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Florida Man Really Lives Up To The ‘Florida Man’ Trope

A man in Florida washed up on a beach in a giant hamster wheel.

The Olympics has captured the world’s attention over the past few days with some new sports being trialed for the first time, including surfing and skateboarding. But, probably one sport that is unlikely to take off is Floating Zorb Hamster Wheel Long Distance Water Running, or FZHWLDWR for short.

You see over in Florida, where these types of things always happen, deputies from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office were called out to rescue a man who had washed up on the shore inside what is best described as a giant hamster wheel. Upon arrival, the officers found 49-year-old endurance athlete, Reza Baluchi, stuck inside but otherwise unharmed.

Baluchi was using the contraption to try to run across water from Miami to New York City, kind of like if Jesus was into ultra-marathons. Importantly, it was all for charity: “My goal is not to only raise money for homeless people, but also to raise money for the Coast Guard,” he told Fox News. Which is probably the least he can do given how busy he’s been keeping them.

Unfortunately, early into the 2500 km water run up the east coast of the country, Baluchi encountered some complications (which were probably just waves) that forced him back to shore.

You’re probably thinking: “Well, there’s a first time for everything”, but this was actually the third time that the endurance athlete has had to be rescued from his giant bubble.

In 2014 he was rescued in Saint Augustine when he attempted a 4800 km trip from Florida to Bermuda. That’s right, Bermuda. He tried to travel across international waters in a bubble.

And then in 2016 he had to be rescued off the coast of Jupiter (the town in Florida, not the planet) after a second attempt at getting to Bermuda. Apparently, it took the Miami Coast Guard 12 hours to convince him to get out of his bubble. Which is actually not that long when you remember that most of Australia’s politicians have been stuck in the Canberra bubble for decades and downright refuse to leave (that’s right, this article contains traces of satire!)

One thing you have to say about Baluchi is he is very determined to keep running around in his giant orb and seems genuinely serious about making it to Bermuda one day. He uploaded this video to his YouTube page in September to promote the journey.

In the video, he has planned out a route to run over water to Bermuda and to eventually arrive in Central America before ditching the orb and running home the more traditional way: over land. If he pulls it off, it could be the most impressive run since that time Forrest Gump ran for three years, two months, fourteen days and sixteen hours.

“They have stopped me four or five times,” he told Fox News, “but I never give up.” We believe you, Reza. We really do.