Nate Wilson of Honey Stinger/Bontrager wins Bailey Hundo

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New comer to the team this season, Nate Wilson has been having quite the debut year for his mountain bike racing campaign. After solid races at the Whiskey 50 Off Road events in Prescott, he’s been on a steady rise. Then, just last weekend Nate showed his abilities and took the big victory. 

“It was a tough race, but overall pretty smooth single track for the first

~60 miles that I was actually riding decent on and then road the last 40miles.

After the typical start of race chaos, it pretty much sorted out to me, Greg Krause, and Jake Wells at the front.  Jake was out descending us a bit, but not by a massive amount and we kept rolling back on the climbs.  After about

50 miles though I made a mistake on one techy section and went over the bars and lost those guys.  Eventually we popped out on the road at about mile 60.

I was solo from there for awhile, until I caught those guys on the long climb of Stony Pass.  I made it up to them midway up the climb and was able to put a gap on them.  Though I nearly lost it, because I thought it was all downhill from the top of the climb so I didn’t eat anything more because I was pretty cracked on eating.  But it was still another hour with a lot of hard rollers.  So I had a 2 minute gap for awhile, but started to come apart the last few miles and it was down to just 20seconds at the end.  But I held on for the win, with Greg Krause in 2nd and Jake in 3rd.  It was a fun race, but after going through that not sure I want to do a 100 miler ever again, ha!

Definitely threw down a lot of waffles and chews over the course of the day”

Big congrats again to Nate on his win! 

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Honey Stinger Launches Into Summer with New Products

Honey Stinger is proud to announce will kick off the summer of 2014 with three new products. We will expand the popular Organic Stinger Waffle line with a new Gingersnap flavor and the certified gluten free Organic Energy Gel line will now contain two caffeinated options, Chocolate and Strawberry Kiwi. These three new products will hit stores in the coming weeks and will available for purchase online at www.honeystinger.com on Wednesday, May 28.

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“We are excited to offer up three new products to fuel our customers as we get ready for the summer months,” states Rich Hager, chief operating officer at Honey Stinger. “Our caffeinated products have been very popular and we’re excited to support our organic gel line with two new flavors caffeinated naturally using green tea. Our Stinger Waffles remain our most unique product and gingersnap is a perfect fit for our newest offering.”

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Honey Stinger Organic Gingersnap Stinger Waffles will be sold in boxes of 16 individually wrapped waffles. Each waffle is 160 calories and contains no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup or trans fats. A box of 16 waffles will retail for $22.24 and retailers have the option to sell waffles packaged for individual sale at $1.39. Chocolate and Strawberry Kiwi Caffeinated Energy Gels will be sold in boxes of 24 and will retail for $33.36. Individual gel packets can be purchased for $1.39. Each gel will contain 32 milligrams of caffeine derived from green tea.

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Honey Stinger/Bontrager at Eagle Outdoor Festival

 

Josh Bezecny leads Colin Osborn in the Pro Men's race

Josh Bezecny leads Colin Osborn in the Pro Men’s race

After a long spring, filled with lots of snow, it seems summer is coming quick, and with it brings heated racing back to Colorado. This past weekend was the 2nd annual Eagle Outdoor Festival with Firebird races being the main event. Starting under beautiful blue skies, the Pro/Open Men and Women took to the course in fury.  Getting stronger as the race progressed, Josh Bezecny moved up the entire time, picking off racers every lap while working with Colin Osborn to finish 13th and 14th in strong field.

In the women’s race, Kelley Cullen lead the charge for the team finishing on the podium in 3rd place. Suffering a bit from the heat, but still riding strong was Hannah Williams coming home in 6th place.

The next weekend, racers will be split between two classic Colorado events, the Gunnison Growler and the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Mtb race.

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Honey Stinger/Bontrager Team Camp

Every Spring, the Honey Stinger/Bontrager mountain bike descends upong Fruita, CO in search of dry trails and fun times. Every year, the team works to become more acquainted  with their new equipment, and bond with new team members. We are happy to present, the 2014 Honey Stinger/Bontrager Mountain Bike Race Team!

 

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Bonelli Park and Fontana US Cup’s

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Written by: Colin Osborn

Every March I always look forward to the opening rounds of the Pro XCT. While California, specifically SoCal isn’t quite my cup of tea for places to visit, I do love the riding and racing in those parts. The courses are always super fun and challenging, and the racing is fast and exhilarating. Much like every year, lining up is quite the adventure, but this year that was taken to a new extreme. While the races still felt very much like the national series of the years past, the racing itself was as close to world cup as you could get.

First race up was the Bonelli Park cross county. The course is really fun to ride, with lots of climbing. Some parts are pretty steep and have some off camber twisty sections that remind me of cyclocross racing. Coming from snowy Colorado, it was great to be on the mountain bike again, but was certainly lacking any flow or finesse I may normally have for riding. Come race day, it was hot! Really Hot. I believe the announcers were saying it was over 80 even in the shade. Coming from 30 degrees and snowy in Colorado, I suffered to say the least. After starting in the 100′s I was at least able to climb up to 71st before I was pulled in the 80% rule. This was not too much of a shocker considering all the World Cup caliber riders there, but would be lying if I said it didn’t sting the ego a bit. I did ease a bit after seeing more than half of the field fell victim to the same fate.

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Later in the day was the Super D, where thankfully things went a bit better. With a very small field, I was able to nab 12th. Nothing stellar, but a great effort to get some more legs underneath me.  The next day we had the short track. In year’s past, it’s been hard for me to find me footing, but have really come to enjoy it. Much like all the races, it started fast and never let up. I was happy to come away in 39th place, feeling a bit better with my fitness.

The next weekend was the 3rd round of the Pro XCT in Fontana. The course there is very different from Bonelli, but also a blast to ride. This year they added even more climbing to the course and a ripping downhill descent. Truly, one of my favorite courses to race on. Just like in Bonelli, it was hot and things started in fury. still starting back in the 90′s, I had my work cut out for me in terms of jockeying for position. Luckily I made some good moves and found some holes and got into a fast moving group. It mostly contained Brady Kappius, Bryan Alder and Drew Edsall and a few others. All of us seemed to share the same mentality, race as hard as you can, otherwise we’ll get lapped. Luckily it work and we continued to pick off other racers. On the last lap I really started to feel the effort come back to bite me as I started to fall apart, but was lucky and happy enough to hang onto 59th place. I don’t know when I’ve ever been so happy to finish 59th.

1509042_631105523605073_186050076_n All in all, it was a great kick off to the season. The racing was extremely hard, but also super fun. A big thanks to all the Honey Stinger/Bontrager team sponsors for making it happen! Already looking forward to going back to California next year!

Colin

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Speed Dating the Grand Canyon

By: Justin Barker

Justin on Kaibab Trail. Photo: Jeff Rueppel

Justin on Kaibab Trail. Photo: Jeff Rueppel

It’s a magical moment when you find yourself fighting the urge to vomit and fall to your knees as bats in the moonlight beat the air next to your face. The South Kaibab trail is relentless at hour 14. Two miles to go, I was “running” a 60 minute mile. I looked down the moonlit canyon and could easily make out switchbacks lying in a pile at my feet. The bright half moon allowed me to ascend without a headlamp. It’s just as well; I needed the view.

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Photo: Jeff Rueppel

14 hours ago I did use the headlamp as I jogged down the trail with two friends. They had never met, and I hadn’t seen the one in over 10 years. We high-stepped over water-bars, logs, and rocks, chatted about old times, got to know each other and let ourselves get carried away with optimism. One member of the party even announced that he was sure to make it back before sundown. The previous evening at the trailhead, an experienced runner gave me some advice: “It’s not a race to the North Rim. You have to make it back across the river. From there, you can crawl out.” Though I thought about it, I didn’t try crawling. I doubt it would have been much easier.

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Photo: Jeff Rueppel

The strongest runner had the first wildlife encounter. He had pulled well ahead and met a bighorn sheep on the trail. The sheep eyed him for a moment then advanced and squeezed by. Less than an hour later, we passed four deer grazing only feet from the trail across the creek from the Bright Angel campground. Only one of us noticed.

We stopped at Phantom Ranch to refill water. My friend bragged and entertained the campers who stood outside the cantina warming their hands around their morning coffee. Reactions to our endeavor varied from the incredulous to the dismissive.

After Phantom Ranch the trail climbs slowly through a box canyon of nearly 2 billion year old schist and granite to more open areas near Cottonwood campground and Ribbon Falls. I would like to have seen the falls but I didn’t feel a detour would be wise.

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Message board at the North Rim. Photo: Justin Barker

At Pump House we found a chalkboard with a mysterious message. “Gerd #74 03/08/14″. We pondered it’s meaning, added our own names and refilled our water. I decided to walk the remaining 5.5 miles to the North Rim. My friends pulled well ahead and I didn’t see them again until about three miles later when I heard a booming laugh. This was Gerd’s way of introducing himself. Gerd was coming down the second leg of his 74th crossing. He must have seen many like us in so many crossings, yet he was keen to talk. He joked, gave words of encouragement, laughed and continued down the trail. The next human I saw was a man on a mission. He loped past and grunted his greeting. I could practically see his earbuds pulsing. Shortly after, the leader of our group came running by. He was about 10 minutes ahead of me.

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Justin at the North Rim. Photo: Jeff Rueppel

We had been advised to carry microspikes in case of ice on the trail. I had forgotten mine but it turned out not to be an issue. There was some snow on the trail, but it wasn’t hazardous. The second member of my party was waiting for me at the north rim with Brian, an Arizona Trail hiker. Brian was looking at the last 80 miles of an 800 mile hike. He seemed envious of our food.

The north rim is cold in March. We didn’t linger. As I ran back into the Canyon I began to feel the effects of the distance. I gave up running just after Cottonwood campground and walked into Phantom Ranch. I was happy to find my friends waiting for me. We were all going to come out of the Canyon well after dark. I had read somewhere not to worry, that the canyon is magical after dark. Whoever wrote that was right.

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We finished our adventure after 16 hours, 42 miles and 11,00 feet of climbing. The Grand Canyon is a special place. If you are a long distance runner you owe it to yourself to go there. You don’t have to run across and back in one day, but you should at least put your hands and feet in the dirt. Do it for whatever reason drives you. Do it for that magical moment when you don’t give up.

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Justin and Jeff after completing the Rim2Rim2Rim.

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Honey Stinger/Bontrager Team Announcement

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 Honey Stinger, the leading manufacturer of honey-based nutritional products, is proud to announce the members of the 2014 Honey Stinger-Bontrager Mountain Bike Race Team.This year’s team will ride Trek bicycles equipped withBontrager parts and equipment. Members of the team will compete in local, regional and national level mountain bike races across the country, including the US Pro XCT. Clad in honeycomb kits, the 20-person roster will be fueled by Honey Stinger’s organic waffles, gels, chews, energy bars and protein bars.

“It’s inspiring to see how our great products and a fun atmosphere have grown a group of employees and friends into an elite level race team,” says Honey Stinger head of marketing Len Zanni.

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2014 team members include multiple-time Wisconsin Off-Road Series (WORS) champion Abby Strigel, Winter Park Epic Singletrack Series champs Tammy Saddle and Kelly Magelky and former Bontrager Pro Cycling Team member Nate Wilson. Other members include Colin Osborn, Peter Kalmes, Hannah Williams, Sam Chovan, Daniel Matheny, Wade Newsom, Ezekiel Hersh, Trevor Walz, Nate Bird, Travis Scheefer, Jeremy Young, Rose Alfond, Chris Brandt, Rob Peterson, Bill Gamber and Len Zanni.

 

Sponsors of the 2014 Honey Stinger-Bongtrager Mountain Bike Race Team also include Big Agnes, Smartwool, Achieve Health & Performance, TrainingPeaks, Osprey, Planet Foods, Alpina Capital, Backcountry.com, BAP!, ButcherKnife Brewery, Feldman Nagel, LLC and Mountain Flyer.

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Honey Stinger team participates in the 23rd Annual Steamboat Pentathlon

Steamboat Pentathlon group

 

As Honey Stinger being a proud sponsor of the 23rd Annual Steamboat Pentathlon we also participated in the event with an all-female team.  Consisting of 5 ladies, 3 from Honey Stinger and 2 from our sister company Big Agnes.   Our team came charging out of the gates with one goal in mind… FUN!  The day began with epically beautiful temperatures and skies that were as blue as can be.  The race start was a mass of over 200 participants ranging from 8 year old kids, teens and adults.  Some were out to race and others were there to dress up in their finest costumes with a goal of completing the course.  This is a one of a kind race consisting of 5 portions.  The first being a run up the mountain and ski down to the transition area where the snow shoe runner takes off, next the skate skier, then the mountain biker and finally the road runner.  There are 2 distances available short course and standard that can either be done individually, as a duo or as a team.   Although our team, Stingas Keep Stingin’, did not win any awards we sure looked good in our bee costumes and had fun doing it!  Thank you Steamboat Pentathlon for a great event!

Steamboat Pentathlon group linda and reall


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Steamboat Stinger 2014 August 16th-17th

Kelly Magelky

This year we are proud to announce the fourth annual Steamboat Stinger,  The Steamboat Stinger, now a Colorado classic, aims to provide a challenging backcountry race experience showcasing some of Steamboat Springs’ finest singletrack.

REGISTRATION IS NOT YET OPEN. WE ARE AWAITING FINAL PERMIT APPROVAL. WE WILL ANNOUNCE RACE REGISTRATION OPENING DATES SHORTLY. PLEASE CHECK BACK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Just like in years past, in addition to the mountain bike race, we will also feature a full and half trail marathon as well. These two events can be separate, or if you wish to take the ultimate challenge, you can particiapte in both events- the 50 mile solo mountain bike race, and then the 26.2 trail marathing the next day – to be crowned King Sting or Queen Bee of the Steamboat Stinger.

These events are true to Steamboat Springs’ tradition: epic fun with an added bit of western flair. Giddy up!

THE MTB COURSE:
You can expect singletrack…lots of it. Beginning at the Howelson Hill Ski Area right in the heart of Steamboat, the course takes an extended detour deep into the beautiful backcountry of Routt County before returning to the transition/finish area. Racers will wind through open meadows, deeply-cupped, aspen-lined, narrow Colorado loam and wild sage gardens offering incredible views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. It’s a 50-mile race, plus or minus a bit, composed of two 25-mile loops – 100% of which are on dirt featuring 90% singletrack. Full course info coming soon.

THE TRAIL MARATHON / HALF MARATHON COURSE:
The course for the running races have yet to be finalized but will be very similar, with the 26.2 Marathon course being nearly identical to one lap of the mountain bike course plus a bit more to reach marathon distance.

The Half Marathon trail will not include Ridge Trail or Beall Trail. Full course info coming soon.

ANY MORE QUESTIONS?

Shoot us an email (PLEASE DON’T ASK ABOUT REGISTRATION OPENING DATES) at SteamboatStinger@HoneyStinger.com

Official Steamboat Stinger site located here: http://www.honeystinger.com/steamboatstinger.html

Follow us on Twitter @sbsstinger

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Honey Stinger partners with Warrior Hike

Honey Stinger is proud to announce a partnership withe the Warrior Hike “Walk off the War” program. With more and more veterans returning from overseas with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it’s become all the more important to find the proper outlet and sanctuary that the outdoors and long distance hiking can provide. The Warrior Hike program has partnered with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to provide an experience for today’s veterans to transition back to normal life. Honey Stinger is proud to support Warrior Hike.

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