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21 runners dead as extreme cold weather hits China ultramarathon

34 Comments

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Checking the weather forecast might be a good idea....

19 ( +21 / -2 )

That's a lot of dead sportspeople. Never heard of so many before.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

Tragic.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Respect. That is a true survival race. The Spartans would be pleased.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Couldn't believe what I was reading. At the first sign of trouble rescue should have been at hand. They had to receive messages of help from some participants before helping.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

I wonder if the organizers also assured the competitors that every safety measure was in place so the event would be completely safe.

Terrible and unjustified tragedy, hopefully none of the other runners will have lasting problems.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Something fishy! It cannot be that extreme weather with such number of people. Certainly there must be terrible hidden situation going around among those team and others which we will probably never know.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Even china has it’s: “That could only happen in china”; Moments.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Respect. That is a true survival race. The Spartans would be pleased.

Agree. There would probably be fatalities even in favorable weather

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Respect. That is a true survival race. The Spartans would be pleased.

Agree. There would probably be fatalities even in favorable weather

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sheesh. I've done a 100KM run a few times with warm weather and access to liquids. You get really hungry. Your body empties out - completely. They should have had aid stations each kilometer.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Sports hurt and kill. Big sports events hurt and kill bigger.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

There is definitely something fishy going on and some news media lies and cover ups. Is this unusual for a country like China? Surprise, surprise.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Marathons and extreme sports have seen a surge in popularity among China's middle class in recent years.

This is no walk in the park. I climbed Fuji once and on the way down the Gotemba descent about ten minutes from the caldera, a guy was running -not jogging but running - up to the peak. The air is thin but he wasn’t even breathing hard.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is no walk in the park. 

Probably a walk in the park for some. I heard in some places they have aid station every kilometer

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sheesh. I've done a 100KM run a few times with warm weather and access to liquids.

Impressive.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

These races, even in well-to-do Western countries, have a minimal number of medics at the aid stations. They expect some hypothermia cases, are ready to do some transfusions, treat some sprains and breaks - but nothing like this or on this scale. They might have one medical evacuation helicopter on standby. I can't expect even those standards were followed in China.

Expect the provincial authorities to arrest all the organizers and send them to jail for several years.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Tragic!!!

There is obvious negligence here, didn’t the race organizers check weather forecast. Weren’t there rescue stations?

Typical low quality stuff from the CCP led organizations.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

There is definitely something fishy going on and some news media lies and cover ups. Is this unusual for a country like China? Surprise, surprise.

i agree. as tragic and unbelievable as this is, there is something fishy going on here...was it a uyghur terrorist attack or something on the event? china will just make up any unlikely story to cover the real truth!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

tokyo-starToday  06:03 pm JST

There is definitely something fishy going on and some news media lies and cover ups. Is this unusual for a country like China? Surprise, surprise.

i agree. as tragic and unbelievable as this is, there is something fishy going on here...was it a uyghur terrorist attack or something on the event? china will just make up any unlikely story to cover the real truth!

Yeah, all of the victims were Uighurs, or Tibetans, if you prefer--more proof of the Genocide!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

21 out of 172 dead. Wow. At midday as well and only twenty odd km into the race. I know safety standards may be low/life may be cheap in China, but that number of people dying does suggest something extreme must have happened.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Official statement here:

https://i.redd.it/35lqnh5xrfb51.png

1 ( +2 / -1 )

P. Smith: secret. Bring a few hundred yen in your pocket and, at the turn-around point, buy a tall beer (if there's a store - if not, it gives one incentive to get to a place where there is one).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bah running is a boring sport imo, no disrespect to the dead intended.

If you want gladiators try the Isle of Man TT race...

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

That is China!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I have run 100km road races and I have run trail run races of shorter distances. Since it says it happened at the higher stretch, something like 1500m to 2000m would be my guess, it is rather difficult for emergency staff to get there fast, not to mention on slippery, partly frozen rocky ground. Another reason for the high toll could be lax requirements and checks for runners required items like emergency sheet.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Looks like a terrible accident that couldn't realistically be prevented. Mountain weather forecasting isn't exactly accurate. Being able to rescue so many would strain any emergency services anywhere. Ultramarathon athletes aren't exactly normal people. They'd all sign any liability waiver to compete.

Terrible accident.

I'm more shocked about the rampant cheating mentioned that didn't get everyone involved banned for life.

However, Chinese marathons have often been plagued by cheating scandals. In 2018, more than 250 runners were disqualified from the Shenzhen half-marathon after they were found to be wearing fake bibs or have taken shortcuts.

So far, a handful have been handed lifetime bans by Chinese sporting authorities for cheating.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The general government consensus seems to be staying home every day is best for health.

Many people think Even playing in the park might kill you, never mind an ultra marathon.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This isn’t exactly the 1800’s. My Wunderground app could have predicted icy weather.

They should have been ready.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

100-kilometer cross-country mountain race

Extreme weather hit a high-altitude section of the race

.

At high altitude mountain terrain weather can change very quickly and without warning.

.

Did the runners carry any thing like emergence foil blankets with them ?

.

How far apart were official points on the course where medical help could be found ?

.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I mean... how can such a mess happen in the first place when weather surveillance should be able to call the race on or off based on the data they get? Furthermore, where are the EMTs who are supposed to shadow the participants at decent intervals on the path? It's such a shame that 21 lives were lost because safety measures were not applied.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I mean... how can such a mess happen in the first place when weather surveillance should be able to call the race on or off based on the data they get?

I live pretty close to Mt Whitney. I have not hiked it (knee and back surgeries now make that a dim dream) but know plenty of local folks who have. One thing we all know about hiking the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains is that the weather can change in minutes from warm and sunny to sleet and snow, even in mid summer. For even a simple day hike in the Sierras you need to bring along overclothes sufficient to protect you from snow. Mountain updrafts cause moisture laden air to cool rapidly, condense into clouds which turn into sleet or snow flurries at those high altitudes. The when and where is not something meteorologists can predict other than to say there is a chance of it happening, usually in the afternoon. Those who are mountain wise bring the necessary gear with them out of habit because sooner or later you will get caught in snow up there.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

To say the organizers of this event did a poor job is a understatement. If I were an athlete I would seriously consider skipping China the next time around.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A bit more detail from an ultra site here. The deceased includes top runners who've probably encountered cold or some degree of bad weather before, just not on this scale. In heavy rain and wind, warm clothing that is not fully waterproof will have little or no effect.

https://www.irunfar.com/twenty-one-runners-die-during-100-kilometer-ultramarathon-in-china

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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