The World’s Best Planker Sets Another Guinness World Record For Fastest Barefoot Half Marathon On Ice And Snow

Josef Šálek first wrote his name in the Guinness Book of World Records after holding the world's longest plank for over 9 hours

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Josef Šálek, a therapist, lecturer, and personal development coach from Czechia, has set a new Guinness World Record for the fastest half marathon completed barefoot on ice and snow

On a chilly day with freezing temperatures, Šálek dashed across the icy terrain, dressed in nothing but a pair of shorts, achieving a time of 1 hour, 50 minutes, and 42 seconds. 

This achievement marks Šálek’s second entry into the Guinness World Records. 

In 2023, he showed the world his unbeatable core strength by holding a plank position for an astonishing 9 hours, 38 minutes, and 47 seconds, surpassing the previous record by over eight minutes.

Now, Šálek has added another remarkable accomplishment to his repertoire, eclipsing the previous barefoot half marathon record set by Dutch runner Wim ‘The Iceman’ Hof in 2007.

Šálek’s journey toward this historic moment began years ago, fueled by a passion for pushing boundaries and overcoming challenges. 

His unconventional training regimen included walking barefoot over hot coals and glass shards during workshops aimed at helping individuals manage their fears and build self-confidence. 

Following a period of personal struggles, including a breakup and unhealthy habits, Šálek turned to running as a form of solace and self-discovery and has said, “Setting these isn’t just about having exceptional abilities but also the right mindset.”

The World's Best Planker Sets Another Guinness World Record For Fastest Barefoot Half Marathon On Ice And Snow 1
Photo Credit: Josef Šálek

Embracing the barefoot running technique, Šálek honed his skills over the years, gradually increasing his mileage and endurance. 

In preparation for the record-breaking attempt, he subjected his feet to daily ice baths for two weeks, acclimating them to the frigid conditions he would face on race day. 

On the day of the record attempt, Šálek navigated the treacherous terrain with precision, having to adjust his running pattern to minimize slips on the icy surface. Despite the conditions, he maintained his pace, crossing the finish line with a triumphant smile. 

The official adjudicator from Guinness World Records, Pravin Patel, was present to validate Šálek’s achievement and award him with his certificate.

Reflecting on his journey, Šálek emphasized the importance of mindset and perseverance in overcoming challenges. He credited his success not only to physical training but also to mental preparation, particularly the practice of acceptance and embracing discomfort. 

The World's Best Planker Sets Another Guinness World Record For Fastest Barefoot Half Marathon On Ice And Snow 2
Photo Credit: Josef Šálek

“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,” he said to Guinness World Records.

He continued, “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.”

Looking ahead, Šálek shows no signs of slowing down, expressing aspirations for further record-breaking endeavors, including potentially surpassing his own plank record.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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