21 Runners Dead In China After Extreme Weather Hits Ultramarathon

21 Runners Dead In China After Extreme Weather Hits Ultramarathon

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21 Runners Dead In China After Extreme Weather Hits Ultramarathon

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A 100-kilometer (62-mile) race in northwestern China turned deadly after hail, freezing rain and gale-force winds hit the high-altitude race.

CBS reports after an all-night rescue operation in freezing temperatures involving more than 700 personnel, rescuers were able to confirm that 151 people were safe, out of a total of 172 participants. 21 runners had died.

The runners were racing on an extremely narrow mountain path at an altitude reaching 2,000-3,000 meters (6,500-9,800 feet). A race organizer said there were no predictions of extreme weather for the day of the race, however a local branch of the National Early Warning Information Center had warned for the past three days of hail and strong winds.

The race followed a relatively established course that had been used in 4 previous events. The runners were not dressed for winter-like conditions, many wearing short-sleeved tops.

Our deepest condolences go out the family and friends of the victims.

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