Extreme weather kills 21 elite runners in China ultramarathon

>> May 23, 2021

Twenty one elite runners were reportedly died in a 100-km ultra-marathon race in China. They were being hit by a sudden, and extreme weather.

The trail event, named officially as Jiangnan 100 Ultra Trail, was held for its 4th edition in Baiyin City (around Yellow River Stone Forest Park), Gansu province on Saturday (22 May 2021).

The athletes died from hypothermia or excessive exposure of cold temperature as a result of the freezing weather at high altitude, nearing 0°C. Initially, the runners had passed out from the cold temperature. 

Elite Chinese runner Jing Liang, 31, was among those who died. He won all three previous editions of the race.

Such tragedy was thought to be the "most brutal" to ever hit the ultrarunning event. 

Reported that, the race started at 1.00pm (mid-day). Based on a weather report, it was expected that some mild changes in weather pattern would occur. 

However, the weather changed out of nowhere and deteriorated, blasting with heavy freezing rain (with ice) and gale winds. It was virtually storms. 

The disaster occurred at altitudes of 2000m to 3000m above the sea level, approximately at distances between 21km to 30km.

A total of 171 runners took part in the trail race. They were expected to complete the race in 19 to 30+ hours, on average. They wore standard ultra-running t-shirts and shorts.

News and photos courtesy of: 163.com, scmp.com, statistik.d-u-v.org 

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