BEND, Ore. -

The U.S. Bank Pole Pedal Paddle is Saturday.

The race consists of six stages, but one of the stages is getting a makeover this year.

Runners will have a new course, facing a more scenic trail -- but a more challenging one too.

The first half-mile is uphill, but it's the downhill portion that could come with some bumps and bruises.

Officials say if people start out too fast, they may end up paying for it later.

"Every year is different. Changing to the different disciplines is a challenge," said Craig Mavis, a PPP participant.

Mavis has been competing in the PPP for the past six years. This year, he and many runners like him will be faced with a new challenge.

"MBSEF (The Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation) decided they wanted a new run course,, so I created a whole new run course from scratch," said Nick Campbell, a run course volunteer captain tasked with coming up with that new plan.

There were two requirements. One of them was to have a new transition area for bikers and runners at the Athletic Club of Bend, instead of the Original Pancake House.

"It's a nice big open area that would be conducive to that," Campbell said.

Race officials also wanted to use the Deschutes River Trail as much as possible.

"We wanted to showcase the river trail as much as possible," Campbell said. "So now, the runners are going to get to see three miles of that south river trail -- the beautiful parts of it as far as I'm concerned, very scenic, very beautiful place to run. There's also some hills in there, so it's going to make things more challenging for them."

Bikers will slow down at the Athletic Club of Bend, then will peel off the paved bike path to transition to the run stage. Runners then will run the parallel that bike path, but in the opposite direction, up to Mt. Bachelor Village.

One of the nice things about the course is there is only one road crossing.

"In years past, there were a lot of places where runners and cyclists had to cross roads," Campbell said. "It's a big safety improvement, so I think it's going to make a big difference there."

There are also no roundabouts -- so for cyclists and runners, if you find yourself crossing a roundabout you are off-course.

"I always been concerned about the safety aspects of bikers riding through roundabouts, runners crossing roundabouts," said Campbell. "There have been some near-misses over the years, so I wanted to take roundabouts out of the equation completely."

That's something Mavis can appreciate.

"It's always been a little bumpy through there," Mavis said.

And by the way, the run leg ends in RiverBend Park for the next stage: kayaking.