Crested Butte, CO Feb. 21, 2004 - On February 14th, backcountry athletes from all over the western United States and Canada came to Crested Butte, Colorado to compete in the 2nd Annual Life-Link/Dynafit Randonnee Rally, the second stop of the Rally Race Series. Brendan O'Neil of Jackson Hole, the 2nd place finisher at the January 10, Whistler Blackcomb Rally, won the Mens Racing Division of the Crested Butte race in a time of 1 hour 45 minutes and 13 seconds. Ethan Passant from the Crested Butte Ski Patrol and last years third place finisher was second this year in a time of 1 hour 47 minutes and 31 seconds. Jim Faust also of Crested Butte was third in a time of 1 hour 52 minutes and 39 seconds.
The Women's Race Division, was won by Petra Perc, of Jemez Springs, New Mexico, in a time of 2 hours, 12 minutes and 48 seconds. In second place was Jeannie Wall of Bozeman, Montana, also the winner of the Women's Race Division at the Whistler Blackcomb Rally, finishing in a time of 2 hours 15 minutes and 28 seconds. Third place went to Monique Merrill of Breckenridge, Colorado in a time of 2 hours 20 minutes and 22 seconds. Merrill also finished third in the 2003 Crested Butte Race.
Brendan O'Neil and Jeannie Wall will represent the United States in the World Championships held in Val d'Aran, Spain in March. Greg Hill, who won the Whistler Blackcomb Rally and will represent Canada in the World Championships, was also in Crested Butte but could not compete due to illness.
"The Crested Butte Mountain Resort rose to the occasion again! Eric Baumm and the rest of the Crested Butte Ski Patrol put together a really exciting as well as very challenging course" stated John Scott Executive Vice-President of Life-Link. "Crested Butte knows how to host events and some of the finest backcountry athletes on the continent showed their strength, endurance and skiing skills in a spectacular mountain setting."
Racing winners took away thousands of dollars in prizes and received points toward the series championship which will be decided in Jackson Hole, Wyoming March, 28th. Currently Brendon O'Neil leads the men's race with 55 points, Chris Kroger of Jackson Hole is in second with 41 points and Steve Romeo of Jackson Hole is in third with 35 points. The women's points leader is Jeannie Wall with 55 points, Polly Samuels of Salt Lake City is in second with 43 points and Petra Perc is in third with 30 points.
The race series continues on February 28th with the Marmot Randonnee Rally at Alpine Meadows, California and then on to the Pro Ski Service Rally at Alpental, Washington before culminating in the North American Championships in Jackson Hole March 28.