(Steamboat Springs, Colo.) â€“ For Max Taam and Sari Anderson, racing two laps of the 25-mile Steamboat Stinger mountain bike course on Saturday just wasn't enough. Alongside a handful of other hearty souls, Taam and Anderson came back to run essentially the same course on Sunday at the inaugural Steamboat Stinger Trail Marathon, and finished with the fastest combined times to claim â€œKing Stingâ€ and â€œQueen Beeâ€ titles.
In its second year, the Steamboat Stinger mountain bike race drew nearly 500 riders who woke up to cool, cloudy skies on Saturday morning. Overnight rain made for perfect, tacky riding conditions on the course that snakes up Emerald Mountain for a total elevation gain of more than 3,330 feet in each 25-mile lap, 90 percent of which is singletrack.
In the men's race, Russell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./Subaru-Trek) took the early lead while Kalan Beisel (Colorado Springs, Colo./Orbea-TuffShed) and Peter Kalmes (Steamboat Springs, Colo./Honey Stinger-Bontrager) took up the chase. Finsterwald came through the first lap with a two-minute gap and eventually widened his lead to win by a comfortable 10 minutes in a new course record time of 4:14:01. Beisel and Kalmes battled for second place with Beisel eventually coming across the line less than a minute ahead of Kalmes.
In the women's race, seven-time national cyclocross champion and last year's Stinger winner, Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./Subaru-Trek), repeated her win with a time of 4:57:39. Behind her, Sari Anderson (Carbondale, Colo./Honey Stinger-Bontrager) and Kelly Boniface (Steamboat Springs, Colo./Moots) traded back and forth for second place until Anderson pulled away on the second lap to finish in 5:02:45. Boniface wrapped up third place with a time of 5:05:34.
On Sunday, the Steamboat Stinger added a couple of new races with a trail marathon and half marathon on the same Emerald Mountain racecourse, with one mile added for a full 26-mile marathon. Honey Stinger co-owner Lance Armstrong (Aspen, Colo.) joined the field of nearly 200 runners for the full marathon course.
Armstrong dominated the men's race, winning by an 8-minute margin in 3:18:10. Erik Stanley (Austin, Texas) was second in 3:26:04, and Austin Johnson (Denver) was third at 3:30:22.
For the women, Sari Anderson proved she can run as well as ride, and took the win with a time of 3:52:30. Callie Bradley (Oak Creek, Colo.) was second in the race at 4:04:21, and Julie Olsen (Lafayette, Colo.) was third in 4:05:21.
As the top combined finisher in the two races, Anderson earned â€œQueen Beeâ€ honors for the women, while Max Taam (Aspen, Colo./Honey Stinger-Bontrager) claimed â€œKing Stingâ€ for the weekend. Cowboy hats from the famous F.M. Light and Sons store in Steamboat Springs were awarded to men's and women's winners in the solo mountain bike race, marathon and Queen Bee and King Sting competitions.