Man in Vader suit runs 129-degree mile

Record heat has been smothering much of the western United

States in recent days, but the suffocating temperatures are

actually a good thing for a Colorado man named Jonathan Rice, the

originator of the Darth Valley Challenge.

href="http://www.timescall.com/news/longmont-local-news/ci_23579319/longmont-heat-runner-forceful-record-death-valley""

target="_blank">According to the Longmont (Colo.) Times-Call,

Rice is a 17-year veteran in heat-running (which is exactly what it

sounds like) and has been doing this particular run — a

mile-long sprint through Death Valley, in the heat of summer,

dressed as Darth Vader — for three years.

On Saturday, Rice threw caution to what I can only assume was a

complete lack of wind and took to the road in Furnace Creek,

Calif., where he endured 129-degree temperatures verified by the

National Weather Service and finished in a time of 6:36.

Here’s the entire run, if you care to see it, as well as

video of Rice and his support driver, Randy Kern, who dressed as

Chewbacca, but wisely spent the run in an air-conditioned car:

On his website, Rice notes how unwise his annual run is, telling

fans who wish to join him, “This is a ludicrously dangerous

endeavor. I don’t support you doing it. I don’t even really support

me doing it.” At least he makes it clear that no one is trying to

Force him to do it.