“The area was hit by bad weather during the running race,” the New China News Agency said. The plant was stopped at a later time, in the so-called Stone Forest on the banks of the Yellow River near Baiyin City, Kansu Province.
The 172 runners set off the hundred-kilometer route on Saturday at 9:00 (3:00 CEST). The photos showed the competitors in shorts and T-shirts under the cloudy sky. Around noon, the weather began to deteriorate rapidly once the contestants reached the mountainous section of the trail. Temperatures dropped to six degrees Celsius in the foothills, but at higher altitudes they were cooler and strong winds blew.
Desperate for help
“The rain was getting thicker,” contestant Mao Shuqi told Reuters, who gave up the tramathon after 24 kilometers due to her previous experience with hypothermia. “The rain was getting thicker.”
She added, “At first I regretted it a little, I thought it might have been a shower, but when I saw the wind and rain from the hotel window, I was happy to make this decision.”
The runners, trapped by the weather in the mountains, called for help from their cell phones. “Come to the mountains and save these people. One of the text messages sent by DPA reported that a lot of them are freezing and some of them are missing.”