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Race Was Paused for Weather, but She Wasn't Alerted

44-year-old Norwegian ultrarunner dies in lightning strike in Italy
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2019 1:02 PM CDT
This stock photo shows storms in the Dolomite Mountains.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The Südtirol Ultra Skyrace race calls itself "the most extreme experience in the Alps." One runner didn't survive it. USA Today reports that a 44-year-old Norwegian woman was hit by lightning Saturday evening while participating in the three-day, 75-mile race, which begins and ends in Bolzano, Italy, and takes runners through the Dolomite Mountains. She later died at a hospital. Nasty weather had led race officials to pause the race around 6:45pm, but the woman was between race stations so the news wasn't communicated to her. She was hit roughly 30 minutes later.

In reporting the story, Runner's World resurrects advice it was given from a NOAA expert in 2016, who said runners caught in a storm should seek shelter in a car or building rather than "under a tall or isolated tree." The Washington Post adds that NOAA also advises against lying flat on the ground and recommends getting off an elevated area as quickly as possible; the strike happened at roughly 6,800 feet. (Read more lightning stories.)

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