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Featured photo via Copenhagen Half on Twitter
On Sunday at 11:15 a.m. local time, runners were greeted by sunny skies and a clear day at the start line of the Copenhagen Half Marathon. In fact, it looked like this:
— cphhalf (@cphhalf) September 17, 2017
Many runners had a smooth race day and according to The Local Denmark, the majority of runners had crossed the finish line. However, around 1 p.m. the weather took a turn for the worse—much worse—and after thirty minutes of rain, hail and lightning, race officials were forced to cancel the race.
So, just how bad was it? Well, it looked like this:
— Marathon Swims (@MarathonSwims) September 17, 2017
Extreme flooding took place near the finish line—with timing mats even reportedly floating away—and the weather quickly became unsafe for runners. In fact, The Local Denmark was told that people were even struck by lightning.
“Three people—a runner, a photographer and a race volunteer—were hit by lightning, two seriously enough to be taken to hospital for treatment,” they reported.
Eventually the downpour stopped, though officials and safety personnel decided to completely close the course as more severe weather was expected to hit the area.
Participants began sharing video on social media, particularly of the flooded finish line. Power had gone out on the big screen and officials did their best to help clear the area.
Det er en flod, der har dannet sig på Øster Alle i København. Stadig ingen strøm i målområdet. pic.twitter.com/s5CvWMpJNb
— Henrik Fallesen (@hfallesen) September 17, 2017
No further injuries were reported and social media and loudspeakers were able to relay the message that the race was cancelled. Danish news reported that roughly 20,000 runners were in the area and took part in the race.