Big Bear Lake, CA — The second round of the Conquer the Bear series is underway and, this weekend, competitors wrapped their second of four races by participating in the Team Big Bear mountain bike race, which covered 17 miles of Forest Service roads in the Moonridge area. Athletes who braved February’s cold temps, snow and rain in the Snowshoe the Bear event were eligible to continue in the Conquer the Bear series which, in addition to the June 20 mountain bike race, will include the Paddlefest in Fawnskin on July 11 and the first-ever Endure the Bear mountain trail run on September 11. Top contenders in Conquer the Bear’s Elite division are Adam Williams and 15-year-old Casey Williams; these two, both from Big Bear Lake but unrelated, took first and third in Snowshoe the Bear’s 10K event and are less than five minutes apart in their cumulative times for the two races. Other top contenders in the Elite race series include Casey’s younger brother Cameron Williams, Ramon Escobar of Mexico, and Ross Goulet of Big Bear City, while Big Bear Lake’s Kelly Brunson, the Fastest Bear in the Bear for the snowshoe, and Diane Bradley, third place female finisher in the debut Conquer the Bear series, both completed the course to stay in the running for the Conquer the Bear title which, in 2009, was won by local Heather Devito and Wes Barton of Manhattan Beach in a grueling, five-event series. Other Big Bear locals who participated in their second event for Conquer the Bear—and earned top spots in the non-elite division–include Jonathan Stiles, Kyle Kelly, Ernst Mueller, David Lawrence, Susan Maya, Angela Meyers and Michelle Russell.
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