The Tator

Freshman trampled during UW-Eau Claire’s annual ‘Run The Hill’ event

More stories from Erica Jones

DIY diaries
May 9, 2018

This is a satirical article and is not meant to be taken seriously. It does not reflect the opinions of The Spectator or UW-Eau Claire.

One student died earlier today while running up the hill leading from UW-Eau Claire’s lower campus to its upper campus.

Anthony Surefoot was trampled during Eau Claire’s annual “Run The Hill” event, which awards students a free T-shirt if they successfully make it to the top of the hill.

Surefoot’s roommate and high school best friend, Matt Luck prepared for the run with him; the two drank lots of water and stretched beforehand, Luck said, knowing neither of them were good runners.

“He wasn’t really a coordinated guy or a fan of running, but then again, I’m not either. We really only decided to do this together for the free shirt,” Luck said. “It makes me sad to think his life was lost because everyone on that hill was desperate for a piece of fabric.”

Luck said even though the run is advertised as noncompetitive, he saw some students giving others rather aggressive looks and wearing runners’ numbers and professional running attire. He and Surefoot were intimidated by these people, Luck said, but the two decided to not let it bother them; after all, their biggest concern was making it to the top of the hill.

A fellow student, Tiffany See, who witnessed the incident from an overlooking position on upper campus, said it looked like Surefoot took a break to catch his breath when a large male student wearing the number 13 ran into him, hitting him behind the knees and bringing his body to the ground. In the chaos, See said, the rest of the runners kept moving as a herd, stepping on Surefoot along the way because they weren’t looking at him or for him.

Several students tripped over Surefoot, but most quickly regained their balance and momentum; bystanders agreed on seeing four or five other people fall to the ground, but even they got back up and continued their journey to the top. Surefoot was not so lucky. See said she didn’t see a single runner try to help Surefoot get to his feet.

First responders to the scene said the exact time of death was unclear, but it was evidently caused by the stampede. Emergency Medical Technician spokeswoman, Eleanor Duvall said it is probable Surefoot’s lungs were injured.

“The combination of him trying to catch his breath plus being stepped on multiple times could have easily resulted in crushed or collapsed lungs,” Duvall said. “Essentially, he couldn’t get oxygen as his body continued to endure the repetitive trauma of feet hitting his chest.”

Despite this initial response, Duvall said time will tell, as Surefoot will be taken in for an autopsy.

Chancellor James Schmidt said the university will begin an investigation into the incident immediately. He asked that anyone with more information on the runner who was wearing the number 13 contact him or university police as soon as possible.

Although the freshman didn’t surmount the challenge presented by this campus landmark, Schmidt said Surefoot will be receiving an honorary shirt, for displaying “bravery during his final moments.”