The Birth of a New Sport
Double Racing® was created by Bob Anderson in the summer of 2010. Seven small events were staged by Ujena Fit Club in Mexico between Oct 2010 and Oct 2012 called the Bob Anderson 15k Challenge. Bob participated in each event to refine and develop this new sport called the Double Racing.
The first official Double Road Race® was held December 23, 2012. Nearly 1400 people registered for the Pleasanton, California event. The title event is the Double 15k. It's a 10k followed by a 5k with a break in between featuring the Recovery Zone. The time when the second leg starts is called the restart. The clock begins with the first leg or stage takes off.
"Double Racing is doable for runners at all levels. It is the next new challenge," says creator Bob Anderson who also founded Runner's World magazine in 1966. "Many people have asked me how I first came up with the idea for the Double Road Race."
"It all started in the summer of 2010 when I was out on a training run with my son, Michael. As we ran, we reflected on the sudden increase in popularity of the half marathon. Perhaps that was due, in part, to the much shorter recovery time after a half marathon compared to the marathon. I love the half marathon and Michael and I ran the Boston Marathon April, 2013, but I also felt running needed something new," Bob continued.
"To backtrack for a moment," says editorial director David Prokop. "Bob started Runner's World magazine when he was still in high school back in 1966. He loved running with a passion. He published the magazine for 18 years, during which time the circulation climbed to 435,000 before selling it to Rodale Press in 1984."
"My dad has always been an innovator and idea man at heart," says Michael Anderson. "As I was growing up I remember attending events he created like the national fun run program, the Corporate Cup Relays, National Running Week, and the 24-Hour Relay. After he sold Runner's World in 1984, these programs were discontinued because the new owner was not interested at that time to be producing events."
"When I sold Runner's World," continued Bob, "I signed an agreement that stipulated that I had to stay out of the "business" of running for five years. Subsequently I started a swimwear company called Ujena, and besides being the CEO I became our chief photographer as well. As is typically the case with any startup company, I was working 60-80 hours per week. I was still running regularly but I just did not have time to race."
"The years passed, Ujena became an established company, and more time opened up for running - and ideas. Back to that run with Michael in 2010, our conversation ultimately turned to the triathlon, which is a competition I would have liked to try but never have. Not too many people know this but I don't swim very well. I was telling Michael I thought running needed something special, something new. Like a triathlon, but different. A new event where both world-class runners and entire families could join together, challenge themselves and have fun!"
Photo: the Recovery Zone during the Halftime at the 2012 Pleasanton Double. The Double Road Race is the only running event with a halftime.
"Then an idea suddenly occurred to me. Let's do two races in one day with a short rest in between. Let's add the times together for scoring. Let's keep records. Let's set up guidelines. Let's start a new sport."
The name actually came later as did the rules and regulations.
"After two years of testing and finalizing everything Bob was ready to launch the first official Double Racing event," says Double Road Race Federation board member Justin Wall. "Bob ran all seven small test events held in Mexico. He learned a lot, made some changes, put together an event production team and started making plans for our first official Double Road Race in Pleasanton California."
"The weather was challenging in Pleasanton December 23, 2012," says daughter and Ujena swimwear president Lisa Anderson-Wall, "but my dad and his team pulled off an exciting event. My kids ran the Bob Anderson's Kids Cup Mile. The atmosphere in the Recovery Zone was electric. I can't wait for the next Double."
The Double is a world class and family fun event. Runners of all abilities participated in the first Double. You too can do the DOUBLE!!!!
"The Double is a unique experience," says Bill Dunn.