This past June 30th, as part of the Darth Valley Challenge — an insane annual event where people run through Death Valley in their favorite Star Wars costume — Jonathan Rice ran a mile in 6 minutes and 36 seconds. It was 129 degrees at the time, so that might actually be a world record!
For the past four years, Rice and his friends have gotten together in their Star Wars regalia and made "a completely pointless" mad dash from from the Badwater Junction to Furnace Creek Ranch (map).
But this year's run was unique in that the National Weather service recorded a temperature of 129 degrees (53 Celsius) at precisely 4:00 p.m. — the exact time that he ran the mile. Rice hopes that Guinness World Records will recognize it as the hottest verified run.
Colorado newspaper Longmont Times-Call describes the Darth Valley Challenge:
Now, it's starting to draw a crowd. In addition to Greenfield's Leia, a handful of other runners and fans show up as R2-D2, Yoda or some other denizen of a galaxy far, far away. This year's support driver even dressed as the hairy Chewbacca — a costume that works only when you're sitting in the air-conditioned car.
If it sounds crazy, Rice would agree. His own website warns imitators that they do so at their own risk, and those risks include dehydration, heatstroke, heart attack, "death, death, more death and getting a purple face."
"This is a ludicrously dangerous endeavor," he warns on the website. "I don't support you doing it. I don't even really support me doing it."
It could be a while before Rice finds out if he's got the record; may the Force be with him.
Top image: Rice making the run in a 2012 photo. Inset photo: Randy Kern of Furnace Creek, Calif., dressed as Chewbacca, and Jonathan Rice of Longmont, dressed as Darth Vader, taken this past June 30.