Race organizers of the Fiord Ultra Marathon released a statement today saying that Arturo Rueda, 57 of Mexico, died while running a 100-mile race in Patagonia. The official statement says Arturo “died in the area of greatest altitude of the route of the race about 750 meters” and “most likely [the] cause has been hypothermia.”
The statement was released on facebook and also added that an investigation has been launched and efforts to recover the body are underway. Rueda’s daughter lashed out against organizers for declaring her father dead before the body has been recovered, indicating he might be missing on the mountain.
Running ultra marathons is very trying on the body and mind. In recent years, the sport has seen a shift towards adding elements to guarantee that not every participant will finish the race. Locations inclined to extreme weather are frequently chosen to increase course difficulty (deserts, jungles, arctic environments, etc). Many races now require death waivers upon registration.
Race organizers say the course “traverses rivers and goes through mud, peat bogs, glacier-filled mountains” and “pushes your limits through a unique experience that is both rewarding and self-transcending.” The course was hit with inclement weather over the weekend and organizers described the weather as “exceptionally hostile.”
The race requires participants outfit themselves with sufficient water, a headlamp, a survival blanket, a whistle, first aid, a waterproof jacket with a hood and other survival materials. It’s terrible to think of a runner in a situation beyond the help of race officials and emergency medical staff. My condolences to the family and friends of Arturo Rueda.