What Exactly is Enduro?

Photo: Brandan Eisma

Are  you an avid mountain biker yet wonder “what is enduro?” Fear not, you are not alone. We sat down with Honey Stinger Bontrager Mountain Bike Team rider Cooper Ott to get the low-down.

Hello! My name is Cooper Ott and I race Professional Women’s Enduro. I am here to give you a look into an enduro race weekend. Some of you might be wondering “What is enduro?” Enduro mountain biking is a stage race where the timed stages are downhill. The climbs are like going on a group ride with a bunch of friends – hanging out, talking about the stages, eating waffles and energy chews. Once you have made it to the top of the stage, you wait for your turn to race. Usually you have some time to drink more water, put on your pads (I wear knee pads, elbow pads and a chest/back protector) before being called into the start gate.

In the start gate while nerves run high, I like to try to remember all the key sections of the track that I practiced earlier in the week. The 15 second warning comes, then 5…4…3…2…1… and boom! Sprinting out of the gate as fast as I can! Because enduro stages are typically anywhere between 3 and 20 minutes long, it is important to find your rhythm quickly. Some stages are super technical, full of rock gardens, drops and jumps, while other stages are more smooth with fast flowy sections. The perfect race has a good mix of technical and flow.

Ott on the top step for Vail’s Outlier Off-road Festival summer 2017

At the end of the day, the person with the lowest combined time from each stage takes the top step. Most of the races are around 30-45 minutes of timed racing, and in the end racers are separated by only a few seconds.

To prepare for these races, I try to plan a few hard days of riding back-to-back to simulate the amount of riding I will be doing during practice and the race. This season my focus was on improving my handling skills. I spent a lot of time working on drops, jumps and rock gardens. For fitness I relied on long trail rides, pushing myself on the steep challenging climbs.

Even though there is only 30-45 min of timed racing, we are on course for an average of 5 hours. It is so important to stay fueled. I usually pack a couple Honey Stinger waffles and energy chews to eat between stages. If the transfer is short I eat a waffle, but if it is a long transfer I make sure that I am eating frequently to keep fuel in the tank for the upcoming stage. For the biggest days, I also pack a protein bar and eat it immediately after I am done with the last stage. It is especially important to refuel when it is a two day race. The last thing you want to do is race technical and physically demanding stages on an empty stomach.

Race weekends are physically demanding but so much fun. Getting to hangout with friends as you climb, eating tons of Honey Stinger goodies and being outside riding bikes. What more could you ask for?

Stay connected with Cooper…
Instagram: @cooperdendelott
Blog: https://cooperdendel.weebly.com/
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HIVE SPOTLIGHT: Get to know Trek Cyclocross Collective racer Caleb Swartz

Photo: Jeff Kennel

Caleb Swartz

Home base:
Indianapolis, Indiana

Main sport:
Cyclocross/Mountain Bike

How did you get into the sport?
I grew up watching my parents race, and when I was nine years old I decided I wanted to try it too. I immediately fell in love, and this is now my 9th season of mountain bike racing and my 10th season of cyclocross racing.

Do you compete for a team or for sponsors?
I race for Trek Cyclocross Collective.


Greatest personal accomplishment: 
In cyclocross, my greatest accomplishment has been placing 32 in the 2017 World Championships in Bieles, Luxembourg. For mountain bike, winning the 2017 Mountain Bike National Championships 15-18 Short Track title.

Athlete you look up to and why?
I greatly look up to my teammate and mentor Brian Matter. He has been racing mountain bikes professionally for almost 20 years and has taught me a lot about racing and training over the past few years. We also both love eating tacos and hitting jumps any time or place, so we get along well.

What is your profession (if not your sport)?
I am currently a student at Marian University in Indianapolis, studying biology and racing collegiately.

Favorite Stinger fuel:
Organic Caramel Waffle

Fueling tip – when do you eat your Stinger?
-For mountain bike races I take a Stinger gel every lap, alternating caffeinated and non-caffeinated.
-For cyclocross I take a non-caffeinated gel 15 minutes before the start and a caffeinated gel right before the start.
-For training rides I like to change things up by bringing bars, waffles, gels and chews on longer rides so that I have options.

Words of wisdom:
-Keeping your training and racing fun is key to sustainability and success.
-Foam rolling, stretching and compression socks are all extremely helpful for recovery, in addition to Honey Stinger Protein Bars and Mike’s Mix Endurance Recovery Drink .

Photo: Kenny Wehn

Stay connected with Caleb…

Instagram: @cswartzz
Twitter: @cswartzz
Blog: http://calebcycling.blogspot.com


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HIVE SPOTLIGHT: Get to know Siobhan Pritchard + Run Rabbit Run Recap

Siobhan Pritchard

Home base:
Conifer, Colorado

Random fact about yourself:
I am legally blind.  I had surgery in 2006 to implant lenses into my eyes so I can see.

Main sport:
Mountain Ultra Trail Running

Do you compete for a team or for sponsors?
Rabbit , Runner’s High Team, Swiftwick , nuun , and Honey Stinger

Tell us about your most recent race, Run Rabbit Run, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
I went into RRR a bit nervous after a DNF in 2015. I was confident in my training, but you never know what might happen in a 100 mile race. My game plan was to start slow. I’ve blown up and watched so many other runners blow up in the first 40 miles that I knew to run my best I had to start conservatively, so I could run strong at the end.

It’s tough watching everyone else take off, but I stuck to my game plan and started picking off runners as we headed around Emerald Mountain. I didn’t want to start thinking about race place until closer to mile 70, but I ended up moving into the lead much earlier. It’s tough mentally to hang onto the lead for 60ish miles, but I just continued to stick to my race plan. I picked up my pacer at mile 70ish, and that was a welcome relief to running through the night. He was also able to give me updates on the other girls, like my friend Kara who was running a great race and only a few minutes back. It just fueled me to keep running hard. One of my race goals was to run from Summit Lake (mile 82ish) to the finish strong, and I pretty much nailed this section. That’s probably the part I’m most proud of. I love finishing races strong, and this was  great finish for me. I definitely didn’t have a perfect day and know that I left some time out on the course, so I’m excited to come back and push myself even harder

How did you hear about Honey Stinger?
Back when I was training for my first 50 miler, the girl I was running with swore by Honey Stinger gels.  I had no idea what I was doing or how to fuel, so I tried it and loved it!

Favorite Stinger fuel:
Grapefruit Energy Chews

Fueling tip – when do you eat your Stinger?
Before a big climb and at the top of the climb.  I like the chews because I can just pop one when I’m starting to feel a bit low on energy but don’t need a ton of calories at that moment.  It’s the perfect amount

Favorite quote to leave us with:
“Here is your chance to find your own way…Go on your own.  Be adventuresome.  Don’t forever seek the easiest way.  Take the way you find.  Don’t demand trail signs and sturdy bridges.  Don’t demand we show you the mountains.  See them and find them for yourself…Here’s your chance to get lost, fall in the creek, and find a beautiful place.”
-Randy Morgenson

Stay connected with Siobhan…

Website: http://www.runhardrunning.co

Instagram: @mtnrunner78

Twitter: @siobahnp78

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Honey Stinger Introduces Kids’ Gluten Free Organic Waffles in Time For Back-To-School

We are excited to introduce an all-new line of Kids’ Gluten Free Organic Waffles. The late summer launch of the Kids’ Gluten Free Waffles coincides with the start of school, as the new waffles are an ideal back-to-school snack for the busy, active child

“We’ve built off of the sweet success of our Gluten Free Organic Waffles and created the perfect snack for kids, available in two delicious flavors: Wildflower Honey and Honey Cinnamon,” said Rich Hager, Honey Stinger co-owner. “Our Gluten Free Organic Kids’ Waffles are tailored to fit the nutritional needs of children. With 70 wholesome calories, these two thin waffles sandwiched by honey are perfect for kids on the move.

The Kids’ Organic Gluten Free Waffles are available in two flavors, Wildflower Honey and Honey Cinnamon. The snacks are available for purchase in boxes of six waffles (MSRP $6.50) at www.honeystinger.com and through select retail partners. Honey Stinger’s new Kids’ Gluten Free Waffles are certified gluten free, USDA organic and are a great addition to its growing roster of gluten free products. The Wildflower Honey and Honey Cinnamon flavors hit shelves August 18th.

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Honey Stinger Announces Results of 7th Annual Steamboat Stinger

Photo: Noah Wetzel

Athletes from across the country headed to Steamboat Springs Aug. 12-13 for the two-day, 7th annual Steamboat Stinger. Honey Stinger, the leading manufacturer of honey-based nutritional products and founder of the event, hosted a 50+ mile individual and team mountain bike race, as well as full and half marathons. The scenic race course featured many crowd-favorite Emerald Mountain trails. This year, the trail race sold out for the first time and the mountain bike race saw over one-hundred additional participants than in years prior.

The morning of Aug. 12 started with a solo 50-mile mountain bike race, with Steamboat local Hannah Bingham placing first with a time of 4:42:52.0 in the women’s division. For the men, Chris Baddick of Boulder, Colorado, won with an impressive 4:05:35.4 time. The mountain bike course was composed of two 26.2 mile loops, all of which was on dirt and 90 percent of which was on flowing single track.

The Howland/Wong team from Avon, Colorado, took first place in the Duo Women’s mountain bike race with a time of 5:17:20.2, and in the Duo Men division, Honey Stinger Team rider McCalmon and partner Matheny achieved victory with a 4:16:53.6.

Honey Stinger Mountain Bike Team rider Liz Carrington racing her way to Queen Bee! Photo: Noah Wetzel

The next day, a trail running half and full marathon took place on the same course as the mountain bike race. With a time of 3:10:18.79, Hive athlete Jared Bassett from Bend, Oregon, took first place in the full marathon. For the women, Julie Olsen from Parker, Colorado, finished first with a time of 4:01:03.45. In the half marathon, male Cale Allen, Denver, won with a time of 1:27:17.47 and female Sarah Pizzo, Hive athlete, placed first with a 1:38:33.05 time.

The highlight of the iconic Steamboat Stinger weekend was crowning the winners of the King Sting and Queen Bee. The winners of that race had the fastest combined mountain bike and marathon times. Jason Michalak of Crested Butte, Colorado, was crowned King Sting, completing both races in 8:51:40.95, and Honey Stinger Mountain Bike Team rider Liz Carrington of Durango, Colorado, was crowned Queen Bee, with a time of 10:45:58.23.


Full results: http://www.honeystinger.com/steamboatstinger.html

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Denali: Chasing the Summit

16 Ridge at 16,000′ (Photo credit: Mareshah Duncan)

It was February of this year, when I received the text message, “This is a longshot, but do you want to join our team to climb Denali in June?” My heart immediately started pounding. This was a dream come true for me, and my answer was YES! The next few months were a whirlwind of training and gear hoarding. I’m a trail runner with some winter mountaineering experience; however, I had a lot to learn and needed a lot of gear. The mountaineering community was very generous!

Denali Day 1, June 4th: We took off for Talkeetna, Alaska, with 830 pounds of gear in tow, boarding a single prop plane for our flight to the Kahiltna Glacier at 7,200’. Upon arrival, we loaded up sleds and backpacks, strapped on our snowshoes, and started traveling. Our sleds and large backpacks made for an extremely heavy load!

When we arrived at camp at 7,800’, we noticed a helicopter flying in. We were later informed that the helicopter was in the middle of a crevasse rescue, taking 15 hours to rescue a man that had fallen 60’ down. An air chisel and blow torch were needed to free him, and he was lucky to survive!

Denali Days 2-11, June 5th-14th: Over the next several days, we methodically moved our way up the mountain from 10,200’ camp to 11,000’ camp, and then up to 14,000’ camp. We climbed Motorcycle Hill, Squirrel Hill, Windy Corner, and encountered many crevasses. Although the days were long and difficult, I was always in awe of the beauty around us. At 14,000’ the sky opened up to amazing views of Mount Foraker and Hunter and the surrounding peaks. We could see the different routes up Denali, including the West Buttress Route we intended to climb.

Reaching camp at 17,000’ our backpacks were very heavy with all of our summit gear, but I was stoked.
Despite a bit of altitude sickness, this was the highest I’d ever been!  

Denali Day 12, June 15th: Summit Day…..We waited for the weather to subside, but the wind failed to die down. Half of our team was leading the way ahead of us when, near Denali Pass, the wind was so bad they had to turn around. We all hiked back to camp together at 17,000′ and settled in, with the wind whipping and the temperature dropping to -20 degrees. The next morning we learned that a team of 3 from Nepal made it to the summit. On the way down, one of them collapsed 6 minutes from our camp and died. He was only 28 years old, and Denali would have been his 7th of the Seven Summits. He paid the ultimate price!

Denali Day 13, June 16th: The next morning we woke to snow and to teams packing up to head down in low visibility, so we joined them and climbed down to 14,000′ to evaluate our situation. The forecast wasn’t looking good for the next several days, and we heard that the crevasses were opening up down below.  The decision was eventually made, we would pack up camp and head down the mountain in one push.

Denali Day 16, June 18th: I felt torn about leaving without our summit – we all did. For two on our team, this was their second attempt. But with the threatening forecast on the horizon, we packed up and left 14,000’ on Sunday afternoon and hiked all night to get back to Base Camp around 5:45am. We were on our way back to civilization, and a hot shower sounded so good!!!

Denali was an absolutely amazing experience! I was blown away by its beauty and humbled by its fury.  I realize now that it’s not always about the summit but about the experience and friendships you make along the way. I will always cherish this experience and the things the mountain taught me. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to return to Denali someday. Until then, I’ll be exploring and climbing new summits! Happy 100th Anniversary, Denali!

*The summit success rate was 31% for the season, when we left Denali.

Written by Hive athlete Katie Katalin













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Honey Stinger Introduces New Bulk Energy Gel

We are excited to introduce new bulk containers for select flavors of our Organic and Classic energy gels. The new bulk gel containers make it easy for athletes and coaches to measure the exact amount of gel to use for training and racing.

“While our gel packets are perfect for single servings, we recognize that many athletes prefer using their own containers for gels,” said Rich Hager, Honey Stinger co-owner. “Our bulk containers make it easy to personalize your fueling needs and help to reduce waste.”

The Organic Fruit Smoothie, Organic Acai Pomegranate, and the Classic Gold flavor will be available for purchase in 23.1 ounce bottles. The energy gel containers will be available for purchase starting this September for $18.95.

Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gels are available in six flavors: Fruit Smoothie, Acai Pomegranate, Vanilla, Mango Orange, Caffeinated Chocolate and Caffeinated Strawberry Kiwi, and are comprised of a blend of organic tapioca syrup, organic honey, and electrolytes (sodium and potassium) in individual 1.1 ounce packets. Honey Stinger Classic Energy Gels are comprised of pure honey, electrolytes, sodium, potassium, and B complex vitamins in Gold and Ginsting flavors, in 1.1 ounce packets.

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HIVE SPOTLIGHT: Get to know Leslie Battle

Leslie Battle

Home base:
Warwick, RI

Main sport:

How did you get in to the sport?
When I first got stung by the triathlon bug, I probably weighed 270+.  I’d stopped counting.  I had gained weight throughout a difficult, long relationship and was eager to get back to the fit weightlifting, skiing, tennis playing lifestyle that I had let slowly slip away.  Once I got my first sweet taste of racing at the Falmouth Spring Triathlon on Cape Code in 2009, where I surprised myself by earning 3rd Athena (I’d never won anything in my life), there was no turning back.

Greatest personal accomplishment(s): 
Well, qualifying for the Boston Marathon as an Athena was very special.  But, having the support of my family and friends at each of the national championships events I have competed in has been precious.  I have now won seven USAT National Champion titles in triathlon, one in the sprint distance, five in the Olympic distance, and one in the half iron distance.

Training tip:
“If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.”

Favorite Stinger fuel:
I’m a purist.  Honey Stinger Gold Gel only and always.

When do you use your Stinger?
Have you tried it on toast?  Divine.

Person or athlete you look up to?
Wow.  So many, Simone Biles, Serena Williams, Misty Copeland, Simone Manuel, Debi Thomas.  They each rose to the top of their respective fields in sports where minorities have not traditionally had a presence.

Favorite hobby:
I take my role as the creator of the “Athena Triathletes (& Athena Alumna)” Facebook page seriously.  It is a group designed for female triathletes weighing no fewer than 165 pounds.  I believe we have created a unique space where athletes of like life experiences can come together to support and learn from one another.

Tell us more about the Athena Triathletes page:
I turned to Facebook to build a sense of community and support among the Athena athletes I was competing against…collecting their names at races from results boards like a bee gathering pollen to return to its hive.  The group has blossomed to nearly 2,000 members.  Finding one’s collective, one’s cooperative brood is extremely important for women who are not perceived as your typical athlete.  We are dedicated to improving opportunities for recognition of Athena athletes as a competitive class, as well as to shattering misconceptions in perception of the comparative abilities of Athena athletes.

Goal for the future:
To do my part to advance the regard and participation levels of Athena triathletes.

Stay connected with other Athenas…

Facebook: Athena Triathletes (& Athena Alumae)

Hashtag love: #athenaproud #athenastrong #dontcountusout

Media links about Leslie’s endeavors…

Athena Multisport Magazine – Part I

Athena Multisport Magazine – Part II

Triathlete Magainze – July 2017

*Leslie also represents Pierce Footwear , Go Nuts, Co. ,

Oofos Recovery Footwear, and Blue Competition Cycles

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HIVE SPOTLIGHT: Get to know Giff Walters

Photo credit: Lucid Images

Giff Walters

Home base:
Grand Junction, CO

Main sport:
Mountain, Ultra, and Trail Running (MUT)

Do you compete on a team and/or for other sponsors?
I am on the Altra Global Endurance TeamPyllon Racing Team , and am an ambassador for Swiftwick Socks, in addition to being part of the Honey Stinger Hive.

How did you get into the MUT running?
I fell in love with the mountains through hiking, mountaineering, and backpacking.  Slowly I came to the realization that if I left all the heavy stuff behind I could run in the same places and see a ton more in a day.  In 2013 I paced a friend of a friend at the Leadville 100, got hooked and ran my first 100 miler at the Grand Mesa 100 the next year.

Greatest personal accomplishment:
Climbing Mount Rainier in a day.  At the time, I didn’t realize how everything came together to make it happen or how fit I was – which tends to happen when you are just following the fun.

Goal for the future:
To run healthy, to run mindfully, and to continue to push myself to see what I’m capable of.

Favorite Stinger fuel:
Pomegranate Passion Chews

When do you typically use your Stinger?
I usually consume 5-6 chews or one gel every 45 minutes – 1 hour during competition.

Recovery training tip:
Take the time to be with the people and to do activities that you miss out on during intense training blocks.

Strangest training or competition moment:
Pulling off my first dead toe nail.  Now it’s odd if I have all ten on any given day.

Interesting or random fact about yourself:
I have played African and Latin drums for much of my life and although I no longer perform or practice regularly, I tap out rhythms all day long.

Stay connected with Giff…

Website: https://rinnanrunning.wordpress.com/
Instagram: @rinnanrunning
Twitter: @rinnanrunning

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Honey Stinger Adds New Sales and Marketing Hires for 2017

We are excited to announce the addition of new positions across our sales and marketing divisions in order to accommodate the company’s growing business.

Patrick Leslie will fill the role of east coast regional account manager for grocery, Erin Ross will manage inside grocery sales, Abbie Durkee will become the new northern California field representative, Shannon Grasser will manage eCommerce, promotional, and athletic program sales, Mac Kelly will manage sales for collegiate and high school athletic programs, Kirsten Tidik will become a seasonal marketing event representative, and Jason Stephen will join the team as the new customer service & sales support representative.

“We are thrilled to add several new positions and highly qualified members to our growing team here at Honey Stinger,” said Rich Hagar, Honey Stinger co-founder. “Given our expansion into grocery, NCAA collegiate sports, and our increasing presence at tradeshows and events, we saw the need to accommodate our growing business with these new roles.”

Bringing 20 years of experience in the bike industry and outside sales, Leslie will be responsible for managing and growing the eastern U.S. grocery business for Honey Stinger. Ross will transition to inside grocery sales from her former position as customer support specialist, where she will manage all current independent grocery accounts along with new business in that category. Former professional mountain bike racer and Honey Stinger Hive athlete Durkee will assume the role of northern California field representative. 

Moving from key accounts and collegiate sales, Grasser will manage a newly created department and team, overseeing the eCommerce business, including direct website and promotional sales, college athletic programs, and new business. Kelly joins the team from Honey Stinger’s sister company, Big Agnes, where he previously served on the customer service team. Kelly will manage collegiate and high school athletic program sales to increase sales and brand presence within college and high school athletic programs.

Transitioning from independent grocery sales, Tidik will take on a role as a seasonal marketing event representative to boost sales and brand awareness at tradeshows, clinics and sampling, as well as assisting with the organization of the Steamboat Stinger races, and all other sales and marketing events. Finally, Stephen will relocate to the Yampa Valley from Beaver Creek for his new position as customer service & sales support representative.

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