Frequently asked questions and tips

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Teams have to drive the Sunriver detour.

Never, the road going UP to Mt. Bachelor is never closed. The road going DOWN from Mt. Bachelor is detoured through Sunriver during the race (except for the pairs division).

Yes, individuals need to have at least two support people. 
One person for up at the mountain and one for in town. The support person on the mountain will have to drive the Sunriver detour.

Yes, in the open teams only.

Yes, both telemark skis and snowboards are allowed.

The time it takes to complete the course ranges from 1:45 to 4 hours.

You will have a transponder on your ankle that you will need to take off and pass to your teammate. Listen to the volunteers and ask if you have any questions about where you need to be before your teammate comes to the transition area.

In some races tandem means that you can do each leg of the race at the same time. That is not the case with this race. In the PPP, Tandem means that you can either use a tandem bike and/or a two person kayak.

Same as the Tandem except you are doing it as a team. So, a tandem bike and/or two person kayak is allowed. There are no age or gender divisions.

Yes, everyone on the team needs to be 12 or under to qualify to do the shorter version of the run. When they reach the aid station at the Healy Bridge, they will continue on the Healy Bridge, then once they cross the bridge, they will access the river trail and run towards Farewell Bend Park. We will have lots of volunteers directing them.

Email and we will try and help you!

No, You and that team will be disqualified if you do.

Try and find a replacement. We do not issue refunds. Contact to give the name of your replacement. We will need their age, t-shirt size and name.

Do not go to Mt. Bachelor without your bib numbers or lift tickets on race day.

On race day, lost and found is at the MBSEF tent at the finish area.  After race day, contact

You will receive a Pairs Pass credential in your race packet that will allow you to drive down Century Drive and not be re-routed through Sunriver. The transition zone for the Bike to Run is in the Athletic Club of Bend parking lot. 

You cannot use a two person kayak unless you have registered as a Tandem pair.



  • Read NOAA weather predictions for Bachelor. Determine appropriate wax
  • Wax Nordic skis
  • Usual wax is :
    • 1st layer – HC28 chalk on with UF7 melted in
    • 2nd layer – yellow 31
    • Till base
    • Finish with a Non-Fluoro Race Topcoat of choice


  • Pick up race packet
  • Fill car up with gas
  • Silicone bottom of Nordic boots (prevents snow from caking)
  • Load boat and equipment on car


  • Place boat down at transition area with the following
    • Paddle
    • PFD with number pinned on
    • Water bottle loose in boat
    • Make sure number is taped on boat – use duct tape, not the sticker
    • Pin numbers on all clothes and windbreaker or over jacket (bike)
    • Pin numbers on helmet and bike
    • Give approximate times you will arrive at T3 to support person and make sure they have running shoes and back pack. Make sure they have the “S” sticker for support.
    • Get to bed early

Friday night load in car

  • Bike with number on it
  • Bike helmet
  • Bike floor pump
  • Nordic skis
  • Nordic poles
  • Snow board (or skis and poles)
  • Nordic and alpine boots
  • Running shoes if using toe baskets for bike (this eliminates a shoe change at the bike to run transition)
  • Sunglasses
  • 2 kinds of bike gloves (pending weather)
  • Extra clothes…it’s always colder at Bachelor
  • Watch or Garmin
  • Extra socks
  • Arm warmers
  • Wind breaker or long sleeve bike jersey
  • Electrical tape for taping gu on bike
  • Clean sun glasses
  • Assemble bag for support person at finish
    • Dry shoes and sox
    • Warm long sleeve jacket
    • Recovery drink
    • Towel
  • Ski pass
  • Transponder
  • Ben Gay with cloth


  • Get up by 5:30am
  • Eat a big breakfast and continue to hydrate
  • Take a hot shower
  • Stretch in living room while still warm from the shower
  • Mix energy drinks for bike, top of alpine and boat
    • Pre-hydrate bottle (from leaving house to top)
    • Bottle for waiting at top of ski (throwaway)
    • Bottle for filling bike aero-bottle
    • Bottle for boat (Throwaway)
    • Recovery bottle for end given to support
  • Load at least 2 Gu’s in car for bike
  • Write down expected transition times on bike frame and arms
  • Put lift pass in pocket of bike bibs or jersey
  • Put extra clothes in car for after race and up top if cold. Take “Down” jacket to top parking lot while waiting .
  • Check tire pressure on bike (100 psi is optimal for the change in atmospheric pressure in bike leg)
  • Meet your support person at 7:10am in dirt parking lot near Parks and Rec. Know where they will hide your car keys so you can get in your car after the race.
  • Leave town no later than 7:15am for ride to top
  • Practice window for alpine run is from 8:00am-8:45am
  • Put Water bottle on bike and tape Gu’s or shot blocks on frame
  • Check bike in to transition area (safety check)
  • Rub Ben Gay on quads, calves and ham strings
  • Know what time, chute, and wave number you have and make sure your support person knows it as well. Go over where they will be exactly in the chute.
  • Take lift to the top, take up a “throw away” energy bottle to top as it will be dry while you are waiting. Take a Gu ½ hour prior to race start.
  • Race…

If you are a skier, use rear entry boots and fit your Nordic boots inside. May have to buy a size larger.

If you are a snow boarder, use your Nordic boots on your snowboard. You are able to run up the hill a lot faster…however, you loose a few seconds on putting on the board at the top. At the bottom, the transition is easy to the Nordic skis.

I have found that while going around the parking lot on the Nordic leg, you tend to max your heart rate out…try to hold back and stabilize heart rate prior to entering the woods…make the most of the first half of the course which is downhill.

Practice getting out of your skis prior to the skate to run transition in your living room. 5-10 seconds can be lost here if not done right.

Your support person should have your running shoes (withy quick laces) down ready and your bike ready to go as you run up to the transition. Running shoes in peddle baskets replace the need for actual bike shoes) Do not take energy drink or Gu at the transition…this is done on the bike to save time.

You have about a mile from the parking lot to where you start the downhill bike to take on fluids and Gu/shot blocks…make sure you are topped off with fluids as on the downhill you can’t really take your hands out of the aero-bar position.

I check my time at Meisner and at Seventh Mountain to see how I am doing with the bike leg…times are taped on my bike frame. (times noted from a pre-run bike)

When you reach Seventh Mountain, you have about 4 miles to go…you need to make sure when you are at the bike-to-run transition, you don’t have a belly full of fluid…you need just enough to carry you through the run…I usually take a “sip” just prior to the run (while I am on the bike”)to moisten my mouth.

Hopefully, your support person listens for your number “call out” and is ready with your running shoes and to take your bike, helmet and arm warmers or long sleeve top. Your transition should be no more than 15-20 seconds at the most.

If you have trained with at least 8-10 “bricks” in the last month, you should be in good shape for the transition…if not, you will find out!

Take it easy for the first ¼ mile until your legs get used to the transition…then open it up till you get down to the river…you can make a lot of time here as everyone else is getting used to their legs…For the remaining part of the run course, just go steady and fast and treat it like the end of the race is the run…the kayak is all arms and torso and the final “sprint” is whatever you got left.

As you come into the run-to kayak transition, remember where your boat is…it will look a lot different than when you put your boat there Friday night.

When you arrive at the boat, take some electrolytes first (throw away bottle)…then put on your PFD, grab your paddle, boat and carry down to the water…watch for traffic and lollygaggers trying to put their boat in.

Stay to the shore going up stream…get in the center going down stream…use your abs/torso (not your arms).

As you get out of your boat and run, remember your legs will have shut down as they were stopped fast from the run and not let a chance to warm down…your legs won’t want to run very fast till you get down to the tunnel…just push as hard as you can on this portion (it hurts)…the guy in front of you may be in your age group!

Talk to yourself the entire race…no negative thoughts…praise yourself on what is behind you…plan the transition…the bike leg is the loneliest!

  1. Take 3 kinds of gloves to Bachelor (make sure the Velcro tab is easy to get off or you will loose time on the transition)
    1. Bike gloves with no fingers – Used only 1 out of the last 9 years…only if weather is really warm….can be kept on during the run for the paddle leg…these are harder to get off though at the bike to run transition.
    2. Bike gloves with fingers – Used most of the time to combat the wind/cold of the downhill bike….easier to get off
    3. Warm skate ski gloves – Used at least 2 out of the last 9 years…needed for the cold downhill bike leg which often happens.
  2. Bibs or knickers? – Again…needed most is protection from the wind in the bike downhill….most of the time it has been knickers.
  3. Arm warmers or long sleeve jersey? – Both need to be taken off at the bike to run transition (except for one year it was cold!)…Only one year was I able to ride the bike with a short sleeve jersey on.
  4. Thin cap under your helmet – 60% of the time you will need one

You will find the bike portion from Bachelor to Sunriver road is the coldest part….after that, it get’s better.

Have a labeled bag for the items you need for each transition (make sure they include water bottles, snacks, shot blocks, banana, etc) so your support crew doesn’t have to remember anything other than to grab the correct bag. Include a carpet to sit on when changing from x-country to bike. Give your support crew a timeline of your estimates for when you will make it to each transition (just base on your 10k pace for the running, how long it takes you to cycle 22 miles, mostly downhill). Make reservations for dinner after the race and treat your support crew to dinner – it keeps them coming back to help you, year after year. Oh and yell your # to the bike volunteers so they call it out when you come into town.

Have a change of clothes at the finish.

Assemble/organize/borrow ALL of your gear on the weekend prior and arrange it by leg/transition. Then you’ll have a week to come up with anything missing – this will save a huge amount of stress and get you to bed much earlier Friday night.

Make sure your support person has your ID so you can get a beer after competing

Taking a practice (ski) run can make you miss your start.

Wear layers depending on weather, proper wax for conditions on xc ski, bike is tuned up, practice paddling and have fun.

Probably should never wear bike shorts on the ski run. If you fall, you will get ice burns.

Make sure you know where all the transitions are

Stay clear of the canoes! : ) Anyone can fake a run or bike but gosh newbie paddlers will set you up for a swim for sure.

It’s April, a good month to be thinking about and practicing transitions between stages of the PPP.. Only solo-racers, including those in the elite category, are allowed to have two support persons help them at transitions. One support person will initially be at Mt. Bachelor and the other will be at the bike-to-run transition at the Athletic Club of Bend off Century Drive. Individual racers should start securing their support people this month.

The most complicated transition for individuals doing the race as solo-racers – or anyone doing the downhill and then cross-country sections of the race – is the first transition. The racers needs to ski/snowboard down the race course on Leeway, enter a shoot and switch to cross-country equipment (skate or classic boots, skis and poles). This is where a support person is critical. The support person needs to keep track of the racer’s start time and be at the gate well before that. The support people are allowed into the shoot-area in waves, based on racers’ start times. The support person will be carrying the cross-country equipment in and setting it up in the designated shoot (see the race packet for those details). All support people should try to line up on the same side of the shoot, so racers can slide up to her/his support without any obstacles in the way. I suggest each support person have a towel or something similar for the racers to step onto so s/he is not slipping around during the transition out of downhill equipment and into cross-country equipment. Then the fun begins. Let’s face it, the racer is trying to get on the cross-country course as soon as possible. Some racers accelerate this by already having their skate-ski boots inside their downhill boots, or in place of their snowboard boots, but all racers need assistance from their support person. This transition should be practiced at home between the two of you multiple times, so you can figure out what works best for you. Don’t forget, skate-ski poles have a left grip and a right grip – practice how best to get the correct pole to each hand of the racer. It won’t be pretty if you just go to the mountain without having practiced all that goes into this transition.

Once the racer is on her/his way, the support person must pick up the downhill equipment, helmet (unless the racer kept it on), and towel, as quickly as possible and get out of the shoot, because there will be another wave of support people coming in before you know it. The support person then will need to drop that stuff off at the vehicle and head over to the ski-bike transition to help the racer there. More on that next time…

You will receive a 2-ride lift ticket in your packet, so that you have the opportunity to try out the course – which has giant-slalom gates along it – before you do it for real. The practice runs end at about 9am (first wave of elite racers is 9:15am). The Pine Martin lift to get there takes about 10 minutes. If you are not familiar with how the race starts, there will be “waves” starting every five minutes. A volunteer holds a pole with the upcoming bib range (like the numbers of for the first set of coed pairs), so you’ll know when you’re allowed to place your downhill equipment (skis or snowboards) at that start line and YOU go downhill (about 50 feet?) to your start line. A countdown and horn gets you running up (don’t forget you may want “Pam” on the bottom of your ski boots for certain snow conditions) to jump into your equipment.

When do you want to get up there? Remember, the Pine Martin lift takes about 10 minutes, it also is loading non-PPP riders; it could stop for a few minutes if there is a mishap. Here is a suggestion: Plan on getting up to the start about 30 minutes before your start time. You’ll see the layout and also get to watch and cheer on those before you as they run up the hill and get into their gear. After all of your preparation for the race, you probably don’t want to miss your start time.

Depending on when you go up, you may be waiting at the top of the red chair lift for a while. Of course, if it is a cold, and maybe even snowy, morning, but as a racer you don’t want to be all bulked up in winter gear, what can you do? One idea is to wear something expendable that you can leave at the top of red chair when your wave is called to start. I, and others have worn old jackets or sweaters. If you don’t have an old sweater, you could buy one at Goodwill for just a few bucks. Racers have worn something extra like this a number of “inclement” years, and guess what? MBSEF staff/volunteers bring the stuff down and you can pick up yours at MBSEF headquarters the following week (so you have it for the next PPP). Because MBSEF gives us so many bibs, you might even decide to attach one to that jacket or sweater of yours, so it’s easier to identify.