Jim McMahon

Long-distance running is hard enough, but an annual marathon in Siberia has taken the challenge to a whole new level. Dubbed the world’s coldest marathon, the race took place in January, with temperatures dropping to -63.4 degrees Fahrenheit as 65 runners—including athletes from the U.S., the United Arab Emirates, and Belarus—took part in the 26.2-mile run near the remote village of Oymyakon. Vasily Lukin, a local, finished first, in 3 hours and 22 minutes. Oymyakon, in the Sakha Republic of Russia, is home to about 500 people and is considered the world’s coldest permanently occupied human settlement. Eyelashes and brows can freeze there, and cars have to be left running even when they’re not in use to keep the batteries from dying. But those involved with the race hope the marathon will encourage other people to visit and try the extreme competition for themselves. Lukin told The Siberian Times, “I’d love to see more runners from across the republic, Russia, and abroad in future marathons.”