Snowboarder wins A-Basin Enduro |

Snowboarder wins A-Basin Enduro

ARAPAHOE BASIN – Delirium was the driving force as participants in the 15th annual Arapahoe Basin Enduro completed their last run Wednesday and snapped back to consciousness with the help of Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

Hendrix is part of the tradition of the Enduro, which featured 32 teams of two skiing as many runs as possible in 10 hours on the steep, north-facing side of A-Basin. Jason “Soda Pop” Anthony and his brother, Billy, won Wednesday with a total of 67 runs. Billy is the first snowboarder in Enduro history to win, while Jason went the traditional route on skis.

Chris Carson and Drew Gibson finished just a few chairs back and, as A-Basin’s Marty Gotantas said after the event wrapped up at 5 p.m., “we’ll call it a draw.”

The day began at 7 a.m. with nine inches of snow that had been blown around considerably by the time Enduro participants dropped in.

“Due to the wind, it was anywhere from a few inches to a couple feet deep,” Gotantas said. “For 65 runs – two off the record – in these conditions, that’s unbelievable.”

It was believable for the 32 teams that felt every single run in their legs and spines each time they disembarked from the Pallavicini chair. Many racers said they found a mental zone on the first run, pitched a psychological tent and stayed there all day.

“It was a tough day of skiing for sure,” said Carson, who, along with Rex Wehrman, Mike Christensen and Todd Olsen, hold the Enduro record of 68 laps. “It started out as a nice powder day – face shot central – then it got a little chunky. I’m definitely worse for wear. Tomorrow will hurt. You get a little delirious for sure. You have to concentrate on your skiing, resting on the chair, drinking lots of fluids and forcing yourself to eat even though you’re not hungry. It can be scary. I crashed three times, lost a ski and did a cartwheel. Super props to the Anthony brothers though – (Billy is) the first snowboarder to ever win it. They outskied us for sure.”

Billy Anthony, who was competing in his second Enduro, was pleased to represent for the snowboarding population.

“I always said, if the Enduro was run on a powder day, a snowboarder might be able to win,” he said. “And, we proved it. I bonked twice at like 40 or 50 runs. There were two or three walls. It was two of my lucky numbers, though. There were nine inches of snow, and we were No. 13, so there was something in the works.”

Tabulators of Wednesday’s Enduro said the Anthony brothers’ win was “provisional” because Jason missed the Le Mans start. To make up for it at the finish, he had to run from the Palli lift to Molly Hogan, then back again.

“I’m kind of delirious right now,” he said afterwards. “All day, you have to find a zone. You have to concentrate on your breathing. Me and my brother fed off of each other all day.”

The youngest competitors Wednesday were 11-year-old Brandon Major and 12-year-old Jozy Gessner. Whitney Henceroth holds the record for youngest Enduro competitor, having competed three years ago when she was 9. Gessner was one of only eight women competing. Kathryn Grohusky, who, along with teammate Jason Amrich, was the only woman to compete on telemark skis. The pair completed 51 runs.

“My legs are OK,” Grohusky said afterwards. “My back hurts and my calves from the heavy snow. But I did 11 more laps than my goal, so it was awesome.”

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