• Germany's news in English

Barefoot snow runner sets 5km world record

The Local · 13 Feb 2012, 10:55

Published: 13 Feb 2012 10:55 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Kai Martin from Güstrow in northern Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, managed the five kilometres in 23 minutes and 42 seconds. This is the first record in the discipline of barefoot snow running to be recognised by the Guinness Book of Records.

Although Germany has been covered in frost and snow for weeks, the race was held indoors on artificially-made snow at the Alpine Centre in Wittenburg near Hamburg, the Ostseezeitung regional paper reported.

The 49-year-old victor came off relatively well with his bleeding feet – another runner suffered patches of freezing on his feet and also needed medical attention. Three of the six competitors dropped out before the end of the race, complaining of painful feet.

Martin said he went running barefoot every day, in temperatures of down to minus five Celcius. “I always liked running barefoot best, even as a child,” he said.

Organisers said they expected attempts to break the new record to be made soon.

Story continues below…

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

11:31 February 13, 2012 by zeddriver
The silly things that people do to have their fifteen minutes of fame never ceases to amaze me.

It really gets entertaining when they get nominated for the Darwin awards for interesting ways in which they remove themselves for the gene pool.
11:46 February 13, 2012 by ChrisRea
Indeed, zeddriver. I never understood why the world celebrates Edmund Hillary and the likes. The thing with pushing the human limits and serving as inspiration to others is foolish. Why should we run (extreme) marathons when we could just sit on our comfy coaches, eat fast-food and enjoy a soap-opera?
17:12 February 13, 2012 by zeddriver
I think that the explorers and even those that push human endurance are in a far different class than the "fame seekers"

I'm talking about the sort that says. Hey! I think I'll cover myself in tattoo's or body piercing's, drive nails into my head, Or run barefoot in freezing weather. Solely for the purpose of being in a record book. Hilary knew what was ahead and prepared for it. This guy knew what was ahead. and promptly unprepared himself. He could have gone on a nice healthy run with his shoes ON!
17:22 February 13, 2012 by ChrisRea
Right, so in the case reported is not about human endurance? Like in any (extreme) race? And Mr. Martin did not prepare for it? Maybe you missed the part with 'he went running barefoot every day, in temperatures of down to minus five Celsius'. That's a training all right.

'He could have gone on a nice healthy run with his shoes ON!' - so you suggest that in a barefoot snow running race he should have had his shoes on? Then you probably think that marathon runners should cover the distance by taking a cab (it does not put the body to an extreme effort and therefore it is healthier).
22:12 February 13, 2012 by ovalle3.14
I think there is a difference between running a marathon and running barefoot on snow.
00:26 February 14, 2012 by zeddriver
Why is there even a barefoot snow run in the first place? I imagine that whom ever thought up this sport wasn't getting noticed when running with shoes. And was thinking how can I get noticed. Then started pouring through the running record books and said Eureka! I don't see a barefoot snow running record. HHHMMM!!!!

Heck. A fat bloke could stand in the cold all day insulated by a layer of blubber. The only thing this guy proved is that he is able to block out the pain of frostbite.
08:48 February 14, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ zeddriver

I am glad that slowly-slowly you are getting to your senses and leave some of your unfortunate statements behind.

Why is there a barefoot snow run in the first place? Well, you can also ask why is there a marathon race? Could they not run only 1 km to see who is faster? And then why are there ultramarathons? Is also 42.195 km not enough? And then who had the idea to organise mountain marathons? Why running up and down? And then come the extreme marathons like running in Sahara or at the Polar Circle. Don't they know that it is not healthy? Well, just like running barefoot on snow (which requires endurance, training, discipline), it is about pushing the human limits. Yes, I know, compared with sitting on a coach, it seems stupid. :)

If you come with the example of the fat bloke, you do not understand the difference between running and standing. Training does not mean eating more than your body needs.

@ ovalle3.14

Yes, there is a difference between running a marathon and running barefoot on snow. There is also a difference between running a marathon and competing in a triathlon. However, if you tried any endurance sport, you might see the connection.
15:19 February 14, 2012 by zeddriver

I'm not saying that I think all competition is invalid. far from it. Or that 100% safety is required. But. When they have the Sahara run. Do they have water available? When they do the polar run. Do the runners dress in proper gear?

When I rode dirt bikes. I wouldn't think for a second that it required more skill and stamina to ride without boots on. When I attended a riders course at Tsukuba circuit in Japan. They didn't have a nude motorcycle racing class. Nor should they.

Most of the running sports are based on human events. War, Hunting, Communication. Which included hills, deserts, and cold. I would say that for the past several thousand years. Before a person went to war, hunting, or running a message to the next village. One of the things they did was put on their sandals.

Hope your Valentine's day is a good one.
18:01 February 14, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ zeddriver

Obviously you have no or little interest in marathons. Otherwise you would have heard of Abebe Bikila, the guy who won the 1960 Olympic Marathon running barefoot. It might sound like a joke, but he did that because Adidas, the official sponsor of the race, provided him a pair of shoes which were not comfortably fitting. So Bikila decided to run barefoot, just like he used to train for the race. Since then, there is a plethora of events based on barefoot running. Vibram FiveFingers footware was inspired by barefoot running. There is still an ongoing debate whether barefoot running is better or not than running with shoes. So there is no comparison with nude motorcycling.

I hope you learned a thing or two. Happy Valentine!
Today's headlines
These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd