There are running races, there are marathons, and then there are ultramarathons. The sport came around in the 1970s because runners wanted an extra endurance challenge. Ultramarathons are typically any footrace longer than the traditional marathon (twenty-six miles), but they can be as long as one thousand miles, often lasting days!
Recently, twenty-one runners died during an ultramarathon in China, when they were caught in an unexpected storm that they weren’t prepared for. Experts are now asking how organizers can plan for participants’ safety as races get harder and more intense? Some race organizers insist that runners have a small bag holding a lightweight jacket, a flashlight, and gloves in case of any mishaps along the way. Others want runners to register for races using mobile apps so they’re trackable throughout the race in case something unexpected happens. But as races push the limits of human endurance, the question is: when is an extreme sport too extreme?