Monday, September 21, 2009

30 Runners Stung by Killer Hornets During Mountain Race Near Kyoto

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Click photo for full-sized version.

At about 12:25 p.m. on Sept. 20 on Mt. Oe near Kyoto, a swarm of the giant killer hornet suzumebachi attacked runners taking part in the Yosano Mt. Oe Mountain Race. Thirty runners out of the field of 370 were stung as they ran on the mountain's hiking trails, some receiving multiple stings.

Race officials helped incapacitated participants to return to the start via cars at road access points along the course. While most of the stings were mild, five people were injured badly enough to be taken to the hospital after police received word of the attacks from a nearby campground and from race officials. One athlete remained in the hospital to receive further medical treatment.

Translator's note: The suzumebachi is the hornet which produces the amino acids used by 2009 World Championships women's marathon silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) and others in their medal-winning runs. The Wikipedia article linked above quotes Tamagawa University entomologist Masato Ono as saying the suzumebachi's sting feels "like a hot nail being driven into [your] leg."

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