‘Extreme’ races may be risky to your health, researchers warn


Washington – Participating in extreme obstacle courses that include electrical hazards can result in serious injuries, according to a study from the Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network.

Researchers examined injuries from a two-day “Tough Mudder” race in Pennsylvania. In a press release, they noted that at the event, one person experienced 13 electrical shocks, which then caused heart inflammation; someone fainted from electrical shocks that occurred while running in water; and one person had a seizure and developed a form of paralysis that continued six months later.

The event provided beer to participants, and one of the racers who consumed a beer after receiving an electrical shock ended up hospitalized with dehydration and muscle breakdown.

More than 1 million people are expected to compete in extreme events next year, and researchers noted that no training can prepare someone for jumping from heights and running through electrical wires.

Given the popularity of such races, researchers are advising participants, organizers and emergency services to prepare for serious injuries.

The study was published online Nov. 15 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.