Aspen Snowmass, Colo., August 4, 2014 – Ben Sonntag of Durango, Colo. took home first place in the Power of Four Mountain Bike Race Saturday for the second year in a row, with a time of three hours, thirty-three minutes and twenty-three seconds (3:33:23.2). Sonntag originates from Germany but has been a resident of Durango since 2008. He is also a former National Collegiate Champion hailing from Fort Lewis University.
The challenging race combined the four ski areas of Aspen Snowmass – Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk – into one demanding course with an estimated 9,000 feet of vertical gain, 9,000 feet of vertical drop and over 36 miles of top-rated single and double track trails. Last year’s winning time by Ben Sonntag was just a few minutes faster at 3:28:03.
“They always say that the first time winning a race is the easier than defending a title. That was definitely true today,” says Sonntag of the close competition with Jay Henry of Avon, Colo. Henry was also second place to Sonntag in last year’s race.
The race consisted of solo racers as well as teams of two and four. The field proved to be competitive and John Gaston, local athlete and founder of Strafe Outerwear, trailed just minutes behind Sonntag and Henry to take third place. Results for each category were as follows:
Men’s Solo Racers:
- Ben Sonntag, Durango, Colo. – 3:33:23.2
- Jay Henry, Avon, Colo. – 3:35:05.8
- John Gaston, Aspen, Colo. – 3:37:10.9
Women’s Solo Racers:
- Gretchen Reeves, Avon, Colo. - 4:20:39.3
- Blair Vajda, Boulder, Colo. – 4:35:15.4
- Jessie Young, Aspen, Colo. – 4:42:39.1
Coed Teams of Two:
- Rachel and Shawn Hadley – 4:05:10.0
- Hailey Swirbul and Graham Houtsma – 4:29:42.3
- Pam Seidler and Brian McCall – 4:58:57.2
Relay Teams of Two – Men:
- Gregory Strokes and David Steiner – 4:05:11.8
- Mark Logan and David Borchers – 4:13:18.1
- Bryan Cook and Joe Christiansen – 4:27:00.1
Relay Teams of Two – Women
1. Rachel Beck and Tess Weaver Strokes – 5:16.19.0
Relay Team of Four
1. Jason Elliott, Katie Elliott, Sander Elliott and Corey McClernon – 6:06:49.0
Complete results of the race will be available later today at the following link:
For photos by Jeremy Swanson please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aspen/Snowmass would like to thank the Aspen/Snowmass Power of Four sponsors: Muscle Milk, Clif Bar, Smith Optics, Helly Hansen, GoPro and Shocktop Belgium White.
Aspen Skiing Company operates the four mountains in the Aspen/Snowmass area - Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk - as well as the award-winning Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen/Snowmass. The area offers unparalleled nightlife and off-slope activities as well. Aspen/Snowmass is accessible by two of the most convenient airports in the mountains – Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) (3 miles from Aspen) and Eagle County Airport (EGE) (70 miles from Aspen). For more information on Aspen Skiing Company, please call 800-525-6200 or 970-925-1220, or visit the company’s website at www.aspensnowmass.com.