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Pole Pedal Paddle: The Bend Olympics


With just two weeks until Go-Time, Bend is preparing for its signature event, The Pole, Pedal, Paddle. Kicking off summer and giving a final salute to ski season, the PPP draws more than 2,800 competitors; teams, tandems and individuals skiing; skating, cycling, running, paddling and sprinting from Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort to Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater.

Preparation for the PPP varies widely from competitor to competitor; from intense months of endurance training to night-before costume selection.

For every competitor, equipment and training is the key to success (and having fun).  Here is the down and dirty on what you need to successfully complete the six stages of the Pole Pedal Paddle.

Stage 1: The Downhill Ski

To be competitive: Alpine skis and rear entry boots (wear your skate boots inside for a speedy transition) and be a current or former member of the US Alpine Ski Team

To have fun: Snowboard or skis and the ability to ski down intermediate Mt. Bachelor terrain

To finish: Point your skis, snowboard or sled downhill and hope for the best

Stage 2: The Nordic Ski

To be competitive: Skate skis with fresh race wax and be a competitive member of XC Oregon

To have fun: Skate or Classic skis and at least one season of Nordic skiing under your belt

To finish: The ability to make it up Screamer without passing out

Stage 3: The Bike

To be competitive: Time trial bike, helmet, and wicked aerodynamic position; a top 10 finish in last year’s Cascade Cycling Classic wouldn’t hurt

To have fun: A road bike with clip on aero bars, a couple of training rides and a well fitting helmet

To finish: A bicycle with inflated tires, functioning brakes and a white Styrofoam dome protector

Stage 4: The Run

To be competitive: Running shoes fit by the experts at Foot Zone, months of  interval training and a top 5 finish in last year’s Dirty Half

To have fun: The ability to run 5 miles comfortably and still be smiling at the end

To finish: At least one training run since last year’s PPP; just keep breathing

Stage 5: The Paddle

To be competitive: Infusion Molded Fiberglass S1-X Surf-Ski, Carbon Wing Paddle and extensive on-water training

To have fun: Understand the difference between the bow & the stern and keep your boat traveling in a semi-straight line

To finish: Something that floats, a paddle and the ability to swim in case of capsizing

Stage 6: The Sprint


To be competitive: Track intervals, weights, racing flats and of course, a sub 60 second 400m split

To have fun: A smile, you have made it!

To finish: It is only 200 yards; you can crawl if needed

All this equipment and training can seem overwhelming, but don’t despair. You can borrow almost everything you will need from a friend, and the training, well, it’s all down hill, isn’t it?

The fine print:

When: Saturday May 15th

Registration: Register online at by May 10th

Packet Pick-Up: May 14th in the Old Mill District

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