The Pole, Pedal, Paddle was a bit different this year. Instead of the normal cross-country ski leg, the PPP had to switch things up on account of their being so little snow at the top of Mount Bachelor. Thus, a 2.5 mile Nordic trail run took its place, and as a result, numbers at this year’s event were down. Still, the event itself was a blast, and team Rob Schneider’s #1 was in fine form. In addition to winning first in our division, we were the runner’s up in this year’s costume awards. Looking at the photos, you may understand why.
Who knew unicorns and rainbows could be such a hit? Numerous middle-aged women asked to take a picture with us throughout the post-race festivities, with the ubiquitous question: “Where did you get those ridiculous onesies?”, and we even had a few little girls muster up the courage to run up to our group and say, “I like your unicorn costumes,” and then run away. By the end of the day, we’d developed a small cult following.
Overall, the event was a huge success, and both an exhilarating and relaxing way to spend a weekend in Bend. I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking.
Pre-race strategy talk.
It was 36 degrees and snowing up at Mount Bachelor. After standing miserably outside of the car for a couple minutes, all of us decided to get back in until closer to the start of the race.
It wasn’t exactly a scenic day up on the mountain.
John fueling up with some roctane, a pre-race requirement for all team members of Rob Schneider’s #1.
We made lots of friends during the race. Here’s one of them.
Snowboard leg done. Onto the 2.5 mile nordic trail run.
Anxiously awaiting Jon in the transition zone.
Here he comes!
There was an ankle time chip we had to pass between each team member; here’s the seamless transition!
And I’m off! Full moon courtesy of Jon’s inability to breathe after his run.
After my leg was over, Nathan continued the race with a 5 mile run. Here are our two canoe riders waiting for Nathan near the transition zone and ready to bring in the gold. Notice Nathan Litke sporting a self-made paper-mache horse head.
Here comes Nathan!
He’s a real crowd pleaser.
And the canoe is off and running.
As we recover with bananas and apples.
And John finishes the race with an 800 meter sprint.
After the race we celebrated with some team pictures.
Which soon became a photo shoot with various other teams.
Then we watched a horse vs. dog fight. Brutal.
A horse and dog kiss.
And a horse… dog… ??? …
Someone even came up and interviewed Nathan.
After leaving the race it was time for a food run.
We got a lot of weird looks walking through the store… not sure why.
and some hot tub time.
The morning after, as everyone else recovered from the previous night’s festivities, I got up and head out on a 20 mile ride around the Juniper Trailhead, 2 miles from Eagle Crest Resort.
Beautiful rolling singletrack with occasional rock gardens.
Here’s where I stopped riding for a while, pulled out my hydroflask, and drank my morning coffee while listening to an audiobook. Bliss.