Thirty-six swimmers from China, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan braved the cold to swim across the Yellow River, the second largest river in China, at Guide County in Northwest China's Qinghai Province on Saturday.
The water temperature was just 3 degrees Celsius Saturday morning, but the amateur swimmers all successfully swam about 500 meters in the frigid river.
The top eight finishers of each group win a cash reward ranging from 1,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan (about 158 to 1,580 U.S. dollars).
The annual challenge is billed one of the world's highest-altitude winter swim races. Guide is about 2,200 meters above the sea level.