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.
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.