By Jim Stanford on March 26, 2012
Despite the spring melt-off, the nordic leg of the Pole Pedal Paddle appears to be intact heading into Saturday’s race.
Carrie Boynton, Jackson Hole Ski Club director, says organizers are making every effort to retain the cross-country 10-k at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
“There are a few holes, but otherwise it looks good,” Boynton said of the course.
So, too, does the weather forecast for the week, calling for a mix of sun and clouds and temperatures in the high 40s and low 50s — a far cry from the frigid and downright blizzard conditions competitors have endured in recent years. Roads are dry, and the flow of the Snake River is up slightly.
Today is the deadline to sign up for the 37th annual PPP without paying a $15 late fee. The club has mulled relaxing the late fees, but it helps organizers to know in advance how many participants to expect, Boynton said. Fun class registration is likely to be up this year, with reduced entry fees and Snake River Brewing Co. offering a $250 party to the team judged to have the most spirit.
In what surely will come as a relief to veteran participants, the ski club has eliminated the Friday evening pre-race meeting. Instead, competitors can drop by Snow King Center to pick up their bibs and ask questions, if necessary, about conditions and regulations. Extensive information is available on the club’s website, and updates will be posted this week on the PPP Facebook page.
The club is trying to make it easier to take part in one of the community’s longest-running and most cherished traditions, Boynton said. With a small boost in promotional funds from the lodging tax, the club is expecting a strong field.
Besides the 10-k nordic leg, the race will feature a downhill ski run from either the top of the tram (racing class) or Thunder chair (rec and fun) at JHMR, as well as a 20-mile bike ride to the South Park Bridge and 10-mile paddle to the finish at Astoria Hot Springs.
Spencer Morton is the reigning champ, finishing all four legs last year in 2 hours, 17 minutes and 31 seconds. Anna-Lisette Davis was the fastest woman, with a time of 2 hours, 43 minutes.
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