July 3, 2013
Darth Valley Challenge: Run The Scorched Death Valley Dressed As Lord Vader [Video]


The Darth Valley Challenge might be for you, if you live at that intersection between fitness buff and Star Wars nerd.

California's Death Valley is reporting some of the highest temperatures on record this week, scorching desert sand and keeping anyone in their right mind at home in the AC.

But Jonathan Rice saw an opportunity to challenge himself. He put on his running shoes and decided to run a mile. He was also wearing a complete Darth Vader costume.

Sounds insane? Maybe it is, but there is a purpose to it. Rice calls this little ritual the "Darth Valley Challenge." He started it four years ago as more of a "fun" fitness challenge than anything.

He enjoys something called "heat running," which is exactly what it sounds like. This year, his challenge took place on June 30, when the temperature was recorded by the National Weather Service at 129 freakin' degrees.

But he admits that his hobby is a little ridiculous, even a little insane.

"This is a ludicrously dangerous endeavor. I don't support you doing it. I don't even really support me doing it," Rice said.

His website is a fun visit, but it has tons of disclaimers posted everywhere about the dangers of heat running. These include heart attacks, heatstroke, and of course, death.

But he's still going to do it next year, and presumably the year after that. Amanda Kooser of cnet joked that we should start a campaign to get Star Trek fans dressed as Klingons out there for a full-on race. Qapla' batlh je!

Would you be bold enough to take the Darth Valley Challenge?

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