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2019 Steamboat Stinger Event Serves Up Singletrack, Sunshine and Smiles

For the ninth year in a row, the trails of Steamboat Springs’ picturesque Emerald Mountain played host this past weekend to riders and runners from throughout Colorado and beyond for the annual Steamboat Stinger event, produced by Honey Stinger.

Photo by: Noah Wezel

This year’s event drew nearly 1,000 competitors across sold-out fields to the various mountain biking and trail running categories – the most registrants the race has ever seen.

The Steamboat Stinger was created by Honey Stinger back in 2011, and the Steamboat Springs-based sports nutrition company has continued to organize and host the event every year since. It has proven to become a ‘staple’ on the calendar for mountain bikers and trail runners alike in Colorado, and draws more and more participants from out of the area each year. The 2019 edition saw 33 states represented among the racers, in addition to the United Kingdom and Canada.

“The Stinger has really become an iconic event,” said Bill Gamber, founder and co-owner of Honey Stinger. “We are so proud to be able to offer these races and show off the world-class trails that make up our backyard, and the incredible community we have here in Steamboat. The event is as much a celebration of sport, community and friendship as it is about the racing itself, and that is reflected in the attitude of each participant, and in all the hard work put in by the entire Honey Stinger team and our amazing group of more than 90 volunteers. We continue to be blown away and humbled by the support shown for this event year after year.”

The event features a 100 percent dirt, 90 percent singletrack course beginning and ending at the famed Howelsen Hill Ski Area that takes racers through aspen forests, open meadows and wild sage gardens. Lung-busting climbs are rewarded with spectacular views and long, swooping descents.

All funds raised through the event go directly to two local nonprofits: Partners in Routt County and the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund.

Photo by: Noah Wetzel

Saturday, Aug. 10 – Mountain Bike Races

Saturday featured the mountain bike races, including both a solo 52-mile division and a duo category, where riders each tackle one loop of the 26-mile course.

In the solo pro/open women’s division, Lesley Paterson of San Diego, Calif. took top honors, completing the course in 5:02:26, ahead of Kara LaPoint of Carbondale, Colo. in second and Gretchen Reeves of Avon, Colo. in third.

On the men’s side, Steamboat’s own Tanner Visnick bested the field with a record-setting time of 4:02:40, ahead of fellow local Alex Pond in second, with Aaron Pool of Aspen, Colo. rounding out the podium. The citizen’s divisions were won by Erin Walter of Grand Junction, Colo. on the women’s side, with a time of 5:28:12, and Patryk Matecki for the men, in 4:55:34.

In the singlespeed category, Amy Dannwolf of Golden, Colo. and Will McDonald of Aspen took top honors with times of 6:05:53 and 4:31:33, respectively. Pete Tomitsch of Palmer Lake, Colo. won the solo Clydesdale category in 5:47:00.

In the duo races, the team of Boniface/Mulliken of Steamboat Springs dominated the women’s field to win the race by more than 15 minutes, with a cumulative time of 4:53:17. Team Lawton/Wither, also of Steamboat, took second, followed by Muir/Gallagher in third.

The duo men’s category saw team Carter-Gibb/Ollweiler of Boulder, Colo. take a commanding win of their own, completing the course in 4:24:52. They were followed by team Ross/Eberly of Golden and team Lueckel/Berget of Lakewood, Colo. in second and third, respectively.

In the duo co-ed category, team Carrington/Denney, of Salt Lake City, took top honors in 4:49:24. Team Silver/Silver of Boulder finished up second, and team Glassmeyer/Glassmeyer of Steamboat Springs rounded out the podium in third.

Photo by: Noah Wetzel

Sunday, Aug. 11 – Running Races

On Sunday it was the runners’ time to shine, with both a 13.1-mile half and a 26.2-mile full marathon race taking place. In addition, some athletes were taking on the challenges of King Sting and Queen Bee – combining times from both the solo mountain bike race and the full marathon – and the Bumble Bee – combining racers’ lap times from the duo mountain bike race with their half marathon times – to be crowned as overall winners of the weekend.

In the women’s marathon, Emily Ward of Richmond, Va. took the win, completing the course in 3:58:15. Taylor Matecki of Pueblo West, Colo. finished second, while Kimberly Pugel of Boulder rounded out the podium.

On the men’s side, Boulder’s Tyler Fox turned in a blazing time of 3:08:30 to take top honors. He was followed by Josh Robertson of Steamboat Springs in second and Jordan Jones of Golden in third.

In the half marathon, Lesley Paterson once again came out on top after her victory in Saturday’s bike race, with a time of 1:42:52. Sarah Kerwin of Ann Arbor, Mich. finished second, followed by Pearson Aspalch of Steamboat Springs in third.

Cale Allen of Englewood, Colo. won the men’s race with a time of 1:31:43, followed by Lakewood’s Paquito Lopez in second, and Daniel Goding of Loveland, Colo. in third.

Photo by: Noah Wetzel

King Sting/Queen Bee and Bumble Bee

Nine women conquered the “Queen Bee” category, completing both the full 52-mile bike race on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday. Kara LaPoint took the crown with a combined time of 9:21:11, followed by Amelia Shea of Charlotte, N.C. (10:21:41) and Avon’s Gretchen Reeves (10:31:50).

In the men’s “King Sting” challenge, Boulder’s Scott McCalmon bested the field, with a total time of 8:31:56 across the two days of racing. He was joined on the podium by Joshua Merrick of Fraser, Colo. (8:54:30) and Miles Graham (9:03:57).

In the Women’s “Bumble Bee” category, Deanna McCrdy of Littleton, Colo. took the win in 4:17:59,  ahead of Steamboat’s Amy Lawton (4:18:30), and Kiki Silver of Boulder (4:27:58).

For the men, Finn O’Connell of Steamboat Springs came out on top with a combined time of 3:54:36, followed by fellow local Ben Glassmeyer in second (4:02:40) and Peter Santini in third (4:07:05).

Complete event results can be found here.

Photo by: Noah Wetzel