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Chinese Marathon Tragedy Results in Death of 21 Runners

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Chinese state media has reported that 21 participants in an ultramarathon at Yellow River Stone Forest Park in Gansu Province were found dead due to extreme conditions.  

The race in northeastern China totaled nearly 200 runners who ran in the mountainous terrain and met with freezing conditions near the 12-mile mark. Things only got worse from there. 

A total of 151 participants from the race were confirmed safe by the state media report, though some had to be rescued from the blistering conditions. Using flashlights, runners were able to flag down rescue units that were called to the event after being called off later that afternoon. 

Participating in the race were marathon favorites Liang Jing and Huang Guanjun, whose deaths have been confirmed. 
 

Family members, friends, and fans of the marathoners have issued a strong response to the event’s organizers, claiming that planners disregarded many safety concerns. While one racer claims that the conditions could not have been foreseen, organizers did receive a number of warnings about possible inclement weather.

 
The race happened in the city of Baiyin, whose mayor Zhang Xuchen, responded, “As the event organizer, we feel deeply guilty … We express our sorrow for the victims and our deep condolences to the families of the victims and the injured.” 

According to an NPR report, “Baiyin city’s local branch of the National Early Warning Information Center had warned for the past three days of hail and strong winds.” 

Rescued participants described freezing cold climates, heavy winds, rain and hail.  

The news is a devastating story for the marathoning community and for sports fans all over the world, inspiring some to begin a 62-mile journey — equal to the distance of Saturday’s race — in remembrance of the 21 deceased runners. 

Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Guided by Kevin Harlan on one shoulder, Eli Manning on the other, Alejandro joins the OutKick community with an authentic passion for sports, pop culture, America, and episodes of Jeopardy!

 

Twitter: @AlejandroAveela

4 Comments

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  1. There HAS to be more to this story!!! I’ve competed in some “milder” types of ultramarathons (including some 100-milers) and am well-knowledgeable of “insane” endurance events and the death rate is off the charts LOW and negligible…main reason is that most participants though a bit crazy 😉 are well conditioned and prepared (unlike the handful of overweight “box-checkers” who jump in a marathon and die of a heart attack). 21 in one event??? NO WAY !

  2. This is the same regime that held a communal dinner as covid was spreading – they wanted to set the world record for largest communal meal. And they sure did despite knowing that covid got loose from the Wuhan lab.

    Also what the hell is an “ultramarathon”? That’s just stupid. A marathon is 26 miles or whatever because that’s supposedly how far the Greek runner traveled to deliver the news of victory over the Persians to his home polis. Anything more than that isn’t a marathon, dammit

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