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Krueger, Perkins take men’s, women’s crowns as the SELCO Pole Pedal Paddle returns to the High Desert for its 46th year

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Central Oregonians went the distance Saturday for a Bend tradition -- the 46th edition of the SELCO Pole Pedal Paddle, an iconic multi-sport race from the slopes of Mt. Bachelor to the Bend riverfront that's a special mix of family, friends, fun and the spirit of competition.

The Bend tradition has many looking forward to passing on the event to their kids, as has been done for generations now.

"I have had the fortune of being around this event for almost 20 years," Race Director Marieka Greene said Saturday. "It's near and dear to my heart. It's become a part of my family. It's part of my children's story."

The PPP consists of six legs, as the race started at Mt. Bachelor for the alpine leg, followed by cross country, a bike leg, run leg, and a canoe or kayak leg, ending with a sprint leg, crossing the newly located finish line at Riverbend Park. 

Grace Perkins is no stranger to PPP, having raced the last two years. She took the female elite crown with a time of 2:09:48, finishing 44th overall among the individuals, pairs and teams competing Saturday,

"I definitely trained in the last couple of weeks, trying to focus on things that have been harder for me in the past couple of years that I've done it," she said after her victory. "Just making sure I was really comfortable on the water, on the kayak and trying to, you know, get in a little bit of each activity for today."

Thousands of people were on hand to participate and/or cheer family and friends on.

After a hard day's race, the top three male elite individual finishers reminisced over the friendly competition. 

Andy Krueger, last year's second-place finisher in 1:44:29, took first place, Mike Condon took second, and Alex Martin grabbed third place.

Condon said, "I just love how it brings everything that's great about Bend together into one event and has a chance to really diversify your training and yeah, put it all into one race. It's something I look forward to every year."

For the full race results, you can view them at, to see where you or your team placed.

And for these men, being in the lead was an exciting turn of events. 

Krueger said, "It's always exciting to have kind of new blood on the podium. It's been Marshall (Greene)  and Jesse (Thomas) for several years, so it's nice to mix it up and have some new faces on the podium."

 Martin said, "I was happy with it. I mean, I didn't want to put a whole bunch of, like, expectations on myself coming in, just 'cause I get really nervous for races. But I was really excited to do this one."

The weekend of family fun continues Sunday, with the SELCO Mini Pole Pedal Paddle at Seventh Mountain Resort. 



Article Topic Follows: Bend

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Kelsey McGee

Kelsey McGee is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Kelsey here.


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