With a race as big and complicated as the PPP, it is inevitable that someone will forget an essential piece of equipment. Or lose an essential piece of equipment. Or break an essential piece of equipment.
And when that happens, the first place to turn is usually the REI store in the Old Mill District.
“It’s actually kind of funny; it’s the Pole Pedal Paddle, and we have so many paddles going out the door,” said Jen Haselden, a 20-year-old sales floor associate at REI, which is conveniently located across the Deschutes River from the run/paddle transition. “Paddles will break sometimes — I’ve heard some crazy stories when people come in.”
As of noon Saturday, Haselden said the store was not as busy as it was during last year’s PPP, but there remained plenty of racers and support team members searching for replacement items Friday and Saturday.
“We’ve had people buy helmets before,” Haselden said. “Socks, shirts, any kind of apparel.”
PPPers also pick up replacement bike chains and last-minute items like energy bars.
“Honestly, people grab a bunch of GU and go,” Haselden said, referring to the packets of energy gel popular with runners.