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Colorado snowboarders and skiers dominate Vail Resorts' Epic Race challenge

Greg Hydle's epic beard starred in a lot of selifes to help him win an Epic Pass for life.
Greg Hydle's epic beard starred in a lot of selifes to help him win an Epic Pass for life.
Greg Hydle/EpicRace.EpicPass.com

Eight of the top ten finishers in Vail Resorts' Epic Race to Ski the World -- at all 26 resorts covered by the Epic Pass -- are from right here in Colorado, including winners Nick and Scott Annis. Their prize? Lifetime Epic Passes that they're sure to put to good use.

See also: Get the Edge on Winter Fun in Colorado!

Father/son duo Scott (right) and Nick Annis from Loveland, shown here at Heavenly in Lake Tahoe.
Father/son duo Scott (right) and Nick Annis from Loveland, shown here at Heavenly in Lake Tahoe.
EpicRace.EpicPass.com

The 28-day race included Colorado visits to Arapahoe Basin, the first of the 26 international Epic Pass ski areas to open for the 2013-2014 season, and Eldora, a new addition to the Epic Pass mix this season, as well as Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and Breckenridge.

After covering the Colorado resorts, the racers moved on to Utah, Lake Tahoe, Minnesota, and Michigan, then hopped the pond over to Switzerland, Austria, and France, documenting all of their adventures along the way to meet the race criteria (and thus creating the coolest viral marketing campaign we saw all year).

"The Epic Racers are the most passionate skiers and riders I have ever seen," said Vail Resorts spokeswoman Kirsten Lynch, in a statement. "They embraced the spirit of the race as an adventure of a lifetime, had fun along the way and formed new friendships."

"Team Fun" captain Greg Hydle, shown here at the final stop in Bride-les-Bains, France.
"Team Fun" captain Greg Hydle, shown here at the final stop in Bride-les-Bains, France.
EpicRace.EpicPass.com

132 racers completed the challenge, according to Vail Resorts spokesman Russ Pecoraro, but when it was all said and done the top finishers were Nick Annis, a student at Colorado School of Mines, and his dad Scott, both from Loveland. Utah skiers Cory and Brittan Heintz finished next, followed by Denver's Joe Jensen, Steve Sacco, and John Victor, Longmont's Michael Lahey, and "Team Fun" competitors Devin Rhinehart, from Denver, and Greg Hydle, from Golden.

Hydle says the "Team Fun" competitors finished 20th, 21st, and 25 in the "unofficial leader board" but that other competitors did not complete all of the race requirements or broke various race rules. He says the most important rule his team followed as they logged 2,700 miles in their car and racked up 14,000 frequent flier miles was self-imposed:

"Skiing is fun... and that's about all."