Earlier than Could, the race had largely been thought of a hit. However the deaths have ignited debate over whether or not the game has turn out to be too dangerous, significantly in distant areas the place rescue missions might be tough. China’s prime chief, Xi Jinping, has known as for a detailed examination of the business. Within the announcement suspending ultramarathons on Wednesday, the federal government mentioned the casualties in Gansu had “taught the nation a grave lesson.”
Even after the race was known as off, many individuals continued to run for hours, regardless of a barrage of determined cries for assist from others on WeChat, the Chinese language messaging app, in a chat group that included organizers and runners.
“Just a few individuals have misplaced consciousness and are puking foam,” learn one of many misery calls, in keeping with Xinhua, China’s state-owned information company.
Consultants steered that essential time was misplaced earlier than an satisfactory rescue effort started, they usually questioned the organizers’ determination to take away gentle jackets and lengthy underwear from an inventory of necessary gear. In earlier years, the additional layers weren’t wanted due to unusually heat climate, however some say that was no excuse.
“The climate at all times adjustments like this, however the organizers didn’t take the extremes into consideration in designing the pre-race training program and rescue plans,” mentioned Xiaozhao Zhao, an ultramarathoner who has run in Yellow River Stone Forest. “Sluggish rescue in the beginning when the dangerous climate arrived, plus insufficient obligatory gear requirement to deal with coldness, collectively introduced the catastrophe.”
One of many shepherds concerned within the early rescue effort, Shang Lishan, mentioned in an interview that he had skipped herding his sheep on the day of the race as a result of it was clear the climate can be too formidable. “I believed the race can be stopped as a result of the climate was so chilly that nobody within the village went up the mountain,” he mentioned.
Round 1 p.m., Mr. Shang obtained a message from a pal who thought some runners is likely to be at risk, and he went up the mountain with dozens of different villagers to assist. It wasn’t till 7 p.m. that the native authorities despatched 1,200 individuals to search for the 33 runners who had been nonetheless lacking, in keeping with Xinhua.