Lightning struck Vancouverite Adam Campbell while he was competing in one of the world’s most grueling races.
Last Friday, 35-year-old Campbell was competing in the Hardrock 100 – a 100 mile (161 kilometre) long ultramarathon through the peaks of the San Juan Mountains in Colorado.
The endurance race has an average elevation of over 11,000 feet (3,400 metres) with 33,000 feet (10,000 metres) of climb.
He and his pacer, Aaron Heidt, were indirectly struck by lightning and knocked to the ground and their headlamp batteries exploded in the process. They were at the halfway mark of the race and nearing the peak of the 14,058 foot mountain when the thunderstorm changed course and headed towards their direction.
“Right when we hit the summit, we heard a huge crack and a flash of light and both of us got knocked to the ground,” Campbell told the Calgary Sun.
The pair did not have any shelter or anywhere to hide, so they decided that their best course of action was to run as fast as they could to safer terrain.
Hours later, Campbell ended up placing third with a time of 25 hours, 56 minutes and 46 seconds. Spanish runner Kilian Jornet won first place with 22 hours, 41 minutes and 35 seconds – a new course record.
Hardrock 100 competitors are selected through an application process. Only 140 competitors qualify for the challenging race each year.
Featured Image: Adam Campbell