Darth Vader just jogged across Death Valley in 129-degree heat

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Jul 3, 2013, 1:21 PM EDT (Updated)

If you thought pod racing could be extreme, wait'll you hear this!

Anakin Skywalker was born on Tatooine, a desert planet heated by two suns. We're beginning to suspect that runner Jonathan Rice may have been, too.

Why? Well, it turns out he's got a real interest in something called heat running. And, yeah, it's exactly what it says on the tin. In the case of Rice, though, he makes his heat runs something special -- by dressing up as Darth Vader.

That's right. Full Sith Lord regalia. Not only does Rice dress as the dark father, but he then proceeds to run through Death Valley at the hottest part of the day. How hot? This time (yes, he's done it more than once) he booked it down the street on June 30 when it was 129 degrees out.

Rice ran that boiling-hot mile in a scorching 6 minutes and 36 seconds, which is pretty impressive. But don't go getting any delusions of grandeur. Says Rice, "This is a ludicrously dangerous endeavor. I don't support you doing it. I don't even really support me doing it." Unsurprisingly, running through Death Valley in over 100-degree temperatures runs you the risk of things like heatstroke, heart failure and death.

Even if it seems totally ridiculous, though, it's hard not to be sort of inspired when you see Rice in action.

It also doesn't hurt that Chewie was his co-pilot and that people dressed up as R2 and Leia cheer him on. If the real Darth had this kind of support, he never would stayed with the Dark Side for so long!

(via cnet)