Tragedy in Chinese Ultrarunning

Did anyone else see this? This is just awful…

21 Runners died during a 100k in China bc of a powerful (and un-forecasted) storm that brought freezing temps, hail, rain, and wind…

Yeah I saw it this morning on CNN main page.

So tragic. It must have truly been a freak weather occurrence because it seemed to catch everyone off-guard.

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Wow CNN front page…I’ve heard of instances where one or maybe two runners would get dehydrated, lost, etc. and not make it but…21??? Completely shocking…no surprise it made the front page tbh…

:disappointed_relieved: wow! So tragic and sad. I hope that the investigation is able to determine if this was a freak storm or had been forecasted. So terrible!

Yes, read it in the news :crying_cat_face:

Really good article on the tragedy. Most interesting piece suggests that even with high-tech gear the storm was so intense that it may not have saved any lives. Guess we’ll never know but the storm sounds like it was ferocious

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The saga continues:

Man, that’s rough. I understand the logical response to the tragedy, but that’s hard to see all races shut down…just as racing was coming back. I hope that they can implement some safety protocol that will allow racing to return soon.

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I think the banning is an overreaction. While there’s not much info in that news post, I didn’t read any info about putting more attention and resources to creating better, consistent safety protocols. Nope, just shut it down. Not comparing tragedies here, but I read this morning on Google news that 9 railroad workers died in a train accident. Should the same overreaction be to shut down the trains? Doubtful.

It sounds like the ban is just for organized events, so I can imagine this just steering folks to unofficial or non-organized activities of the same nature, which also doesn’t necessarily lend to better attention to safety.

Like @davidc i hope that the Chinese govt can swiftly act with new safety regulations and RE-open these types of official events.

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Another story from the NYT

I think this is an important quote

One of the shepherds involved in the early rescue effort, Shang Lishan, said in an interview that he had skipped herding his sheep on the day of the race because it was clear the weather would be too formidable. “I thought the race would be stopped because the weather was so cold that no one in the village went up the mountain,” he said.

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That is an important quote. It certainly says something that the local herding community recognized the high likelihood of perilous weather conditions, in contrast to the ineptitude of the event organizers. While the storm may have been a freak occurrence, this quote from the herder suggests the tragedy was avoidable had the proper attention and planning been made for the event.