A man who braved freezing temperatures wearing nothing but a pair of shorts has broken the record for the fastest half marathon barefoot on ice/snow.

Josef Salek (Czech Republic also known as Czechia) set the record, that had gone unbroken for 16 long years, with an incredible time of 1 hr 50 min 42 sec.

The record was previously held by Wim ‘The Iceman’ Hof with a time of 2 hr 16 min 34 sec in 2007.

This is Josef’s second Guinness World Records title after he achieved the longest time in an abdominal plank position (male) last year with a staggering 9 hr 38 min 47 sec.

Josef, a therapist, lecturer, and personal development coach, who is better known as Joska, takes pride in his healthy lifestyle.

His continued interest in physical records is, in his words, to show that “setting these isn’t just about having exceptional abilities but also the right mindset”.

Thanks to his many years of experience walking on extremely challenging surfaces such as hot coals and glass shards it was natural to switch to running barefoot.

Josef Salek runs his half marathon barefoot on ice/snow

To prepare, he practised by submerging his feet in a tub of ice every day for the 14 days running up to  his official attempt.

The attempt took place on an open circuit in Horská chata Jelení Louky, Pec pod Sněžkou, a valley near the highest mountain in Czechia.

A professional surveyor measured the half marathon distance of 21.0975 km (13 miles 192.5 yards).

Man holding switchboard showing the time of the attempt

However, the night before, the course froze over and was impossible to run on. But thankfully, with the help of volunteers raking the ground, he was able to go ahead with his attempt after all.

Now, all Josef had to do was run.

Josef zigzagged and changed his running frequency across the course to keep his feet from slipping.

The varying altitudes meant that some parts of the course were harder to run on, particularly the uphill parts.

Josef Salek with his guinness world records certificate

Undeterred and with a smile on his face, he overcame the pain and kept running until he reached the finishing line adorned with many of his supporters.

Official Adjudicator Pravin Patel was on hand to announce the successful attempt and award him his Guinness World Records certificate.

Above all Josef’s message is that through faith, determination, and a positive mental attitude you can push past limitations and obstacles.

Anything's possible. That's what I'm basing it on. It's possible to be successful or unsuccessful. I used to be doubtful about success and that's why I failed in many areas of my life. It was only a few years ago that I changed that to whatever I choose to be, I will be successful at it. I don't dwell on doubts anymore, but if an obstacle occurs, I look for a way to move forward. - Josef

He added: “Every obstacle allows us to be creative and be able to find ways to overcome it. And this attitude of life can liberate us from our greatest enemy, which is our doubts, fears and inner criticism of everything and everyone. In doing so, we take responsibility for our life and the way it makes us feel. ”

As for more record titles, he has a few ideas including increasing his plank record. So, watch this space!

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