02/14/2014 02:03 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Russia Kissathon: Russians Hold Outdoor Contest In Yakutsk

Loved-up couples in Russia's coldest city, Yakutsk, on Friday braved plunging temperatures to take part in an outdoor kissing contest, with the winners locking lips for almost 1 1/2 hours.

Eighteen couples took part in the Saint Valentine's Day contest called "Love warms you up" on a snowy central street in Yakutsk, where the daytime temperature was -29 degrees centigrade (-20 degrees Fahrenheit), the Interfax news agency reported.

"The first couple dropped out after half an hour," organiser Natalya Argunova told Interfax.

"After another half an hour, the contest rules were tightened up and the men had to pick up their girlfriends in their arms. The 10 most frost-proof and determined couples kept up the battle for the main prize."

"The winning couple kissed for one hour and 20 minutes."

The winners, named by local media as Artyom and Galina, beat the runners-up by one minute. The couple, who have been dating for six months, won a dinner at an Italian restaurant.

Yakutsk in the remote Sakha region is generally considered Russia's coldest city, with an average January temperature of minus 40 degrees centigrade (-40 degrees Fahrenheit). The city has around 280,000 residents.