Siberians are said to be hardier than other Russians, but even most Siberians would probably shutter at the thought of spending over 24 hours in icy water, a record-breaking feat that a group of madcap swimmers in Tyumen claim to have accomplished over the weekend.
About 30 polar-bear swimmers, ages 13 to 64, took turns paddling 100- and 200-meter distances in the aptly named Champions' Lake. At least one swimmer was in the freezing water from noon on Saturday to just after noon on Sunday, a Russian and world record, one participant told Interfax.
Each swimmer took the plunge 11 times on average, and together they covered 40 kilometers along a swimming lane carved out of the ice. Officials from the Russian book of records were on hand to witness the achievement, which was also captured on video, the swimmer said.
They aren't the first Tyumen residents to test their mettle in the region's frozen lakes. In December, a local man set a world record for the longest distance swum through icy water, covering about 2.2 kilometers in just over an hour.