Ultra Runners

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Safety and Trail Running (Read 89 times)

masterslckr


    I just watched the YouTube clip of the overall 50 mile winner at NF New York : http://youtu.be/b6p1CtmPKSU and it makes me wonder about these event trails.  Imagine if he hits his head on one of those rocks.  That's a serious injury.  Are the race directors thinking about participant safety when they pick the various courses?

     

    I'm sure everyone wants a "technical challenge" and falling on the trail is just part of the event.  With all the suing these days for negligence, how soon will it be before a participant seriously gets injured on something so rocky that it's not a trail at all and sues the race.

     

    What's everyone's thoughts?  Sure the answer is just go slower but you can see relatively that really doesn't matter too much as he was going pretty slow for his overall speed on the course and still fell.


    On On

      Not sure I exactly understand your concern here.  Are you saying that there is an underlying danger to trail running and the runner needs to be cautious?  I would say that the same is true with road running as well.  Is there a greater danger of tripping on rocks while trail running than on roads, probably.

       

      I don't know how soon it will be before a runner decides that the trail was the problem and it is someone elses fault he/she fell.  I have seen people fall off a paved path in the middle of the night when they are tired, is that the RD's fault too?

       

      Not arguing with you really, just wondering what you think is the solution?

      jamezilla


      Follower of Forrest

        We all sign waivers...whether that holds up in court or not I can't say.

         

        This happens with those obstacle races all the time.  In those cases, the injured parties generally allege that the man-made hazards were not safe...that's a little different than natural occuring hazards.

         

        I think tripping hazards while running any type of race are "inherent dangers of the sport".  The RD's would probably only have to show that they provided fair warning that there were hazards associated with their event...i.e. the waiver.

         

        You can sue for anything...I hope it never happens.

         

        Nerf rocks?

        6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi

         

        A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man


         

        DoppleBock


          I fell and broke my arm in a trail race - I would never think to blame the race or RD - All I could think was about coing back the next year to get my revenge on the trail.

           

          Maybe you mean what would the normal person expect as precautions when the trail is specially narly?  I do not expect anything ~ I run on the same trails by myself and often at night by myself, I know there is some risk and I am responsible to keep in control.  I guess race directors could mandate carrying a cell phone?  I would not like that.  Maybe they should place signs before the narly section that says "He stupid - pick up you feet"?  Just kidding - But that is what I say to myself when I trip.

          http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

          2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

           


          You'll ruin your knees!

            Not sure you aren't fishing for something else.

             

            My take is that if you watch that video and your first thought is to post something about safety and liability, you should probably stick to 5k Marathons...

             

            Otherwise, enjoy the trails and be careful.

            ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

            AT-runner


              "Something so rocky that it's not a trail at all" = My definition of a trail.

               

              I fall almost every day, why wait for the race Big grin

              DoppleBock


                To be honest ~ it's not the severly rocky sections that get me ... I tend to stay extra alert in these sections.  It is the smooth sections that lull me into being lazy about paying attention and then a rock or root will sneak up and grab my shoe

                 

                If I run trails 4-5 hours I will fall on average 1-2 times.  In a race it is usually because I am tired and I get lazy - I fall about the same frequency in a 8 hour race

                 

                "Something so rocky that it's not a trail at all" = My definition of a trail.

                 

                I fall almost every day, why wait for the race Big grin

                http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                 

                  That trail is not overly technical.  This is technical:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OsL6brYV-I

                   

                  Nevertheless, someone having a severe medical problem or injury, and getting sued later, is the Race Director's worst nightmare.  For example:

                   

                  … A runner who collapses because race organizers failed to set out enough drinks along the course has grounds for a lawsuit, a state appellate court ruled Tuesday. An organization that stages a marathon "Has a duty to organize and conduct a reasonably safe event, which requires it to minimize the risks without altering the nature of the sport," said the Court of Appeal in San Diego. That includes providing adequate water and electrolyte fluids along the 26- mile course, the court said."

                   

                  The runner involved ran the inaugural Rock & Roll Marathon in San Diego in 1998. Later that day the man had a seizure from low sodium, a condition called hyponatremia.

                   

                  Presumably the later stations had plenty of water but ran out of sports drink.

                   

                  There is additional commentary on this story from the trail ultra perspective here:

                   

                  http://www.runningfit.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=167&Itemid=32

                   

                  No waiver is iron-clad, but the Court's language is an important clue:  "...minimize the risks without altering the nature of the sport."  I read this as a Race Director would have to be guilty of gross negligence in the cause of the illness or injury, pretty much just like any other business.

                  2013 H1:  7 hours/week base.  Q3: Train for goal race.  Q4:  Goal Race.

                  masterslckr


                    Thanks for all the comments.  I was just interested in folks various thoughts as I'm very new to the whole ultra/trail game and was curious.

                     

                    It seems falling is just what happens on the trail and can even occur in a road race.  I would think falling on pavement at running pace is not as dangerous as falling in the middle of a rocky section at a slower pace but maybe falling is falling.

                     

                    I like the idea of signage or something in the lead-up to the race to make "newbies" aware of technical sections.  It's kindof like scary descents in triathlons on the bike or during cycling races that are marked.

                     

                    For all the people who commented that they fall all the time, do you like falling?  Would you rather not fall?  Is it just because you're going extra fast and it's part of trail running?

                     

                    I guess falling just goes in the "con" list for trail running as it might just be part of it no matter how careful you try to be.  Sortof like crashing in cycling races, it just happens no matter how careful you are.

                    DoppleBock


                      As I said - I fall usually in a less technical section when I get lazy and get into my head daydreaming.  I usually do not fall on technical questions.  I find the question "Do you like to fall" a bit insulting.  The more trail running I do the less I fall.  In a trail race, when I am really tired I have walked a really technical rock garden section ... because it was the safe thing to do.

                       

                      It's all about qucik feet and shorter steps

                      http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                      2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                       

                      masterslckr


                        As I said - I fall usually in a less technical section when I get lazy and get into my head daydreaming.  I usually do not fall on technical questions.  I find the question "Do you like to fall" a bit insulting.  The more trail running I do the less I fall.  In a trail race, when I am really tired I have walked a really technical rock garden section ... because it was the safe thing to do.

                         

                        It's all about qucik feet and shorter steps

                         

                        It wasn't meant to be a personal attack.  It was the responder above who basically said they fall almost every day.  It was more of that perhaps falling is just "normal" when on the trails as it's almost impossible to be "careful" enough.  Like you said even non-technical trails lulls into a just cruise mode where just a small root can get ya.

                         

                        So if you like trail running, falling is just part of it was my question/thought and just a poor choice of words.

                        DoppleBock


                          To a point - Yes.  I happen to shuffle my feet more than most (Shuffle fast) so I fall more than many seasoned trail runners.  Also the more experience you get the more likely you see things out of the corner of you eyes without trying and avoid them.

                           

                          If you are a newer trail runner or a shuffler - Yes you will fall some.

                          So if you like trail running, falling is just part of it was my question/thought and just a poor choice of words.

                          http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                          2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                           

                          jamezilla


                          Follower of Forrest

                            I used to fall more, now I fall less.

                            Reasons:

                            1. I read the trail better/faster...only comes with practice I believe.

                            2. I pick my feet up more...started as a conscious decision, now it just happens

                            3. Stronger ankles...rolling the ankle used to be more frequent and a bigger deal, strength training and practice has helped with this.

                            4. Stronger core...there are times that in the past I would have gone down, but now with a stronger core I can feel my abs pulling me back upright.

                             

                            Before I started running trails on a pretty regular basis, I considered falling/risk of injury to be a much bigger deal than I do now.

                             

                            No, I don't like falling...yes, I do love running across something that would seem unrunnable to a bystander.

                             

                            PS. I've never fallen on a very technical section...the focus level is too high.  Like dopplebock, my spills come when I am being complacent....road or trail.

                            6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi

                             

                            A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man


                             

                            AT-runner


                              For all the people who commented that they fall all the time, do you like falling?  Would you rather not fall?  Is it just because you're going extra fast and it's part of trail running?

                               

                              I guess falling just goes in the "con" list for trail running as it might just be part of it no matter how careful you try to be.  Sortof like crashing in cycling races, it just happens no matter how careful you are.

                              I live in south central PA, and trails here are very rocky and can be quite steep.  Most of my falls are on uphill or flat sections where rocks will move under my foot.  I can't say I "like" falling, but it doesn't bother or stop me.

                               

                              It doesn't help that I have been a downhill skier for over 40 years, and love running downhill faster than I should.

                               

                              Here is where I ran today.  AT south of Route 30 near Chambersburg, PA. Yes, that is the trail, and it's like this for over 4 miles.

                                Life is dangerous and 100% terminal... oh well.  Smile

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