Step aside, ultramarathoners: America has a new endurance athlete, and he’s as gourd as it gets.
A Nebraska man has set a new world record after he paddled 38 miles down a river in a huge, hollowed-out pumpkin, officials have said.
Duane Hansen of Syracuse, Nebraska, completed his journey last week, according to a Facebook post from the city of Bellevue on Saturday.
Photos on social media show Hansen crouched inside the giant gourd, which weighed in at 846lb, according to the Facebook post. Officials said Hansen set off down the Missouri river around 7.30am and completed his journey just after 6.30pm.
It might look like fun – but you’d butternut try this at home. The 11-hour voyage appeared to take a physical toll on Hansen. “I went 38 miles down the river without standing up in that pumpkin and my knees still hurt,” Hansen said in a video posted by Reuters. “I probably won’t try this again. If somebody breaks this record I will bow down to them because they are tough.”
Hansen is described as a “longtime Nebraska resident who enjoys growing large pumpkins, gourds and other vegetables as a hobby” and was inspired to vanquish the previous record after seeing another paddler attempt it. “Seems like a unique if not slightly crazy way to celebrate his 60th birthday, which was yesterday,” the post read.
Hansen asked city officials to bear witness to the feat so that it would be recognized by Guinness World Records. The organization has not yet validated the results, according to the Washington Post, but it confirmed it would beat the current record for “longest journey by pumpkin boat” currently held by Rick Swenson, who traveled 25.5 miles (41.038 km) in Grand Forks, North Dakota, in 2016.
Pumpkins are famed for their ability to reach extraordinary sizes, with some varieties weighing over 2,000lb.