As if running a 100.5-mile ultramarathon in a thunderstorm through the mountains of Colorado wasn't challenging enough, one competitor in the recent Hardrock 100 had an added challenge to overcome.
Adam Campbell, 35, and his pacer were at the highest point of the course (14,058-foot Handies Peak) when rain started pouring down on them. They had recently passed an aid station and couldn't go back, so they decided to forge through the elements.
"There's nothing up there, no place to hide, no rocks, no trees, nothing," Campbell, who works as an attorney in Canada, told Competitor. "We really didn't have much of a choice. We wanted to get over the peak as soon as we could and get out of there."
Once lightning struck the two immediately ducked for cover, and Campbell says the jolt fried his headlamp. His pacer says he felt a burst of electricity hit the back of his head. When the duo realized they were essentially unscathed, they continued running.
Campbell finished third in the race with a time of 25 hours, 56 minutes and 36 seconds. That's not bad considering the first-place finisher set a course record and the fact that Campbell was struck by lightning during the race.
Here's a video of Campbell finishing the race.
"My headlamp blew up," Campbell says at the 1:30 mark of the video.
As Jon Gugala of Deadspin notes, getting hit by lightning is actually covered in the race's waiver:
"I have also been advised that I may be exposed to physical injury from a number of natural factors, including snow on the course, lack of water, high water, lightning, mountain lions and bears, and to the hazards of vehicular traffic, and to those other hazards attendant upon running across or along roadways during the day or night including, among other things, the fact that I may become injured or incapacitated in a location where it is difficult or impossible for the event's management to get required medical aid to me in time to avoid physical injury or even death."Full Story >>