Mud run health probe into diarrhoea outbreak

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Media caption'The projectile vomiting was terrible'

Public Health England is investigating why dozens of people suffered bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea after taking part in an "extreme" obstacle race.

About 3,000 people took part in the X-runner mud run, which involved open water swimming, at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham on 9 July.

The health body is trying to identify the cause of the illness which affected a number of competitors.

Event organisers said water quality test results had been "normal".

Image copyright debra buxton
Image caption People who took part had to crawl through muddy tunnels and swim in open water

One runner named Sarah said she had been suffering from sickness, diarrhoea, headaches, fever and aching limbs and was still not well more than a week after the event.

She said test results had ruled out food poisoning and still believed the water quality was responsible for her symptoms.

Jane Renwick, from Derbyshire, said five of the seven in her team were struck down and she was unable to keep any food down for five days.

Many people also commented on Facebook about feeling unwell and some were not happy with X-runner's response.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Messages about sickness after the Nottingham event appeared on X-runner's Facebook since Monday

As part of its investigation, Public Health England (PHE) has asked those affected to fill in a survey to help identify the cause of the illness and where it originated.

A PHE spokeswoman said in a statement that it was working with X-Runner and the trust that runs the National Water Sports Centre in an advisory capacity.

She said it was "unclear as to the cause of the illness and investigations are ongoing".

Image copyright X-runner
Image caption X-runner issued advice about water quality ahead of the event at the weekend

Last week X-runner said about 25 people contacted them after experiencing "a mild stomach upset" which it said can occur when swimming in open water.

It said it had also advised competitors of the risk beforehand during the sign-up for the event.

PHE has asked those affected to fill in its questionnaire by Sunday.

Image caption Competitors run through obstacles and veer down waterslides

What did entrants have to do?

  • X-runner describes their event as one of the "toughest obstacle mud runs in the UK"
  • It involved 60 obstacles covering tough terrain and open water over a distance of 5k or 10k
  • Competitors also had to swim, with buoyancy aids, in the rapids section of a white water course
  • X-runner said all participants signed a disclaimer as part of the sign-up process and potential risks around water quality were outlined
  • It said the vast majority of people taking part have not been unwell

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