E Chair Challenge kicks off | SummitDaily.com

E Chair Challenge kicks off

With no records to break or previous times to beat, the competitors in the inaugural E Chair Challenge set the bar high for future racers.

Nineteen teams of two competed in the race at Breckenridge Monday, which required skiers to make as many laps as possible on designated courses under the E Chair on Peak 9.

The six official trails under E Chair were split into 20 different routes. Teams were randomly assigned a starting route and rotated through the rest of the course over seven hours, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

First-place honors in the women’s division went to two teams: Jen Losch and Jen Wilson finished in a tie with Katherine Lynch and Tracy Jolles with each team logging 48 laps. The team of Sarah Carr and Kim Martin took third with 46 laps.

The team of Gary Fondl and Breckenridge ski instructor Matt Bellbille beat out 13 other teams to win the men’s division. Sunday was Fondl’s first day at Breckenridge for this season, but Bellbille’s knowledge of the terrain helped the team squeeze in 52 laps on the course.

Rich Banach and Ryan Behnke finished second with 50 laps. Ray Kicker and Tom Halmos, also with 50 laps, took third.

Based on Arapahoe Basin’s infamous Enduro, the first E Chair Challenge was originally scheduled for April 2002 but had to be cancelled due to low snowpack. This year, the warm conditions and afternoon sun on the trails made for variable, difficult terrain.

“It was extremely tough this morning, then from 1 o’clock on it was soft everywhere,” Fondl said. “You just had to look at the rolls of the hill and use the terrain to your advantage.”

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