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.
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.