1700 runners still unaccounted for in UK's Lake District following flood

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The location of the stranded runners
Image: Anonymous101.

1700 runners running in the Original Mountain Marathon, a fell running event, are still unaccounted for the day after they were stranded by flooding.

Approximately 2000 people entered the race, and rescue teams have resumed their search for the missing. The disruption of the event that occurred at the top of one of the highest mountains in the Borrowdale Valley (a region of the UK's Lake District) , and the people found have sought refuge at local buildings and businesses. Three hundred of the people found have sheltered in the nearby Honister Slate Mine.

"The weather is absolutely horrendous and it's a scene of chaos up here," stated Mark Weir, the owner of the slate mines. "I believe there were up to about two thousand people who entered this race and I advised the organizers not to go ahead with the event."

"The mountain rescue teams are still trying to account for everyone," added Weir. "We have had people coming in throughout the day in pretty bad states. They are dripping wet through and very cold. Our staff is helping to transport them off the mountain pass and down to Cocker mouth where the emergency services are taking over. But we need more help and more buses as there are still plenty of people up here."

Organizers of the run have stressed that the runners should be fully equipped with tents and food, allowing them to survive in the place where they are stranded.