Russian man runs marathon in coldest town on Earth

Oymakon, the coldest town on Earth. (Photo: Maarten Takens)
Oymakon, the coldest town on Earth. (Photo: Maarten Takens)

During the deepest winter nights it can get very cold in some Canadian towns, but rarely does anywhere here get as cold as Oymyakon, Russia, the coldest town on Earth.

Boris Foyodorov, a jeweller from Yakutsk, capital of the Sakha Republic in Russia, ran a marathon on New Year’s Day in Oymyakon in -36 C, ten degrees warmer than most years. The town is one of only two permanently inhabited places in the world to have ever had a recorded temperature below -60 C, but the region has been experiencing a relatively mild winter, with temperatures generally not dipping below -40 C, and very few days as cold as -45 C, which is common some years. Temperatures that cold are dangerous while exercising because sweat can freeze if you stop running.

The 37-year-old trained for two months in temperatures similar to those that he ran the race in, which he finished in 5:08. He started running minutes after midnight on Jan. 1, and before leaving he was wished good luck by Chyskhaan, a Santa Claus-like Russian Lord of Cold.

Foyodorov enjoys running marathons in extreme environments, both hot and cold. He told the Siberia Times he would like to try a race in even colder temperatures, perhaps as cold as -50 to -60 C.

Another danger of completing the race was wolves, but there were no problems during the run.