The Real Pilot Butte Challenge | Summer Adventure | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Special Issues & Guides » Summer Adventure

The Real Pilot Butte Challenge

The Pilot Butte challenge consists of eating an 18-ounce burger, large fries and a large shake and then running up Pilot Butte.

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It's a pretty simple equation: Go to the Pilot Butte Drive-In (the original on Greenwood) and order their 18-ounce burger, complete with all the trimmings, large fries and a large shake. Eat all of it as fast as you can and then run to the top of Pilot Butte. It is a sure-fire way to feel like hell. But like many ill-advised endeavors, it's fun when done with a group of buddies and makes for good story-telling.

Some pals and I last did this in 2007. It was awful. And that is no reflection on Pilot Butte's offerings - 'cause they serve up some delectable treats. But when you eat that many calories in such a short period of time, well, you're doomed. After such an experience, the run up the butte may sound like the last thing you want to do, but getting your suddenly fat ass off the bench and waddling around a little bit is probably the best thing you can do.

While mid-burger, cold beads of sweat started breaking out on my brow. In an effort to get everything down, I resorted to dipping my fries into my chocolate shake to help slip them down my throat.

One of my pals, Ralph, who is a better eater and a much better runner, dominated our event. He finished all his food in an almost unbelievable 10 minutes (!). Ralph was across the street and turning up the Pilot Butte road when I finished my feast. He summited in 23 minutes, 48 seconds. I came across the line in 25:02. Of course, there are some rules, namely that you must keep your food down for five minutes after crossing the finish line in order for your result to count. I kept mine down for six.

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