Do the Du

The Door County YMCA’s Labor Day Run has grown into a multi-faceted family affair in year number nine, with the addition of a duathlon to the event sparking interest.

Two years ago the duathlon, featuring a 2-mile run/ 12-mile bike ride/ 2-mile run was added to the traditional 5k portion of the event to fill a gap in the Door County run and ride calendar.

“It’s an event that we thought was missing, and we thought it could bring in new interest and new people,” Matt Luders, Director of the Northern Door YMCA Program Center, said.

The event is staged at the Fish Creek program center. It drew 85 participants in year one, and last year the number climbed to 160. Luders hopes to top 200 this year. Last year’s Labor Day Run raised $10,000 to help support the Y’s scholarship program.

The duathlon is a great way to get your feet wet in a multi-sport event without diving in at the triathlon level, Luders said.

“Anybody of any fitness level can jump right in and feel comfortable doing it,” Luders said. “We get a good mix of people, from triathlon competitors to first time participants.”

You don’t need an expensive, bells-and-whistles bike to take part either. Luders said many people ride mountain bikes on the road course.

The Y has created a full family affair, with a half-mile children’s run in which all runners get a t-shirt and a medal. There are also activities and games available throughout the morning.

“Nobody is going to get bored,” Luders said. All participants get welcomed at the finish with a root beer float, in addition to refreshments and bakery provided by Julie’s Café.

Events like the Labor Day Run help the YMCA further its goal of inspiring healthy lifestyles in Door County. Luders said the creation of a wide array of endurance events in Door County in the last few years has spurred YMCA use and changed habits. The Door County Triathlon, Fall 50, and Door County Half Marathon have given people motivation to hit the gym.

“These events have given locals a goal to center their efforts around,” Luders said. “Directly because of that, we’re seeing people come in who’ve never been into the Y before. It has definitely motivated people.”

Register for the Labor Day Run at, then click on Labor Day Run under the “Events” tab.