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Cleveland native pushes peanut up a 12-mile summit with his nose, cracks Colorado record

Posted at 6:24 AM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 08:17:09-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A Cleveland native has made history and his nutty trek is cracking national headlines.

Bob Salem is now the first person in the 21st century to hike up Pikes Peak in Colorado, where the town of Manitou Springs sits at its base while pushing a peanut with his nose. Salem’s journey was about 12-mile up the summit.

News 5 caught up with Salem after his hike this month.

Salem, whose family still lives in Cleveland, moved to Colorado years ago with his wife and son.

“We hike all the time here. I mean, the mountains are amazing,” he said.

He says his “Peanut Push” quest came about while speaking with a representative from the Manitou Springs Heritage Center about celebrating the town’s 150th anniversary with yet another peanut quest.

What is the “Peanut Push?”

According to Salem, the quest “started with a bar bet actually in the 1920s.” The bet, worth $50, consisted of a guy pushing a peanut up to the Pikes Peak summit with his nose. The task had only been completed two more times before Salem. The most notable was in 1963 when Ulysses Baxter completed the Peanut Push in a record-breaking eight days.

The 21st Century Peanut Pusher

Salem started his Peanut Push on July 9 and finished on July 15.

“I was trying to beat the prior record as it was and I did,” he said. “We started it was 98 degrees. It was a record-hot day. So, I started dehydrated the first day. I had to take the day off...I did most of it at night because it was much cooler.”

Salem says his wife and son helped him.

They helped me carry my backpack and stuff. I did all the peanut pushing.”

Salem used a mask strapped to his face to flip the peanut up the summit. He says he took a C-Pap mask and replaced the hose with a spoon.

What now?

Salem says he did not expect to get this much recognition. The record-holder has made national and worldwide headlines.

“Everybody thinks it's funny. It's an amazing thing…you know, anything that'll give anybody just a moment of laughter away from everything and all the other dumb stuff that's going on TV right now,” he said.

Yet, Salem says he is using his new platform to help bring awareness to a non-profit he is a part of, Together and Home at Last. The non-profit’s mission is to put people in affordable housing for about $0.50 a square foot.

We've actually gotten some donations out of this, so that's kind of amazing.”

As for Salem’s Peanut Push career, he says it’s over. Yet, he says it was worth it.