Thursday, May 29, 2014

2014 Pole Pedal Paddle

Seems like last year we had months to prepare for the PPP; this time, it was about two weeks. Fortunately, we’ve got a good template to follow: take what we did last year, then wash/rinse/repeat.
I decided not to mark the run course on Friday night. I’d still have to verify everything on race morning, and I didn’t want the local hooligans having a chance to mess things up. So I had an extra glass of wine and went to bed early.

Race day, around 0530; I hope Molly’s prediction of 73 degrees comes to pass, because it is positively frigid right now. But it sure is pretty in Farewell Bend Park; clear, crisp, and oh so quiet. All that will change shortly.
 The Aid Station food delivery arrives, and what do I see? The entire Evans family wearing Vibrams on their feet. First big smile of the day!

It didn’t take long for me to mark the course (or to experience the first injury of the day). Evidently, I’ve forgotten what every kid knows: be careful when using chalk on pavement.

Is there anything better than coming across a pristine PortaJohn and being the first to use it?

One of my run course volunteers, brand new to town, just finished a night shift and came straight out to the race. Volunteers are awesome!
While riding the course on my bike and making sure things are set, I come across this couple; Austin and Renee. They run an athlete recovery lounge in town; I might need to go there later. And Renee is a professional runner. Later, I see her absolutely destroying the course with something like a 5:15 second mile. Serious wheels!

I really don’t know what to say about this guy
Under the Healy Bridge with a mile to go in the run, there’s a string quartet playing Irish folk music! I swear, Bend is the best place in the world to live.

Here’s German guy Rolf: two years ago, he was starting the run long after course marshals told us the race was over. See, Rolf had finished the bike leg, then ducked into a pub to see the results of the European soccer championship. When the match went into extended overtime, he stayed at the bar while consuming multiple beverages. Then he finished the race in dead last, but with a big smile on his face.

Best dressed support staff EVER.
A fairly straightforward day, as evidenced by my car at 3pm. Contents include extra lunches and t-shirts for volunteers, course signs, orange duct tape, chalk, flour course marking, emergency phone numbers, and who knows what else.
Everything a good Sherpa needs!

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