BEND, OR -- Organizers of Saturday's U.S. Bank Pole Pedal Paddle are trying to make the best of things, considering the uncooperative weather.
MBSEF Executive Director John Schiemer suspects the cancelation of the Nordic leg is a big reason registrations are down 20%. But, he says there are some who have signed up because of the trail run that will replace the cross-country ski stretch. "It’s going to be a little bit more challenging than the typical trail run. It’s not going to be like the trails in town. It’s uneven; in some places it’s rocky. We are using part of the Mt. Bachelor bike system for some of the trails, so those trails are in pretty good shape, but it did snow a little bit on Monday." He tells KBND News, "You’ll want a different pair of shoes, for the mountain trail run versus the in-town trail run. But, the other challenge is that it’s at 6300 feet. So, the 2.3 miles is going to be a nice test."
Schiemer says in its first year, the PPP was forced to cut the first leg of the relay. There wasn't enough snow for the downhill ski portion, 39 years ago. He says getting rid of the second leg this year wasn't an option. Race organizers knew they had to replace it with something. "The biggest issue is that there are 5 and six, seven-person teams. So, if you take a leg out, someone doesn’t get to participate. We’ve had a lot of teams that have been doing this for years, everyone has done the same leg, so we wanted to preserve the legs as best we could."
There have been years when MBSEF needed to adjust for a lack of snow along the Nordic path, but Schiemer says, "Normally, we would’ve been able to do the Nordic leg on the Westside of the mountain. I kind of think that’s always a real possibility, to be able to move snow around. A lot of it depends on how the snow comes in, what time of the year it comes in, and so forth. This year, it just didn’t come in. The trail run, I think, is always going to be an option now. We’ll see how this weekend goes."
The PPP is MBSEF's largest fundraiser of the year. Sunday’s Mini PPP for kids has not been impacted by the weather.