Norwegian Runner Dies After Being Struck by Lightning During Italian Ultramarathon
Extreme weather this past weekend in Italy claimed the life of a 44-year-old woman from Norway who was participating in an ultramarathon after she was struck by lightning on Saturday.
According to a release on the Südtirol Ultra Skyrace's Facebook page, the incident occurred around 7:15 p.m. near a lake called Lago di San Pancrazio. The dangerous weather issues prompted race officials to suspend the race 30 minutes prior, but many runners — like the woman — were between aid stations with no way of receiving the news.
Nearby runners that witnessed the strike called emergency personnel, who transported her by helicopter to Bolzano Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.
"We are shocked and deeply shaken by this tragic accident," said Josef Günther Mair, chair of the race's organizing committee. "We express our deepest condolences to the family of the athlete."
The victim's name has yet to be made public.
Südtirol Ultra Skyrace race dubs itself "the most extreme experience in the Alps" along a trail called "Hufeisentour" in the Sarntaler Alps. Runners travel 121 kilometers (more than 75 miles) over three days and climb almost five miles in altitude.
posted Sunday August 4th