Why bad preparation for a mountain race can have serious consequences

Why bad preparation for a mountain race can have serious consequences

Bergen Trails and remote locations can be beautiful places but also very dangerous places. Every year, inexperienced riders enter for a game for which they miss the experience and not all survive. There are countless unlucky news stories every year where runners are injured, or even dead, as they participate in what they thought would be a fun day.

Some key education can be taken from some of these mistakes. A deadly episode took place in the United Kingdom in 1987 during an inaugural edition of a mountain race called The Dead Sheep 100. Even the title of the race should have been a little cautious with those who entered. The race organizer apparently had called the event as such because of its remote location, and given the fact that countless expired animals have decided, it must be the place where sheep will die.

Twenty runners were not dropped by the title And came in the race. Such a participant was a 22-year-old man of Powys named Mark Montrail. Mark had participated in different roadmarathons, and the rounding times were about 2 hours 45, so it was clearly very fit. He had done a number of walks, although not in the area of ​​the race. He could read a card well and use a compass, so those elements of his preparation were sound. Because of his fitness and speed, he tended to undergo, and this might have been undone.

The format of the Dead Sheep 100 is 5 laps of a 20-mile course, with nine remote control unmanned control points (CPs) on the loop. Most of the course was at a moderate height of 500-600 meters, on exposed heath, where underfoot conditions were described as extremely challenging. The height of the course was about 8000 ft per shot. On the day of the event, the weather began to be relatively light and sunny, although the soil was wet with much rainfall earlier in the month. The first sections of the course were relatively safe with roads that could be used in emergency situations, but after the 4th control point "Rain Gauge", there are long featureless Moorland traverses between the remote checkpoints, without tracing paths.

Mark only had a vest and shorts and carried his card and compass. He had a backpack with a waterproof jacket, pants and a few items, as well as water. The race began and there were twenty people away. Mark dropped very fast, almost at marathon pace, and the only time he was seen by other participants was later in the headquarters, or in some cases when he walked them. Due to the demanding nature of the race, almost all riders had retired after two laps (20 miles). Mark was the only runner in the race to go for a 5th round. Mark has assessed the medical volunteer by the organizers before being abolished for the fifth round and judging that he was fit, although he was clearly tired of his efforts.

He left shortly before midnight. 12 hours later, he had not returned from the round, and the organizers decided to contact the local rescue team. Within an hour, 12 volunteers made the course, based on their own search patterns for maximum coverage. It was no longer than 14 hours (26 hours after departure) that Mark was found. He was located by a dog trainer 3 km from the 5th CP (the standing stone) collapsed in a sheep's fold. Of course he went seriously and it was the dog who could smell his smell and find him.

He lives and suffers from hypothermia. The shelter that got him from the sheep's wing probably took him almost. The sheep's fold was not on the course, but Mark had enough sense to use it when he saw it. A helicopter was named by its state and its remote location. It was impossible for the helicopter to land on the water table on the hill and so he was launched into the plane and brought to the hospital. He continued to complete recovery, retired from running and did not discuss the event with anyone else.

It is only by cutting together the evidence of the savior that we can understand what went wrong, and learn from it. Because the day had been relatively hot, and Mark had moved at a rapid rate, his body temperature remained normal, perhaps not as often as normal. However, the night sky was clear that the temperature fell to below 7C, although it fell to almost 0C with a wind noise on the hill. It was estimated that Mark felt the impact of the cold as it was wearing the night but pressed too long before touching his waterproof jacket. He had no middle layer, only his thin racing vest. By the time he left for CP6 (Wynn's Trig), the effects of the cold were exacerbated because he had eaten. His bag was empty or already food and water when he was found. Probably due to the hypothermia, he took the wrong compass bearing from CP5, possibly after wearing 210 instead of about 110 degrees. At one point, he realized that he was in serious trouble and it was fortunate that daylight emphasized a sheep's fold that he had shot down, subject to the most serious consequences of the wind.

Mark would make the effects of the cold and fall unconscious, but of course happy living. His failure was insufficient clothing and insufficient food. Nor could he be recognized when he was tired in a less remote area, perhaps a road crossing where he could make it safe. So the main lessons are to make sure you wear enough clothes; Specific enough layers. Provide adequate food and water. Also to recognize when you are tired and make a meaningful decision to retire. Scheduled escape routes of the most remote sections of a course are also very wise. Hopefully, this advice will ensure you stay safe on your next mountain trail race.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *