Fire crews aid stricken obstacle racers

12:12 PM, Nov 18, 2012   |    comments
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RANCHO MURIETA, CA - At least 8 fire engines, 7 medic units and 2 ladder trucks raced to the Van Vleck Ranch in Rancho Murieta Saturday afternoon to lend a hand after a 911 call for help from organizers of the Spartan Obstacle Race.

"They had things in place to handle the incident," said Battalion Chief Charles Jenkins of Sac Metro Fire, "but they got overwhelmed.  We got reports one time they had 7 patients (with problems ranging) from difficulty breathing to hypothermia with 30 out in the field they couldn't get to."

Most of those with problems were treated at the scene and once they got warmed up, made their own way home.  Some, however, were taken to the hospital. 

The problem was that after several days of sunshine, the combination Saturday of rain, wind and dropping temperatures added one obstacle that obstacle race participants hadn't anticipated.

"It was 60 degrees and sunny the last few days," said Race Director Mike Morris, "and it became cold and wet today so I think that was a little surprise for everyone."

Some 5,000 people from all walks of life took part in the event, the first of its kind in the Sacramento area.  There were some 30 obstacles from climbing walls to crawling through mud and under barbed wire fences to jumping over a fire all stretched out over a 13 mile course.

"The obstacles and the course itself are really designed to challenge racers physically as well as mentally, " Morris said, "and be a rewarding experience for them."

Even one participant who dropped out after she said her lips had turned purple was ready to do it again.

"Oh, yeh!" said Nanette Kinkade, "I'm already thinking about the one in Tahoe!  It will be warmer!"

by Jonathan Mumm jmumm@news10.net

KXTV/ NEWS10

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