Jack Rising crossed the finish line at the the Eugene Holiday Half Marathon last month in one hour and 16 minutes, not only setting a new personal best for himself, but also a new world record.
He was wearing a store-bought carrot costume, and Rising is in the process of submitting his attempt to The Guinness World Records archive.
Rising, a 22-year-old member of the UO Running Club and an alumni of Oregon as of last spring, ran in his carrot outfit as part of his fundraiser for Type 1 diabetes treatments. Rising created a fundraiser page through Facebook, called “Racing for a Cure (In a Carrot Costume).”
He got the idea of running a half marathon in a vegetable outfit when he and his brother discovered the precarious record—before Rising broke it was 1:22:47 by David Craddock in the St. Albans Half Marathon in the United Kingdom.
Craddock ran in a pea costume, but there was something about the carrot Rising couldn’t resist. However, he ran into some difficulties prior to race day. He had to had extra orange felt fabric past his waist, which did not help for ventilation.
“In every aspect of life, diabetes presents me (and others) with an array of challenges that most people don’t see or know about,” Rising posted to the page. “Whether I’m sitting down for an exam or toeing the line at a race, diabetes adds an invisible layer of worry, frustration, and stress.”
The money he raised will go directly to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. When he was just 21 months of age, Rising was diagnosed with T1D, as is it commonly referred to.
“They give out a lot of funding for diabetes research and cure based stuff, like insulin pumps,” Rising said. “I just tried to raise money for them so they can give money to independent researchers.”
With over $3,200 earned through more than 70 people, Rising was already happy. But then after a surprise $3,500 donation from his godfather, Rising was thrilled. By the end of donation period, the JDFR received $6,800 of total donations.
“T1D develops when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, called beta cells,” according to the JDRF’s website. It also states that 1.25 million Americans are currently diagnoses with T1D, and 40,000 more are diagnosed each year.
The autoimmune disease makes it much harder for the human body to extract energy from food. While insulin pumps can keep the blood-sugar level high, they are not a long term solution. The money Rising raised will go towards cure research.
His girlfriend, Jade Amaris Swanson, biked behind him for all 13.1 miles and filmed the race because Guinness needed absolute proof that Rising’s record breaking attempt as legitimate.
“I don’t think I’ve ever ridden a bike that far,” Swanson said. “That was not a leisurely bike ride.”
Other people in the race not wearing vegetable costumes were friendly and supportive whenever they saw the carrot, Swanson said.
Follow August Howell on Twitter @howell_august