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'I've grown fat, got a tan & now look like a Siberian'
Vladimir Lenin, 1897, in Siberian exile

Coldest race in the world is run at -52C in Yakutia

By The Siberian Times reporter
08 January 2019

Sixteen runners braved extreme temperatures at the Pole of Cold.

-52C race in Oymyakon, Yakutia. Picture: Gavril Sobakin

The daring athletes - the youngest was 21, and oldest 71, all extremely well-trained - travelled 928 kilometres north-east of Yakutsk to the world’s coldest inhabited village of Oymyakon. 

Bone-chilling marathons for five, ten, 20, 30 and 42 kilometres were organised on 5 January. 

At the beginning of the run the air temperature was minus 52 Celsius; by the time the last - and only! - sportsman made it past the mark of 39km it ‘warmed’ to minus 48C. 

Coldest race in the world is run at -52C in Yakutia 


Coldest race in the world is run at -52C in Yakutia 


Coldest race in the world is run at -52C in Yakutia 


Coldest race in the world is run at -52C in Yakutia 


Coldest race in the world is run at -52C in Yakutia 

‘We wanted to make running in -45C and colder more popular, and to show that athletes can adapt to extremely low temperatures’, said Russian champion runner Yegor Abramov. 

‘We could see utter amazement in the eyes of tourists that travelled here from Australia, Taiwan, Japan and India to watch the world’s coldest race’, said runner Sargylana Neustroyeva. 

‘This was our first try at organising the extremely cold marathon. 

‘Next year we are definitely doing another race, all athletes from around the world are welcome!’

Coldest race in the world is run at -52C in Yakutia 


Coldest race in the world is run at -52C in Yakutia 
-52C race in Oymyakon, Yakutia. Pictures: Gavril Sobakin, Sakha Yakutia


Some astonishing results were shown by the participants.

Mother of eight Anastasia Stepanova completed 25km in four hours. 

Seventy-one year old veteran Yegor Permyakov took two and a half hours to run 15 km. 

The longest distance of 39 km was conquered by head of Emissa village Ilya Pesterev.

His time was three hours 53 minutes. 



The best 20km result was two hours 25 minutes shown by four-time world and European champion in marathon running Stepan Lytkin. 

The group’s youngest runner Innokentiy Olesov, 21, ran 10km one hour 8 minutes.  

Russian and European champion marathon runner Valentina Dorguyeva took four hours exactly to complete 25km.

The main organiser of the first extreme marathon was Alexander Krylov, head of Turuu Tour agency. 

Coldest race in the world is run at -52C in Yakutia 


Coldest race in the world is run at -52C in Yakutia 


Coldest race in the world is run at -52C in Yakutia 


Coldest race in the world is run at -52C in Yakutia 


Coldest race in the world is run at -52C in Yakutia 


Coldest race in the world is run at -52C in Yakutia 


Coldest race in the world is run at -52C in Yakutia 


Coldest race in the world is run at -52C in Yakutia 

Comments (4)

"[A]ll extremely well-trained...". That's the way to do it. Alaska had a brief fad for large-scale cold weather events here about a decade ago, but had some tragedies because although the athletes were fit for say bicycling, they were not properly trained for cold weather.

Yet we know that the a cold-conditioning regime is not a big imposition. From China in like the '30s, were many accounts of small children placed on the sidewalk as beggars, near naked, in sub-arctic winter temperatures. It is related that often these kids had to be turfed-out to some other role, because they would become comfortable in the cold. They would be having a good time, not suffering & pitiable ... and not much good for pulling heart-strings.

During WWII, Skandinavians conducted a range of careful experiments to quickly train recruits to lay down on the winter snow, and sleep ... good & well, within a week or so. Russians fielded large numbers of men without shelter, except their famous Great Coat. But they often lacked a training-approach, so some soldiers 'figured it out on their own', and many did not.
===

Really, for this event to grow & develop a wider cache, I suspect it should be relocated to a venue that it is easier to access ... does not require a 1,000 kilometer detour into the deep-bush ... and can offer fuller support facilities. Our friend Sardana Avksentyeva the Mayor of Yakutsk might be a good one to discuss this with!

Alaska's famed Iditarod race toyed in the past with encouraging more of an 'experience' type event; organizing it more like a rally, including camping & dog-care skills as part of a points-system ... and making it more suitable to senior-citizen participants, as well as very young and less-professional (often rural-local) entrants.

But however it evolves, I wish it all the best!
Ted Clayton, Forks, Washington USA
10/01/2019 01:56
2
2
It is wonderful to see that the Peoples of Yakutia are so resilient & sturdy! I share DNA with the Yakut and the Romanov's thru our Viking heritage all the way to Alabama.
I hope to travel to Yakutia one day to see for myself what binds us thru the centuries.
I salute all of Y'all!
MD Wingo, Alabama, USA
09/01/2019 19:47
1
0
I love the Siberian Times. I am fascinated by this part of the world. I know I could not survive the cold there so looking at the photographs and stories you publish makes me feel affection for those who make their life there.
Janice, USA
09/01/2019 03:05
2
0
nice place and time to go on vacation
MORAK Benedikjt, Moscow
08/01/2019 21:53
3
0
1

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