Woman dies during Mighty Deerstalker cross country night race

The Mighty Deerstalker event in Innerleithen took place on Saturday. Picture: Ian Georgeson
The Mighty Deerstalker event in Innerleithen took place on Saturday. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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A RUNNER has died after falling ill during a night time cross country race.

The 48-year-old woman was competing in the Borders’ Mighty Deerstalker event on Saturday.

She was taken to Borders General Hospital in Melrose by paramedics shortly before 6pm but died en route.

Billed as the UK’s biggest night race, the ten-mile event was being held at Innerleithen in Tweeddale.

“We are extremely saddened to confirm that a participant in our Mighty Deerstalker event passed away yesterday,” said a spokesman for organisers Rat Race Adventure Sports.

“The participant became unwell at 17:56, approximately one mile into the event, close to our event control station and at the location of one of our safety marshals.

“A member of our medical team was on the scene within three minutes as we implemented our response protocols.

“They were assisted by an off-duty paramedic until the arrival of the Scottish Ambulance Service.”

He added: “Our heartfelt thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of the deceased.”

Now in its 11th year, the event sees hundreds of participants tackle off-road terrain while wearing head torches.

On its website, the organisers state: “The Mighty Deerstalker is as tough as it gets: hills, mud, swamp, darkness, rivers, obstacles and always devilishly vague on the true distance, this event never disappoints but it often hurts.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police in the Scottish Borders responded to a report of a woman having taken unwell during a sporting event near to Traquair House, Innerleithen at 18.15 on Saturday 11 March.

“The 48-year-old was treated by the Scottish Ambulance Service and was taken to Borders General Hospital. However, she passed away while en route.

“Inquiries are continuing, however there appear to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding this death and a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.”