Extreme mountain race death trial opens in Germany

24th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

Two runners died after taking part in the race, which asked participants to run up the country's highest mountain.

Berlin -- The organiser of an "extreme mountain race" in Germany denied manslaughter charges Monday after two participants died of cold and exhaustion running up the country's highest mountain.

"I would like to say with total conviction that I am in no way responsible for these deaths," said Peter Krinninger, 54, as his trial opened in the Alpine town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

The two runners, aged 41 and 45, died in July 2008 not far from the finishing line at the summit of the Zugspitze, at 2,962 metres (9,718 feet).

Dressed in shorts and t-shirts, they were surprised by a sudden change in meteorological conditions. Six others were hospitalised following a heavy snowstorm.

Krinninger refused to pay a fine of 13,500 euros (20,000 dollars) that would have allowed him to avoid a trial.

He organised a further race in 2009 and another is planned for 2010. The best runners complete the course, just under 18 kilometres (11 miles) long, in around two hours.


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