Sunday, April 11, 2010

As long as I don't have to be the pole

Some co-workers and I talked awhile ago about doing the Pole, Pedal Paddle this year. It's an annual event that I avoided even spectating the first four years I lived in this town. Last year, though, I ran support for my pal SGL, who did the whole thing by HERSELF.

In case you don't know how crazy that is, let me outline the event:

First, you go to Mount Bachelor and ride a chairlift up to the top, put your skis or board in place then walk down hill 200 feet. Why do you walk downhill 200 feet? Why, so you can run uphill in ski boots, of course! It's even more fun than running in soft sand.

Then you ski down to where a friend (like me!) is waiting to exchange your board for your cross country skis. After a quick change, you slog through five miles of melty mashed potatoes and gravy spring snow until you meet up again with your pal to trade skis for bike.

Next, you bike 22 miles. Now, in fairness, most of the bike is downhill, since you're coming into town from a mountain, but those uphill stretches are a real bitch.

Still standing? Good, it's time to run five miles through town. The nice part is that we have a friend who lives on the route, and she sits in a lawn chair with a cooler of beer and a fifth of Jack Daniels for anyone who's gotten parched.

The boat portion involves paddling "upstream from a put-in point for 1/2 mile on the Deschutes River" then "back downstream for 3/4 mile, then back upstream for 1/4 mile." Yeah, up, down, up.

Oh, and then you have to run again. This time, it's even supposed to be a "sprint."

So, SGL may be a little crazy. I definitely can't do the whole thing. In addition to my serious lack of physical fitness, I also can't downhill ski. But I can ride a bike (though I don't think I can use my single speed '68 Sears Spider for this race. A damn shame, because my sparkly purple banana seat would probably really help my performance), and maybe by the end of May, I can run five miles? I mean, I still can't run, the heel's still effed, but maybe by then I'll be in ship shape again?

The real question though is costumes. Some teams dress up in leis, or with bridal veils. I saw a pretty sick cops and jailbirds team last year (the cops had thick handlebar moustaches and wore hotpants, natch). What should we out of shape cubicle jockeys do?

Google, from whence I stole this picture, seems to think this woman's name is Karen.