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10 winners named in Vail Resorts’ Epic Race to Ski the World

December 28, 2013, 7:49 am

After 28 days and 26 resorts in four countries, 10 lifetime Epic Passes were awarded to the winners of the Vail Resorts’ Epic Race to Ski the World.

vail resorts logoThe Epic Race was a season-long adventure to ski and ride all 26 resorts spread across four countries on the Epic Pass, while capturing and sharing specific elements of their journey. The reward: The top 10 participants to complete the adventure win skiing and snowboarding’s ultimate prize – an Epic Pass for life.

“The Epic Racers are the most passionate skiers and riders I have ever seen. They embraced the spirit of the race as an adventure of a lifetime, had fun along the way and formed new friendships. Congratulations to all of the finishers who will be receiving a free 2014-15 Epic Pass.” said Vail Resorts Chief Marketing Officer Kirsten Lynch.

There are still hundreds of skiers and riders who will continue the quest to visit some of the world’s most iconic ski destinations on one incredible season pass. They also will receive

2014-15 Epic Passes when they complete their journey as well as weekly prizes from Helly Hansen and GoPro.

The top 10 standings:

-Nick Annis of Loveland, Colo., a student at the Colorado School of Mines.
-Scott Annis of Loveland, Colo., who wanted to create lifetime memories with his son Nick.
-Cory Heintz of Cottonwood Heights, Utah, who couldn’t say “no” to the chance to ski France.
-Brittany Heintz of Cottonwood Heights, Utah, who grew up skiing the hills in the Midwest.
-Joe Jensen of Denver, Colo., cancer survivor who legally ran for President of the United States and first learned to ski at Afton Alps in Minnesota.
-Steve Sacco of Denver, Colo., former meteorologist who found the race to be his perfect storm.
-John Victor of Denver, Colo., spent many holidays skiing Vail and was on Vail Ski Patrol for three seasons after graduating from college.
-Michael Lahey of Longmont, Colo., a fifth generation native who has been saving airline miles for years to ski in Europe.
-Devin Rhinehart of Denver, Colo., an engineer and member of “Team Fun” with Greg Hydle and Ashley Cooley.
-Greg Hydle of Golden, Colo., with his trademark red beard, he was often mistaken for German rapper MC Fitti while skiing at the European resorts.

When asked who had taught him how to ski in his inaugural season – prior to the race – Minnesota transplant Joe Jensen replied, “I taught myself. I’ll get a lesson after the Epic Race.”

After the final day in Brides-Les-Bains was complete, Vail Resorts threw a true European après party to celebrate everyone’s effort. Racers had even more cause to celebrate at the legendary on-mountain après party venue, La Folie Douce, than skiing the world. Hawaiian racer Kela Pinto proposed to his girlfriend of eight years, Krista, and she said yes. After an epic adventure and having made so many friends throughout the race, Kela could think of no better way to pop the question and share the moment in front of his fellow racers. “This has been an unbelievable experience,” Pinto said.

To see the complete leaderboard, get updates from Epic Host and former U.S. Olympian Kaylin Richardson, or to see all the contestant photos and videos, go to To watch the latest Epic Race episode, visit

To compete in the Epic Race, each racer had to ski or ride all 26 resorts on the Epic Pass (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Eldora in Colorado; Canyons in Park City, Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Afton Alps, Minnesota; Mt. Brighton, Michigan; Verbier, Switzerland; Arlberg, Austria – St. Anton, Lech, Zürs, St. Christoph and Stuben; and Les 3 Vallées, France – Courchevel, La Tania, Méribel, Brides-les-Bains, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Belleville, Val Thorens and Orelle). Epic Racers were required to document and share their experiences at each resort to be eligible to win.

The Epic Pass is the world’s most popular pass, sold in all 50 U.S. states and 80 countries around the globe. It features unlimited, unrestricted skiing and riding at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Eldora in Colorado; Canyons in Park City, Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. Epic Pass holders also have five free days at the renowned mountain resorts of Verbier, Switzerland, five consecutive free days at Arlberg, Austria and five free days at Les 3 Vallées, France.

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