Man In Pumpkin 'Boat' Paddles 38 Miles Down Missouri River In Attempt To Beat World Record

Duane Hansen may have broken the Guinness World Record by paddling an 846-pound pumpkin he turned into a makeshift boat down the Missouri River.
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Duane Hansen paddled 38 miles down the Missouri River in an 846-pound pumpkin.
Duane Hansen paddled 38 miles down the Missouri River in an 846-pound pumpkin.
Phil Davidson/City of Bellevue/Facebook

While most typically celebrate their birthdays with cake and a song, one man focused on a giant pumpkin and the Guinness World Record.

Nebraska resident Duane Hansen celebrated his 60th on Saturday by paddling a hollowed-out, 846-pound pumpkin down the Missouri River, according to CNN. Hoping to beat the previous record for “longest journey by pumpkin,” he asked officials from the city of Bellevue to witness the endeavor.

The first Guinness World Record for this act was set with a 15-mile trek in Washington, according to the organization. Rick Swenson beat this in a gourd of his own with a 25.5-mile ride down the Red River in 2016, which Hansen aimed to trounce.

Hansen thus endeavored to paddle his pumpkin for 38 miles from Bellevue’s public boat docks to Nebraska City, according to a Facebook post by the City of Bellevue. Hansen left at around 7:30 a.m. and arrived after 6:30 p.m. — with a passion for gardening inspiring him to do so.

“Mr. Hansen is a long-time Nebraska resident who enjoys growing large pumpkins, gourds and other vegetables as a hobby,” read the post. “He came up with this idea when visiting Ohio and seeing another person attempt to set this record which is currently right around 30 miles.”

Hansen paddled for nearly 12 hours but surpassed the record around the eighth.
Hansen paddled for nearly 12 hours but surpassed the record around the eighth.
Phil Davidson/City of Bellevue/Facebook

“Lisa Rybar and myself agreed to take on this task, which we were originally thought was to float a 800 pound pumpkin for over 30 miles down the river,” added the post. “It wasn’t until later in the conversation that we realized that Mr. Hansen would actually be riding the pumpkin on this journey.”

Hansen endured the 11-hour journey with a cup holder carved into the hull and “SS Berta” written on the back. His Syracuse, Nebraska-based family and friends cheered him on from land, though some did trail behind him in an actual boat — just in case something went wrong.

Hansen surpassed the 25.5-mile record just before 3 p.m., nearly four hours before he arrived in Nebraska City. Guinness World Record spokesperson Kyle Galloway told CNN they’ve since received his application, which will likely see Hansen crowned with the bizarre title.

“They say if you stay in your job long enough you might see just about everything and this morning was one of those days!” a city official wrote in the Facebook post.

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