With extreme cold weather enveloping much of the United States this week, one story particularly caught our eye: A Russian man rang in the new year by running a marathon — by himself — in -36-degree temperatures.
A jeweler who lives in Yakutsk, Boris Fyodorov started his 26.2-mile journey just after midnight struck the Russian town of Oymyakon — which, according to the Siberian Times, is the coldest settlement on Earth.
His out-and-back route started in the snow, but as that tapered off the mercury plummeted. And, save for a few fans and friends that provided him with nutrition along the way, he ran alone except for a support car that joined him in the third hour.
“I had about other marathons around the globe, naming themselves ‘the coldest,’ like the most recent North Pole marathon with runners going at -28C,” Fyodorov said. “I thought surely this cannot be right. Our Oymyakon is the coldest inhabited place in northern hemisphere. Why don’t we arrange a marathon here?”
Fyodorov tried but failed to convince his friends to join him on the run, which lasted 5 hours, 8 minutes.
Fyodorov said he trained in temperatures that reached -40 degrees — and he said the winter has been warmer than usual by about 10 degrees.
“It was my first marathon, but I am sure it will not be the last one,” Fyodorov said. “This year I will spend more time building a bigger team and making sure the word about our marathon reaches everyone who would like to come and run here. I really want to organize next Oymyakon marathon in January when the air goes down to [-58 or -76].”