I am borrowing heavily from Bryan Allot’s post on >_iTrainedToday and Owen’s post(s) on Wildrunner. Bryan’s recent experience really highlighted some of the aspects of trail safety I was blogging about in my post Compulsory kit requirements for trail running.
Please read their posts first:
As I have no personal experience of a serious injury on the mountain, Bryan’s account of his accident really put some of what I posted about into perspective. For those of you who do not know Bryan, he is a tough little bugger; I get to see on the startline of some of the events I participate in — and then not again as he launches himself into the distance (he is home and showered by the time I finish). He is an experienced multi-sporter, so if you are thinking you are more experienced than he is, you may well be in denial.
Chris Goldschmidt says as far as he is aware this is the first local trail race to need a helicopter evacuation. I would be keen to know if this is correct. I also think that stats like this should be on record — a function I had hoped would be taken care of by Trail WP. I have checked the AMR and WSAR sites to see if they have posted rescue reports (the NSRI do a super job of reporting all their activities) but I could find no mention of the rescue. This is a huge pity as I think this information would be invaluable to inform event organisers and assist them in planning safety for their events, as well as educating runners in the dangers of the sport.
I have not heard of a trail race experiencing so many relatively serious injuries as the Helderberg Mountain Challenge 2013. I do not know the route or the area at all, but Bryan tells me it is a difficult route over tricky terrain, and not to be underestimated.
Owen of Wildrunner must be commended on having the right measures in place and dealing with multiple emergencies on the day.
I for one will be carrying basic emergency kit in my Salomon XT Wings 5 Hydration Backpack whenever I hit the trails.