Kids have their day at Mini-Pole Pedal Paddle

1,400 competitors race in kids' version of U.S. Bank PPP

POSTED: 8:04 PM PDT May 19, 2013 
BEND, Ore. -

The U.S. Bank Pole Pedal Paddle didn't end on Saturday, it continued Sunday -- but this time, the kids were the competitors.

And you could say they're just as, or even more competitive than the adults.

Kids in the first through sixth grades formed teams of six and competed in a four-stage Mini-Pole Pedal Paddle.

Instead of skiing, kids began their race by paddling down the Deschutes River with a raft guide.

They paddled down under the Old Mill footbridge and exited the boats.  

Then one of the teammates grabbed a bike to ride in a cyclocross course.

And all the teams finished in the Les Schwab Amphitheater with a fun obstacle course.

Organizers say 1,400 kids took part this year. Organizers expanded the limit, with more 241 teams competing.

The kids received ribbons at the end.

The race is all run by volunteers who put in long hours to make sure the event runs smoothly.

Sun Country Tours and Seventh Mountain Resort supplied the rafts for the first leg of the race.

Employees volunteered their time to transport the rafts to and from where the rafts went in and out of the water.

Employees say they like to help support the kids and the community.

They told us the event is a great start for kids to get into a lifestyle of competitive sports.

"It's really a rewarding experience," said Christopher Smith, recreation manger at Seventh Mountain Resort. "A lot of these kids I work with on the mountain and in a variety of different atmospheres, and it's really just a great way to give a piece of our lifestyle back to these children and share our enthusiasm of river sports and activities."

Volunteers say they receive a lot of smiles and thank yous from the community for their work.

Workers with the Hasson Company Realtors, Sunriver Recreation, Sunnyside Sports and the Mount Bachelor Sports Education Foundation also volunteered their time as well.