China Bans Ultra-Marathons and Off-Road Races

In the wake of the May 22 tragedy in Gansu Province, in which 21 runners died of hypothermia when a storm hit, the Chinese government has banned all long-distance and off-road races.

These include races through deserts and mountains, and even wingsuit flying and other extreme sports that China considers “insufficiently regulated.”

During the ban, the government will reassess safety measures and standards for such newly population competitions.

Rescuers in the Gansu Province. Photo: Associated Press

Since the tragedy, the race organizers have endured strong public criticism for their neglect and lack of transparency. They have begun to offer settlements to the families of the deceased, but the families, preferring answers, have refused.