Ultrarunner Adam Campbell hit by lightning: Headlamp may have saved my life

Posted at 12:00 PM, Jul 15, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-16 13:25:25-04

An ultrarunner hit by lighting in the Colorado mountains over the weekend thinks his headlamp may have saved his life.

Adam Campbell was at about mile 56 on Saturday during the Hardrock 100 endurance race in Southern Colorado when he and his pacer, Aaron Heidt, were hit by lightning at Handies Peak, the highest point of the race.

"There is no shelter, you are fully exposed to the elements," Campbell told Trail Runner Nation in an interview uploaded to YouTube. "As we walked up there, we saw a lightning strike hit the summit. We figured the lightning was five minutes apart and we just started booking across the summit."

That didn't work.

"The second we hit it [the summit], both Aaron and I got hit, struck by lightning," Campbell said. "My headlamp blew up and both Aaron and I fell to the ground."

Campbell told 7NEWS he thinks the bolt hit the battery pack on his headlamp instead of hitting him directly.

"After some serious profanity, as we hit the deck, we both agreed we had to get out of there as quickly as possible," Campbell said.

Campbell and Heidt got back up, used Heidt's headlamp and kept running.

Campbell said it was pitch black, pouring rain but they got off Handies fast.

"Probably the fastest I ran all day," Campbell said.

Forty-four miles later, Campbell managed to finish in third place.