The race kicked off Saturday morning in Jingtai Yellow River Stone Forest, a popular tourist attraction and a park sprawled across some 50 square kilometers and located southeast of Jingtai County in Gansu Province in northwest China, bordering Mongolia.
It was about 1 p.m. Saturday when what was intended to become a 100-km (62-mile) cross-country ultra-marathon went awry, Xinhua reported. The participants that reached a stage between 20 to 31 kilometers were subjected to a freezing rain shower, hail and extremely strong gusts of wind. The sudden change in weather conditions has reportedly resulted in hypothermia in several participants of the 172-member ultramarathon. The event was ultimately suspended after the organizers lost contact with several members of the daredevil race.