Hear David Boze every weekday at 6am on 770 KTTH
David Boze

Man dressed as Darth Vader runs a mile in Death Valley

It's June in Death Valley. It's 129 degrees outside. What would you do for fun? For Jonathan Rice, it's time to run through the desert dressed as Darth Vader.

He calls it the Darth Valley Challenge.

Jonathan and his friends, complete with a support crew dressed as other Star Wars characters, run a mile every year from the Badwater Junction to Furnace Creek.

David Boze, filling in for Dori, asked Jon how he came up with the run.

"I'm 42, a little bit rounder in the belly than I used to be, I'm not a competitive athlete anymore so I had to come up with something that was a real challenge," said Jon. "And I decided that kind of heat, plus a black costume to absorb even more heat, plus a mask so that you couldn't breath - well, that would be difficult."

And Jon doesn't just jog the mile, he sprints it at pace of 6 minutes and 19 seconds.

Jon said he's actually been running in Death Valley for 17 years, and the Darth Valley Challenge is in its fourth year. And after this year's run in 130 degree weather on June 30, he's up for a Guinness World Record for hottest mile run.

He says it's not for the faint of heart - he works out in a sauna, trains in the heat, and drinks plenty of water.

"I take extreme precautions, I am very, very careful. And anybody who does this needs to be very, very careful; the heat will kill you," said Jon.

Jillian Raftery, KIRO Radio Editor
Jillian Raftery is an afternoon editor at KIRO Radio. She loves the neighborly vibe of the Pacific Northwest and spends as much time as possible outdoors.
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
The Little Red Book of Obamunism: Quotations from The One
It's the must-have election resource of 2012! It's a pocket-sized collection that reveals not just what the president says, but what he means!
Buy it now on Amazon.com
Look inside: Read a sample

Kumar Joe, The Singing Crow
Kumar Joe, the Singing Crow is the tale of a little crow who was born with a heart for music, but not a voice for it.
Buy it now on Amazon.com
Look inside: Read a sample

In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.