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Man kayaks 3 1/2 miles in 817-pound pumpkin

By Ben Hooper

Todd has done it, now the support team moves in to stabilize his pumpkin so he can rest

Posted by South Shore Great Pumpkin Challenge on Thursday, September 10, 2015

TAUNTON, Mass., Sept. 15 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts man who kayaked 3 1/2 miles in an 817-pound pumpkin said his aim was to set a world record and raise awareness of agriculture.

Todd Sandstrum, 42, climbed into the 817-pound pumpkin Sept. 5 and paddled 3.5 miles down the Taunton River, falling short of his goal of 7 miles.

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Sandstrum, who posted footage of his journey on YouTube, said he believes his "Taunton Great River Pumpkin Run" still qualifies as a world record for longest journey in a pumpkin boat and he has submitted the feat to Guinness World Records for approval.

"I'm still in awe of the amount of pain that I pushed through to get it done," Sandstrum told newspaper The Enterprise about a week after his accomplishment.

"My upper body is starting to feel normal," he said. "The last leg, when I could see the Route 24 bridge, my arms were locking up, my hands were so pruned, my knuckles were locked."

The kayaker said setting a world record was only a secondary goal -- his primary focus was getting kids interested in agriculture.

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"I said all along, if this made one kid want to get in the dirt, it was all worth it," Sandstrum said.

"I was able to get across the true message of farming," he said. "It's about getting kids in the dirt and getting people to buy local and support local agriculture."

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