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Runner Died at Bribie Beach Bash - media silence?hot weather, insufficient aid, not checked off


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#1 sandflybites

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 10:31 AM

I'm quite surprised that this hasn't hit the news, given the firestorm that erupted when a runner died at the Twilight Half earlier this year.

At the Bribie Beach Bash a runner in one of the longer events died.  Although an inquest is being held into the death, the following circumstances are known, or are understood to have taken place:
  • It was terribly hot on October 13.  There was a strong northerly wind which made the run up the beach a struggle, and the run back down the beach an inferno.
  • It was very sunny, and there was no sunscreen available at registration.
  • Despite the fact that people were running marathon and ultramarathon distances, there was only water available, at eight unmanned stations on the beach.
  • There has been lollies available at the water stations in the past.  In the past, these were generally present for the ultra and marathon runners until they reached the half marathon turn on the run back, from where the lollies and often the water has been completely devoured.
  • Nobody noticed that the runner did not return.  He was not missed by the event management, and the race director did not mount a search for him.  I understand that the runner was found by a motorist in an extremely distressed state, and was taken to hospital, where he died some time later.
These issues raise more questions about propriety and risk management than ever were raised about the Twilight incident.  I've heard of Fatass runs that have more support than this.  What are the entrants for this event paying for, if this is all they receive?

The Race Directors report is cheery and upbeat, not even mentioning the tradgedy.

I've created a new profile to post this, as I am an occasional participant in races conducted by this same race director, and I don't wish to be targetted for airing my views.

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#2 avago

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 08:56 PM

Sandflybites get a life!
Geoff and Betty are great people , the entrants fee goes to charity if you bothered to look.
The event this person was in was not one of the longer runs.
It is Qld ,of course it's going to hot in October.
Surely you should be able to take responsibility for your own sunscreen.
Until you know the circumstances surrounding this sad and unfortunate death you should keep your opinions to yourself.
My thoughts are with the family and friends of this person.
If you can do better sandflybites go ahead and try to run a charity event yourself!

#3 28067

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 10:49 AM

I am with Avago on this.

Yes terribly sad when something bad happens, but we as runners need to take some responsibility too.

And to Sandflybites: What exactly are you trying to achieve with your post? Warn the rest of us? Bag the organisers? Give running a bit more bad publicity?

#4 MrPercival

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 11:17 AM

My condolences to the family and friends of the runner. It was a hot windy day and it was tough going because of the conditions but nothing more than you would expect at that time of the year in Queensland. There was adequate water on the course and there was constant traffic. I agree that personal responsibility should come into this.

#5 Ultramouse

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 11:24 AM

If Sandflybites doesn't want to be targetted over his post then why start up a new profile to post it? I would imagine that someone who goes to that trouble to air his uninformed views will more than likely air them publicly in person to anyone who cares to listen at his next race, down the pub, at work etc...

He's going to become known to some runners who will take a dim view.

If there is a coronial inquest or investigation then there will be a verdict. Does Sandflybites wish to pre-empt this verdict? Does he have information that the coroner is not privy to?

Perhaps a discreet letter to the coroner might be better if this is the case. But of course he would miss out on the opportunity to grandstand.

I'm with Avago - get a life!

#6 ausmarathons

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 11:51 AM

At least 4 runners I know of have died directly after runs this year alone (Twilight, 2x City to Surf, Bribie). I was in Brisbane city at the time of Twilight and believe the St Lucia storm was foreseeable. By news reports, the two deaths at City to Surf were foreseeable because both had completely inadequate training.

Very likely a greater and unreported number have died in the days following events. The stories from two lucky Coolrunners hospitalised after Melbourne are certainly not isolated.

I believe very strongly in personal responsibility but this definitely needs to more open discussion. Especially given the vast majority of causalities are from recklessness i.e. one event a year runners with only a few weeks training.

#7 undercover brother

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 12:23 PM

completely agree for all our sakes it good to discuss safety and medical issues with both on-road and off-road events (there are several threads and posts on CR already).
with respect to what's happened at this event however, as it's been (apparently) referred to the coroner (which is common practice under similar circumstances) then I would think it's completely inappropriate for several reasons to comment on specifics of this event in this forum.

Edited by undercover brother, 29 October 2013 - 12:24 PM.


#8 buzzlightyear

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 12:45 PM

As a moderator, I am pleading with everyone to focus on the issue - A quote often used here 'Focus on the ball, not the person'
I can totally understand the response to defend the organisation/person being 'accused' of.

As a fellow CR, Runner, RD and working within the events world, the issue raised here certainly needs to be look at a bit more thorough. I like to put my hand up and say I do think this may not be the most ideal medium. There are a lot of implications both legally and any information shared here, truth or not, could potentially hinder (any) investigation

There are always two side to a coin - Here we have sandflybites, whom I assumed is a user of CR already, identifying a few allerged 'red flags' in the event. Of all the points raised, the one I find that deserves more attention is the last point where Sandflybites allerged the runner was not accounted by the RD.
That said, I strongly encourage sandflybites to contact the relevant authority and share with them whatever information he/she have. This could prompt an investigation into an inquest. It will also lay an end to this matter.

http://www.courts.ql...stions/inquests


Back to my moderator hat, play the ball, not the player

#9 Dreamsport

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 02:26 PM

I’d like to address some specific points raised in this post
First of all as others have mentioned hiding behind an anonymous user account is a pretty poor way to raise these issues or even talk about such a sad event.
Second the issues raised are based on inaccurate information.

Lets go through them one by one

§  It was terribly hot on October 13.  There was a strong northerly wind which made the run up the beach a struggle, and the run back down the beach an inferno.

While it was windy the overall temperature was not that hot. Brisbane weather temps indicated a max of 31 degrees. Not the hottest for the month. Certainly not unsurprising for a beach event in October in QLD.

§  It was very sunny, and there was no sunscreen available at registration.

There was also no free handouts of hats, running clothes or shoes. I'm not sure what the writer expects event organisers to provide if it rains. This is a pointless comment.

§  Despite the fact that people were running marathon and ultramarathon distances, there was only water available, at eight unmanned stations on the beach.

This is a half-truth and is also inaccurate. In an out and back event each water station is passed twice apart from the one you turn at. There were 7 stations. While not permanently manned there were volunteers servicing these locations and filling them up. There were also three race vehicles patrolling the beach as well as numerous other volunteers. The runner in question (doing 15km) had passed 6 stations in 10-12 km and had water in the bottles on his belt when found. His pre-existing illness was not caused by the race or running the event, the heat or wind.

§  There has been lollies available at the water stations in the past.  In the past, these were generally present for the ultra and marathon runners until they reached the half marathon turn on the run back, from where the lollies and often the water has been completely devoured.

Any distance runner knows to take their own nutrition. Extras may be available but you can’t count on them

§  Nobody noticed that the runner did not return.  He was not missed by the event management, and the race director did not mount a search for him.  I understand that the runner was found by a motorist in an extremely distressed state, and was taken to hospital, where he died some time later.

This is completely untrue. The missing runner was missed by race management and looked for long before he was found by a motorist completely off the patrolled course. The cause of death is in no way suspicious, or connected to the race or the event at all. The coroner released the body with no charges.


The connection by the anonymous writer (who I request to name his/herself before replying) to the death at the twilight festival is completely unwarranted. The death at that event was connected to the event and the freak storm that occurred. This sad death was not connected to the race at all.
The race director’s report could not mention the death, as the runner had not died at the time of writing it. He died several days later.
Expecting to be targeted for airing views is also unwarranted. A public forum is after all just that. It is a civil place for discussion of facts, opinions and other information. In this case hiding behind anonymity and making baseless accusations of impropriety is not fair. Opinions may be aired but do not use inaccurate information to make claims of impropriety.
Yes the issue of race management and risk assessment must be discussed. However that is best discussed away from the emotion of the tragic passing of a runner.
Please be considerate of the family and friends of the runner, the race director and other volunteers who help make events like these enjoyable and safe because of the hours of effort they put into them for the runners. That is what you pay for. (Oh and the legal stuff like permits, insurance and the rest of it.)

#10 ausmarathons

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 03:46 PM

View PostDreamsport, on 29 October 2013 - 02:26 PM, said:

The connection by the anonymous writer (who I request to name his/herself before replying) to the death at the twilight festival is completely unwarranted. The death at that event was connected to the event and the freak storm that occurred. This sad death was not connected to the race at all.
Not sure if you mean me or the OP since I did mention Twilight. I won't be outing myself online but you don't have to be a genius to find my name.

My comment was meant as a generalisation and perhaps I should start a new thread. Just in case it was lost in translation, the generalisation was too many runners are dying (guesstimate up to 1/10000 starters from anecdotal info and news reports) because of primarily inadequate preparation by the runner.
Commenting specifically and personally on Twilight: I was sitting in a Salisbury backyard that Sunday afternoon about 3pm watching the storm roll in and speculating about this being a nasty storm. The storm buildup was typical, only the month (March) was atypical. Storm damage was foreseeable - equally by race direction and by runners individually.

#11 Seano

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 05:51 PM

View Postausmarathons, on 29 October 2013 - 03:46 PM, said:

View PostDreamsport, on 29 October 2013 - 02:26 PM, said:

The connection by the anonymous writer (who I request to name his/herself before replying) to the death at the twilight festival is completely unwarranted. The death at that event was connected to the event and the freak storm that occurred. This sad death was not connected to the race at all.
Not sure if you mean me or the OP since I did mention Twilight. I won't be outing myself online but you don't have to be a genius to find my name.

My comment was meant as a generalisation and perhaps I should start a new thread. Just in case it was lost in translation, the generalisation was too many runners are dying (guesstimate up to 1/10000 starters from anecdotal info and news reports) because of primarily inadequate preparation by the runner.
Commenting specifically and personally on Twilight: I was sitting in a Salisbury backyard that Sunday afternoon about 3pm watching the storm roll in and speculating about this being a nasty storm. The storm buildup was typical, only the month (March) was atypical. Storm damage was foreseeable - equally by race direction and by runners individually.
Twilight has been discussed at length here & on facebook.I would think your views about the storm event being foreseeable (& therefore 9000 people should have been sent home because it may rain) at 3Pm is contentious, & at odds with my experience & general sentiment on those forums.There seemed to be a fair backlash against the Courier Mail for the job & manner in which  they reported this. (On Twilight)My 7 year old son & nephews ran the dash at 4.45Pm in sunshine with grins on ther faces (1 3/4 hours after you saw the storm rolling in)I started the race at 5Pm & a storm was the last thing on my mind.It got very nasty - very,very quickly was my recollection.

#12 buzzlightyear

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 12:19 PM

As per my previous post, I encourage sandflybites (or anyone) with useful information to contact the authorities than using this medium.

I have extracted the following post from Geoff's run website.



"I am the father of the late Steven Hill who is in the first picture of your race report, he is in the lead of this group or 15km runners and is wearing a blue singlet and white long compression socks. Steven died from Hyperthermia in this race, he left the course less than 800m from the finish and collapsed just of the beach in a bush track. He would have been amongst the first 5 runners at this stage. He was a very tall person, around 6ft 4in so would probably have been noticed leaving the beach too early perhaps in confusion.
Would any of the lead runners who may have noticed him please contact me on 0424610090.


#13 Dreamsport

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 12:28 PM

Seano and Ausmarathons - i was referring to the original posters comment and not yours.

In relation to twilight i was there shooting the event, mentioned the coming storm to race officials (as my wife had rung me to tell me it was coming ) who ignored my comments. two of my friends int he race were hit by falling trees and one suffered hypothermia as well after being stranded int he dark for a long time.

however that event is not comparable to the bribie event.

#14 Petewhit

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 03:22 PM

Sad for the runner's family, sad that if the runner had a pre-existing condition that the runner entered the race.  Bribie Beach Bash is usually a very tough run, and depending on the timing with tide can be one where it's terribly hard work to find some fun in it. With all runs runners take their own responsibility. I think anyone who enters a run like that is a serious runner, (we like the idea of 'ordinary' people calling us 'mad') and let's pass on sympathy to the family, knowing that the runner got to do the thing he/she loved to do.

#15 Cuz

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 03:28 AM

It has been exactly a year since my cousin collapsed during this race. It's not easy to read these comments and the tears still flow freely for Steven. Just to set the record straight, my cousin was an incredibly fit person who loved everything about running. He had no pre existing medical conditions that affected nor hindered, his ability to run this race. He'd run on Bribie many times before. Steven was leading the 15k for the majority of the race. When he failed to cross the finish line when expected, his sister ran up and down the beach looking for him. She reported it to race officials who brushed her off numerous times. She ran up and down again, begged for help. She was ignored. Finally, after all their excuses had run dry, race organisers started to look - this was hours after Steven was expected to finish the race. He was eventually found less than 800m from the finish line, just off the beach on a track - by a passerby. He was unconscious and dehydrated. He had been lying in the sun for about 3 hours. We still don't know why he was there - maybe he needed a toilet stop? No one knows. But he shouldn't have been able to leave the course unsupervised - unnoticed - unaccounted for. I can only speak for myself, but I will never forgive race officials and organisers for that. Nor for the way they made my cousin beg and plead for help before they even began looking for him. Steven had his water bottles strapped to him, and he had drank them all. He was fit to do this race. He was leading the race. These are the facts. Steven was on life support for 3 days. He never regained consciousness.

Yesterday, his father, his uncle and his cousin competed in the race - now named the 'Steven Hill 15k'. Another cousin set up a drink station with more than just 2 litre bottles of water. I am so proud of them all.

Steven was a beautiful soul and a gentle and kind human being who lived for running and football. He was only 36 years old. We miss him incredibly and this will never make sense to any of us.

We have placed an engraved stone in the track where he lay that horrible day, one year ago. The track can be found if you walk about 600m along the beach from the clubhouse. It would mean a lot to us if you could please visit and pay your respects.

Steven Hill is forever in our hearts, always on our minds.



#16 Bazza123

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 09:00 AM

Ice cream is good - too much ice cream is bad!!

Competition in sports is good - but too much competition is also BAD! We all need to have a think about that!