June 25, 2021

Extreme weather kills 21 ultra marathon runners in China

The high-altitude Huange Shill Mountain Marathon kicked off on Saturday morning during the summer. But by 1pm local time weather had changed, with hailstones, hailstones and canyons knocking down runners in Gansu County, according to the government Global Times.

As temperatures dropped in the Yellow River Stone Forest, runners reported suffering from hypothermia, while others went missing.

The marathon organizers stopped the race and launched a search party of 1,200 people to clear the complex terrain. The search continued even after dark.

Most of the contestants wore skinny shorts and T-shirts.

A participant Said Local publication Red Star News: “At one point, I could not feel my fingers (because it was so cold). At the same time, my tongue felt frozen.”

He said he decided to drop the race. “I retreated halfway down the hill and entered a wooden room in the direction of the rescuer. About 10 runners had already disembarked. We waited for an hour in the cabin for rescue. Eventually about 50 runners came and took refuge in the cabin.”

As of Sunday morning, 151 of the 172 racers had been confirmed safe and eight were in hospital. Another 21 people were killed, according to the state-run People’s Daily.

The distance of the race is 100 km which is twice as long as a standard marathon.