Pole Pedal PaddleLast week nearly 3,000 people - a mix of elite racers, aging athletes, young guns and party animals dressed in tutus and clown wigs — all made their way down Mount Bachelor via snow-covered slopes, paved roads, trails and the Deschutes River to be crowned the big dogs of outdoor sport in central Oregon. The Pole, Pedal, Paddle is the annual "Rite of Spring" in Bend kicking off summer and giving a final salute to ski season. Competitors sign up as teams, tandems and individuals skiing; skating, cycling, running, paddling and sprinting from the top of Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort to Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater in downtowns Old Mill District. One year snowfall was so scant that the nordic leg was changed to a 3 mile mountain run. It was our chance to knock down all six legs of the contest as a family. So we took it. Here's a recap of some harrowing moments in our race...
Competitors place skiis at the top of the run, then line up 100 yards below to wait for the starting gun.
Starting LineMountain Man took the first leg on downhill skiis. In the mass of confusion at the top he was placed in the wrong starting group so the team event was held up for him to place his skiis and then haul 100 yards downhill to the starting line.
Mountain RunJoss went next with a 2 mile mountain run that replaced the Nordic ski leg of the race. The makeshift trail was pretty muddy and uneven with snow and ice and big tire ruts. This cross country runner said it felt way longer than 2 miles -- maybe because of the half mile uphill finish.
Road Bike RaceSoon Isaac started gutting out the first incline. "It was a little unnerving when I saw these way old guys passing me, but overall I felt like I was in control and pretty calm." While pretty experienced on a mountain bike, it was his first time on a road bike and he was a little leary of gravel on the road, especially racing downhill. But he was calm and cool spinning it into Bend. In fact SO cool, he was a little frozen by the time he entered the transition area.
Isaac smiles with relief that his work here is finished. But he could not get out of those biking pants fast enough. #bikingshortsfeellikediapers
River RunBy mile 4 hossin' it along the river Jonell hit a wall. Just then Joss showed up for moral support and both ran the last mile to the field of kayaks where they passed the timer to Lynley and Brett.
Sea of kayaks ready for the water leg of the race. Finding your boat is like finding a needle in a haystack.