Add this to the list of reasons to register early for the PPP: If you need to borrow equipment for the race — like, say, a kayak — there may not be any left by race day. That is what Curtiss Feltner, a 30-year-old freestyle snowboarder and triathlete from Bend, learned after he decided to sign up for the men’s elite race at 1 p.m. Friday. With no kayaks available to borrow, Feltner had to settle for a friend’s paddleboard, hardly the fastest river-going vessel to choose from.
“I kind of committed to the board-sport thing today, with the paddleboard and the snowboard,” Feltner said after Saturday’s race. “Neither one is the fastest, especially transitioning off the snow, but it was a late sign-up, my first time doing it. I always wanted to do it.”
Feltner said he had paddleboarded maybe three times before, always as a relaxing activity. But his big problem came on the nordic ski leg.
“The paddleboard, obviously I survived. I actually didn’t get passed, because we were spread out enough at that point,” Feltner said. “Today was my first time ever cross-country skiing, so I got a little road rash on the downhill. Definitely hemorrhaged some time there. I only fell once though. I kind of thought it would be more like four or five times. I literally got on the skis yesterday and took them out for like 10 minutes, just to see if it would work.”
Feltner finished ninth in the men’s elite category with a time of 2:12:23.9 and did not seem too bothered by the skin scraped off the back of his left hand during the nordic ski crash.
“I went for the best combined finish for Hella Big Air and Pole Pedal Paddle,” he joked, referring to the freestyle snowboard trick contest he entered at Mount Bachelor in late March.