Lightning strikes, kills ultramarathon runner in Italy

A competition celebrating the heights of physical human achievement Saturday was met with tragedy when an ultramarathon runner was fatally struck by lightning during a race in Italy.

An unidentified 44-year-old Norwegian woman suffered the lighting strike near the lake named Lago di San Pancrazio while running the Südtirol Ultra Skyrace in the Dolomite Mountains, according to a news release posted on the event’s Facebook page.

The Südtirol Ultra Skyrace is a 75-mile run that starts and ends in Bolzano, Italy, according to Runner’s World.

“We are shocked and deeply shaken by this tragic accident," race organizer Josef Günther Mair said in the statement. "We express our deepest condolences to the family of the athlete.”

Race had been halted for inclement weather

The incident occurred 30 minutes after the race had been halted due to inclement weather, according to the release. The victim was in between checkpoints when the race was halted and apparently didn’t receive the message of the race stoppage.

Officials said that race marshals weren’t able to reach the victim to contact her in time.

After the lightning strike, witnesses called for help, and the victim taken via helicopter to a hospital, where she was declared dead.

The woman was one of three people to die during violent storms in Italy over the weekend.

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