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Pair of 10th-place finishes add up to Tour of Anchorage double title for skier-biker Brent Lowen

  • Author: Beth Bragg
  • Updated: March 4, 2019
  • Published March 4, 2019

Brent Lowen had a smart plan for the first 50-kilometer ski race of his life.

Do a 50-kilometer bike race two hours later.

Lowen on Sunday won the inaugural 50-50 double title at the Tour of Anchorage, an annual cross-country ski race which this year added a race for fat-tire bikers.

Lowen, 35, finished 10th in both 50-kilometer races to win the 50-50 double title by nearly 10 minutes over runnerup Eric Flanders.

Melanie Stiassny, the only woman among 10 people who took on both 50Ks, finished eighth overall.

Lowen completed the ski race in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 14 seconds. He finished the bike race in 2:09:14 for a total time of 4:33:17.

“Pretty amazed,” Lowen said by email. “(It) was my first 50K ski so it was a complete unknown with how I would feel afterward.”

Lowen had about two hours between finishing his ski race at Kincaid Park and starting his bike race at Service High. That gave him enough time to go home, eat, stretch, switch ski gear for bike gear and help his wife get her bike ready for her 40K race.

Lowen said the course held up fairly well for the race’s 174 bikers, who used the same trail that 924 skiers raced on earlier in the day. Patrick Johnson and Caroline Brisbois won the 50K ski titles, and Will Ross and Megan Chelf won the 50K bike titles.

“The course was good all the way up Spencer and then great across town until about 10k to go, where it turned to mashed potatoes,” he said by email. “With my legs pretty shot at that point it was hard to push through the soft snow. Then there was the last Sisson Loop climb which was the only portion that was, in my opinion, not rideable.”

Tour of Anchorage

Ski/bike double winners

Men’s 50K/50K ski — Brent Lowen 2:24:14 ski-2:09:02bike–4:33:17 total

Men’s 40K/40K — Steve Bentley 2:27:49-2:12:05–4:39:54

Men’s 25K/50K (classic) —Brian Woodbury 1:57:30-1:55:23–3:52:53

Men’s 25K/50K (freestyle) —Robert Lohr 2:33:28-5:29:05–8:02:33

Women’s 50K/50K —Melanee Stiassny 3:07:13-3:27:40–6:34:53

Women’s 50K/40K — Jenny Sheasley 3:46:34-3:02:41–6:49:15

Women’s 40K/40K — Casey Mapes 2:49:13-2:08:34–4:57:47

Other winners

Men’s 50K ski -- Patrick Johnson 2:10:41.8

Women’s 50K ski -- Caroline Brisbois 2:31:01.9

Men’s 40K ski -- Eric Difolco 1:49:34

Women’s 40K ski -- Lisa Anglen 2:06:00

Men’s 25K freestyle ski -- Logan Mowry 1:09:07

Women’s 25K freestyle ski -- Natalie Hood 1:26:00

Men’s 25K classic ski -- Eric Auten 1:26:39

Women’s 25K classic ski -- Liz Butera 1:54:38

Men’s 50K bike -- Will Ross 2:02:03

Women’s 50K bike -- Megan Chelf 2:15:17

Men’s 40K bike -- Matt Tabinor 1:47:15

Women’s 40K bike -- Amber Stull 1:56:24