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Meet the Moldovan athlete who ran 50km in freezing -60°C temperatures

Meet the Moldovan athlete who ran 50km in freezing -60°C temperatures

Would you take on extreme weather conditions to set a record? Well, that's exactly what Dmitri Voloshin from Moldova did.

The extreme sports fanatic took part in a charity run earlier this month in the Oymyakon district of the Sakha Republic, northeastern Russia, where temperatures can drop to -71°C — one of the coldest places in the world.

The run was held as part of the “Unfrozen” race — a charity project Voloshin founded to raise awareness of those affected by cerebral palsy. It was supported by the Athletics Federation of the Republic of Sakha and administration was managed by the village of Tomtor.

Alexander Berdichevski

Voloshin, who ran a distance of 50km at -60°C, was the first athlete to run this distance at such low temperatures without the support of doctors or rescuers.

"It was the hardest test of my sporting career. It’s like a spacewalk, terrible frost and lack of air," he said.

"No equipment can protect you against such frost. I hope I have not frozen my face during the race.

"It was very difficult to breathe — too little oxygen in the air, and the mask clogged with ice. Here my free diving experience of holding breath came in handy,” he said after finishing the race.

Alexander Berdichevski

Voloshin finished the 50km-race in six hours — a record for running at extremely low temperatures.

The runner said thinking about his family helped him overcome the hardest moments and that when he felt he wanted to stop, he thought about Eva, the little girl with cerebral palsy for whom he organised the charity run.

“Most of all I wanted to go to a Serbian sauna," he said.

Voloshin is no stranger to running in extreme weather conditions. In April last year, he participated in the famous North Pole Marathon where he finished second in five hours and three minutes.

In 2017, he took part in the Marathon Des Sables — a multiday race held every year in the desert in southern Morocco. He was the first Moldovan athlete to take part in the famous competition, which is considered one of the toughest races on Earth.

Voloshin's other sporting achievements include the IronMan triathlon world championship and swimming across the Strait of Gibraltar.