The culmination of athletic prowess acquired from months of lecture, labs and homework was on full display at this year’s Pole Pedal Paddle. The athletic specimens, I mean students, who drove to Bend for the event, showed the world exactly why they are often compared to other famous athletes including, but not limited to, Tiger Woods, Lebron James, Roger Federer, and Didier Drogba, (soccer player, c’mon the World Cup starts in a couple weeks – get with it!).
As an unbiased observer I would say Kelly Shuman and Ben Kester both ran the final sprint at an average 4.1 sec. 40 meter pace. They were, of course, weighted down with backpacks full of rocks. And I’m pretty sure Adam Henske left a turbulent wake behind his paddle boat, (water skiing anyone?). Nicole Clock finished strong on the 25 mile bike leg, at least three hours ahead of the next person, (Lance Armstrong maybe?). On the cross country leg, Ryan Ness made snow look like polished ice by speed skating to the finish line leaving the rest to wonder why they haven’t quit their day jobs to start drinking heavily. John Belanger, OIT’s very own crazy person, decided he wanted to do the event solo. Yessir, a downhill, five miles of cross-country skiing, 25 miles of biking, a five mile run, a two mile boat race and a final sprint; which he ran at the same pace a gazelle runs from a cheetah.
One team did particularly well. Sean Laraway, Ryan Ness, John Grieser, Josh Anderson, James Scoggins and Brandon Little each took a leg of the relay race and finished third in their age group. Not too shabby considering the team’s collective physical inactivity coaxed by the demanding daily/nightly school workload. Of course, if Jake Brulc graced the team with his presence, they would have broken the world record, (although he would have needed to wear his G.I. Jimma-Jammas for optimum speed.)
In all, OIT Portland had a strong showing at the event with four different groups participating and over 15 students camping in Bend for the weekend. Following the event, the second night of camping was a celebratory carnival complete with floats, costumes and human pyramids. It’s amazing how much fun you can have without alcohol! By Sunday, no one left without their lunch, either from running too hard without the lungs, or from drinking too hard without the liver. So in that respect, it was a success.
From it’s humble beginnings last year, (I think there was six of us), OIT’s PPP representation more than doubled this year. The representation factor was scaled even higher after the students put on their REE shirts, (designed by Nate Oester). Looking like a team rather than a bunch of confused hippies lends the school more credence ya see.
It’s always nice to have a reprieve, even for just a weekend, but finals await and the books are back out again. Buena suerte.