In a highly anticipated face-off between several local athletes, this year’s Pole Pedal Paddle race gave spectators quite the show. The men’s race finished with a pencil-thin margin. Meanwhile, the women’s race demonstrated the athletic prowess of Bend local Zoe Roy.
Zoe Roy Asserts Her Dominance at Pole Pedal Paddle 2017
Zoe Roy finished the race in two hours and three minutes. While she missed her desired time of under two hours, she arrived at the finish line a solid ten minutes ahead of the next closest competitor. Her arrival was marked by roaring cheers, which brought out a wide smile in Roy in the final yards of the race.
Arrived at the finish line, Roy met the crowd with her usual pose and humility. When asked how she felt about the race, she said, “It’s nice to be finished. The run was hard, but the rest was all fine. I didn’t have any major hiccups, so that was good. I feel like that’s a win, just to make it to the end without making any mistakes.”
Last year, Roy completed the even in two hours and and fifty seconds. Her hope for this year was to improve on that time and finish this year in under two hours. The conditions this year were certainly ideal: low wind, mild temperatures, and a clear blue sky. But Roy appeared none too disappointed with her performance. In fact, she seemed quite pleased.
Greene Takes the Title in Men’s, But Not Without a Fight
The men’s race remained competitive until the last yard. Six-time Pole Pedal Paddle winner Marshall Greene led the pack for most of the race. His closest rival, Matt Briggs, stuck with him for most of the race, but fell behind during the paddle section. The paddle section is arguably the most challenging portion of the race. It requires a great deal of upper body strength, stamina, and technical skill.
Despite Marshall pulling ahead in the paddle race, an unexpected contest emerged in the final leg of the race. Competitor Paul Schommer overtook Marshall in the 800 meter sprint. This took Marshall completely by surprise. “At first I thought, that’s the end. I’m beat,” Greene said of the race. “But Paul went by me a little slowly, and I thought, he’s just as tired as I am. His legs are just as beat as mine. So if I can just stay right behind him and hang on for a little while, maybe in the last 50 meters I’ll have a chance.”
Stay behind him he did. In the last stretch of the sprint, Marshall took back his top position to win the race. He logged a time of one hour and forty eight minutes, with Schommer logged four minutes behind him. According to the Bend Bulletin, this is the narrowest margin of victory for the pole pedal paddle since 2004, when the current course was introduced.
“This is definitely memorable in terms of the finish,” Greene said of the race. “I’ve had days that have been hotter, days where I’ve had time to celebrate at the finishing stretch, but this is awesome because it was sort of competitive. I’ve sort of always wanted to have a race that was that tight at the finish, but it’s not necessarily the most pleasant way to finish a long race.”