Adventure Racing - Safety


The dangers of participating in an adventure race depend on the race and the racers participating. Although deaths have been reported in multi-sport events, three recent deaths have intensified the debate over the safety of the sport. In June 2003, Dominique Robert was killed when she was pinned underwater during a canoe section of the Raid Gauloises. On September 21, 2004, Nigel Aylott was killed by a falling boulder during an orienteering section of Primal Quest. Eduardo Delgado Rosas died on February 24, 2005 while completing a one kilometer swimming leg of the Extreme Adventure Hidalgo.

The death of these athletes has fueled a debate regarding the safety of adventure racing, with some participants calling for international regulation of the sport. In the shadow of the death of Nigel Aylott, enhanced scrutiny and heated debate has surrounded the relative responsibilities for ensuring the safety of racers.

Nigel was killed during an orienteering section of the Primal Quest race. Nigel and his team elected to descend a talus runout when alternative routes would have involved substantial delay. Some, including Nigel’s teammates, have argued that the race course was irresponsibly designed, putting racers at unnecessary peril. Other have suggested that the dangers Nigel and his team encountered were obvious and part of the sport of adventure racing.

In some more exotic locales, danger of contact with unusual pathogens should be taken into account. In 2000 Malaysian Borneo "Eco-Challenge" dozens of participants were hospitalized with leptospirosis; none died.

Dehydration and heat stroke are other common health and safety concerns in endurance events. Carrying appropriate amounts of water and electrolytes is essential to best mitigate these concerns.

Read more about this topic:  Adventure Racing

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