Used by some as an annual benchmark for training, the Pilot Butte Challenge on Friday evening had a pair of first-time participants come out on top.
David McKay, a former Bend resident now living in Hood River, was just two seconds short of the course record with a time of 6 minutes, 55 seconds up the 1-mile nature trail in winning the men’s division.
“I used to live in Bend a couple years ago, and I would run the butte weekly,” said the 30-year-old who broke the 30-34 age-group record. “You know, all the time I would run it. The park is awesome because you get this little summit in the middle of the city, so I think it’s pretty cool they have a race to celebrate and support it.”
McKay has been training for the North Face Endurance Challenge 50-mile run in San Francisco this November.
Bend resident Evelyn Young took first place in the women’s division with a time of 9:09, well off the course record of 7:50 set last year by Bend professional runner Renee Metivier. Young’s favorite part of the challenge, she explained simply, is the challenge itself.
“I like the challenge,” said an enthusiastic Young. “It’s not easy, and I just like trying to see how fast you can go up.”
Five other age-group records fell Friday evening among the 108 finishers: In women’s 65-69, Sharon Gerl finished in 11:46.0 to break the record by 0.5 seconds; Annette Vaughan set the women’s 70-74 record in 12:55.9, and 91-year-old Jean Metcalfe set the vacant 90-and-over women’s record in 25:49.0. In the men’s divisions, Jeffrey Bert set the 13-14 record (8:28), and Jason Irby broke his own 40-44 record from 2013 in 7:40.4.
In the men’s 90-and-over division, John Kersetter finished in 28:33.4, and longtime Challenge participant Art Vinall, 99, finished in 41:37.6.
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