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Coldest races in the world

A number of these footraces claim they're the coldest in the world

World's Coldest Races

Get the thermals out because these races are oh so cold.

With temperatures regularly in the -30 to -40 C range at these races, they are among the coldest in the world. Plus, a number of them are in Canada.

RELATED: What it feels like to run in -30 C.

According to the CBC, Ottawa is currently the coldest capital in the world, overtaking cities in Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Temperatures dipped to a bone-chilling -29 C on Dec. 27 as severe weather warnings blanketed the area. Westwards, in Edmonton, runners are braving -30 C temperatures and putting the work in.

Meanwhile, those types of temperatures are routine for some of the below footraces. This list was inspired by the cold temperatures experienced on race day in Hamilton on Boxing Day.

Polar Bear Marathon

Churchill, Man.
November 2018

Churchill is the polar bear capital of the world so don’t be surprised if a sighting occurs.

North Pole Marathon

The North Pole
April 2018

The North Pole Marathon takes place in one of the most remote locations in extreme sub-zero temperatures at the top of the world.

Antarctic Ice Marathon and 100K

Ellsworth Mountains, Antartica
December 2018

The Antarctica Marathon is understandably the world’s southernmost marathon.

Baikal Ice Marathon

Irkutsk Oblast (Siberia), Russia
March 2018

This race is held on the ice of the world’s largest freshwater (by volume) and deepest lake.

Hypothermic Half-Marathon

Across Canada
January to March 2018

There’s even a cold running tips sheet located on the home page of the Hypothermic Half-Marathon’s website. A Hypothermic Half takes place in most mid- to large-sized city in Canada.

Yukon Arctic Ultra

Yukon Arctic Ultra
Photo: Marcel Hasenbalg.

February 2018

“Quite simply the world’s coldest and toughest ultra race,” the race says.

6633 Ultra

Eagle Plains, Yukon
March 2018

The 6633 Ultra calls itself the “toughest, coldest, windiest ultra distance footrace on the planet.” According to Red Bull, windchill made temperatures feel as though they were -78 C for parts of the race in 2008.


February 2018

The 2016 edition of the race cancelled its half-marathon and marathon due to the cold as temperatures that week reached overnight lows of -46 C with the windchill.

Frostbite 50

March 2018

The name itself is cold enough to earn its spot on the list.

RELATED: Classic (and often cold) Canadian winter races that will chill you to the bone.

For other winter races, check out our Canadian-specific list here.

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