Controversial Ultra Marathon May Still Get Funding

The Kimberley Ultra Marathon may continue to receive funding next year despite the race company's controversial safety record. Photo: Sky News

The race company is under increasing scrutiny.

The Kimberley Ultra Marathon may continue to receive funding next year despite the race company's controversial safety record. Photo: Sky News

Despite the fact that at this year’s edition of the Kimberley Ultramarathon two competitors nearly died from severe burns after getting caught in a wildfire, the state government in Australia has not ruled out promotional funding for future ultras sponsored by the same company (Racing the Planet).

Tourism Minister Kim Hames is under fire for not immediately severing the financial support to the company.

However, Hames tried to downplay concerns. “The WA [Western Australia] Government sponsorship for this event was for one year, with an option for an additional two years,” he said. “No sponsorship funding has been paid to Racing the Planet. No decision has been made on the option for 2012 and 2013.”

Opposition tourist spokeswoman Michelle Roberts says that Hames is not informed about Racing the Planet’s safety record. Along with incident at the Kimberley Ultramarathon, a competitor died in one of the company’s ultra marathons in China last year.

“The Minister must reveal exactly what safety checks were undertaken for the Kimberley Ultramarathon and what investigations were conducted into Racing the Planet,” she said.

For More: Sydney Morning Herald

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