We are very saddened to report that a tragic accident occurred this last weekend in the Netherlands which saw a very talented obstacle racer lose her life at an obstacle course race.
The incident happened at VenloStormt in the South of the Netherlands, close to the border with Germany on Saturday. The athlete in question had gone down a slide (pictured above) and another competitor landed on top of her, knocking her unconscious. After not resurfacing, spectators alerted rescue divers who went in to retrieve her and started to resuscitate. She was taken to hospital and was reported to be in a critical condition, but sadly lost her life overnight.
On social media the athlete has been named as Gitte Leurs, who came second at Strong Viking the weekend previously and was a strong contender in the current OCR Series races. A minute's silence will be held before the start of next weekend's OCR Series final in Nijmegen.
This was the fourth VenloStomrt event and they attract 5,000 runners over the course of the weekend. The event was halted after the accident on Saturday, but continued on Sunday on the insistence of Gitte's family. On the Sunday they removed the slide from the event and also took out the competitive element.
The police are conducting an investigation in to the incident.
This is the sixth fatality in the history of obstacle course racing: a competitor died from a heart attack at Tough Guy (UK) in 2000, two died from heatstroke at Warrior Dash Kansas (USA) in 2011 and there have been two prior deaths from drowning - at Texas Mud Run in 2012 and Tough Mudder West Virginia in 2013, both also in USA.
This horrific accident has really shaken the obstacle course racing community to the core. The UK community is very closely tied to the Dutch community and we stand as one in mourning this tragic loss. Our sincere condolences go out to Gitte's family and friends across the world.
Photo credit: obstakels.com