Speed Reads

'Squashing' records

Nebraska man paddles 38 miles in his pumpkin, breaking previous world record

Duane Hansen, age 60, hopped inside his giant pumpkin early Saturday morning and began his trek to break the Guinness World Record of "longest journey by pumpkin boat."

The Nebraska man's inspiration came from a pumpkin growing seminar in which he met a woman who previously held the record, Hansen told News Channel Nebraska. She explained the rules, and he decided he wanted to do it. 

Hansen spent nearly a decade trying to grow a large-enough pumpkin until finally big "Berta" came along. He hollowed out his 846-pound pumpkin, carved out a cupholder on the side, "plopped a cooler inside, and hit the banks of the Missouri River," writes The Washington Post.

Hansen's journey wasn't an easy one. He had "to be on top of it the whole time," Hansen told News Channel Nebraska, as waves threatened to tip his pumpkin over. "You've got to stop everything and just hold on and ride with those waves. That was bad."

After paddling for 11 hours in his pumpkin and traveling 38 miles, he broke the previous record held by Rick Swenson, who had floated 25 miles. 

"I did not realize he was going to be sitting in the pumpkin, riding in the pumpkin all the way down there. It's a big pumpkin, it's kind of crazy … I've never seen anything like it," said Phil Davidson, the community relations coordinator for the City of Bellevue, where Hansen launched his pumpkin.

Hansen is now only waiting to be verified by Guinness World Records.