Pole Pedal Paddle close to breaking records

Could the race ever get too big for Bend?

Is the PPP getting too big for Bend?

BEND, Ore. - The halls at the Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation offices in Bend are lined with U.S. Bank Pole Pedal Paddle registration packets.

"We've exceeded 3,000," said MBSEF event Coordinator Molly Cogswell-Kelley.

People were flooding the office with last-minute registration forms before Tuesday's 11:59 p.m. deadline.

Growing too big for its original finish location, Drake Park, years ago, the Pole Pedal Paddle's finish line moved to the Old Mill District.

"We have a lot of room to spread out, and we get to use the (Les Schwab) Amphitheater, and that really helps." said Cogswell-Kelley.

The race broke a record in 2011 when more than 3,100 people took part, and with more than that expected this year, the city is preparing.

"We have extra volunteers this year," said Bend police Lt. Chris Carney.

Hotels are booked, some months in advance, and soon roads will be more crowded with cars, bikes and people.  

"Go everywhere early, and prepare," Carney said. "Don't try to rush somewhere last minute, because it's not going to work on a day like Saturday."

With Bend's population temporarily growing by the thousands, there was one question we had to ask; Do you think the PPP will ever get too big for Bend?

"No, I have to say," Carney replied.

"The incremental increases that we've had have never been huge jumps," said Cogswell-Kelley. "So I don't really foresee it ever getting too big for Bend."

If race numbers continue to climb, which MBSEF hopes they do, they could add more waves, and more afternoon start times.

Promising that as the race grows, they plan to grow with it.

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