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As the end of ski season inches closer, multi-disciplined athletes have the chance to participate in Salida’s annual Pole Pedal Paddle, or the Salida 3P, this coming Sunday, April 17. While it’s physical fun, it’s also for a good cause;  it funds the FIBArk Youth Paddling Program (more about that below).

The race follows the path of the spring runoff, starting at the Continental Divide on Monarch Pass with backcountry skis. Then, competitors mountain bike near Mt. Shavano to the banks of the Arkansas River where they start their final leg, kayaking into downtown Salida. Men, women, and Juniors (18 and under) can compete individually. Men, women, or mixed teams can also compete in a relay.

The annual Pole Pedal Paddle multi-sport event started in 1998, and then petered out. It was reborn in 2008 before disappearing again in 2014. Then, the race came back stronger than ever in 2018.

Registration, which opened on March 1, is capped at 200 participants. Those looking for teammates can check out the Salida 3P Facebook page. Registered participants should pick up their packets, timing chips, numbers, athlete bags, and t-shirts from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on April 16 at the Riverside Patio behind Absolute Bikes and High Side! Bar & Grill in Salida. The race will start at 10:00 a.m. on April 17 at Monarch Pass.

All proceeds from the Salida 3P benefit the FIBArk Youth Paddling Program. The program is offered by the FIBArk Community Paddling Center together with the City of Salida Parks and Recreation Department. It works to encourage, train for, and promote local youth participation in whitewater sports. Rules and regulations as well as additional information about Salida 3P can be found on their website.