon Marathon Team for years (a long time ago) and won several marathons in the US: the California Gold Rush, the Tour of Anchorage, 1990 Birkie, overall Great American Ski Chase winner.... Mora 58K, 42K, 35K winner. I can sprint when there is money on the line, winning 5 Birkie Sprints!! I also have run several road and trail marathons and very successfully participate in the Tri Loppet every year with my ole pal Speedy. My biggest victory is bringing my 3 beautiful daughters into this world who continue to challenge and push me and bring me great joy.

"Cecil, who won the pre-race sprints for the third straight year, said ' I didn't even have a beer after winning the sprints this week,' she said. 'I was more serious.'" - Star Tribune

Unfortunately, I am relatively not-so-fast now. I highly recommend not completely losing your base! Haha. I am getting more fit now, and just want to bridge the gap with Jan a little more…bahahahahahah… but seriously, it’s just fun to get some fitness back and I enjoy racing enough and LOVE to feel good while racing… and I can’t say enough about how much I enjoy the camaraderie and atmosphere of racing!

Lynne racing on custom cut-off classic skis and boots

College/Secondary Education/Degrees/Philosophies?
U of MN graduate, Elementary Education, LA School of Joyology, certified Joyologist

Is that Los Angeles School of Joyology?
Yes, I went to school in LA and studied with Jason Mraz to spread love, joy and gratitude on the planet. I am working to become a world class Joyologist. I am a work in progress as my sarcastic side continues to show up…

Through your life experiences, how did you find your way to Gear West?
My parents owned BJ's Bike & Ski for 20 years and BK was the "ski guy" there... I met Jan at the Dachsten Glacier... children came...we raced together (skiing, trail running...) kids grew up and I’ve always loved retail... so it was an easy path to GW.

The Daughters - photo by Mike Krieter:

How long have you been working at Gear West?
I’ve been at GW for 4 years, some part-time.

What is the most interesting aspect of working at Gear West?
Oskar, the people, the enthusiasm, the fitness, the motivation, the new equipment, the cute clothes, the dogs, and the events….the variety, the energy.

Have you learned anything or grown as a person while at Gear West?
Yes, most definitely. Ask anyone here… I have more gratitude every day.

What drives you in this business?
The people....

What about the people drive you?
Every person that walks in the door has a story along with athletic goals… and I find them all fascinating… what motivates people and how different people find happiness and balance and how the role of fitness serves them in their lives.

Speedy driving Lynne at the Tri-Loppet

What do you do at Gear West?
Sell, Sell, Sell… and work with warranties and some ordering.

How about spreading Joy to all?
Well, when I answer the phone Gear West, this is Joy… it helps me to get out of myself and show up in a happier, more joyful way…

Do you have any strengths/weaknesses?

Umm…is that yes or no? Duh is not exactly what I was looking for.
Strengths – yes! Weaknesses – yes! I’m working on time management now and BALANCE in all my affairs… more Joy, less sarcasm, more focus…