Tragedy strikes at Grand Raid race

Posted in Dishing the Dirt by Matt Ward on Mon 22 Jun '09

© akunamatata / Mercantour 2007

This is the Grand Raid season in France and yesterday as adverse weather conditions descended on an 80km mountain event, the Grand Raid du Mercantour, 50km north of Nice, 3 runners perished in tragic circumstances.

The alarm was raised as a number of competitors had not returned by the 6pm cut-off time, and emergency services were scrambled in attempt to locate the missing people. Local news site reports that poor weather could have been a large contributory factor in the deaths of the three competitors, 2 men and a woman, all in their 50’s.

This occurrence one again reiterates the dangers that mountain running brings, and following the untimely death of Jon Tvedt earlier this year it is an example of how the mixture of terrain and weather conditions can catch out even the most experienced of runners and trekkers.

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  1. Gwilym Williams Jun 23, 12:02 AM

    This is a tragic event and recalls the incident at Zugspitz in 2008 when 2 runners perished. But it also brings to mind the events in a race I took part in last year and this was the Drei Zinnen Lauf in the Dolomites. Because of heavy and unseasonal snow the race was transferred to a safer lower level route on Monte Elmo and passed off without any untoward incident, with all the 600+ runners completing safely. Full marks to the organizers!
    My feeling is that race organizers should make more effort to devise alternative lower level routes and should not be afraid to use them if there is the possibility of inclement and hazardous weather.

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