A morning run by 75 recruits turns into horror: ‘It looked like an airplane wreck’ in cold weather
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Pregnant recruits are trained outside in frigid conditions to help their developing babies survive, their faces covered.
From left are Trisha White, a University of California at Berkeley student, and her family. She’s expecting her second child, and the training routine turned into a horror, including her face covered to make sure her unborn child survives the cold.
(Published Thursday, Feb. 23, 2015)
Updated at 10:33 p.m.
A chilling training video that showed what one recruit and her family feared for weeks has prompted a California university to conduct an internal investigation of the drill that has caused some of its women’s track and field players to fear they are next in line for a fatal plane crash.
The video was posted online Monday by the University of California at Berkeley, where some female athletes worry their babies might be the next to die in cold weather. The team, known as the Bears, is ranked third in the nation this year, and the women train about four hours a day, running on grass, the video showed.
University officials have been flooded with emails since the video was posted by the student government, which released it to the public for the first time on Wednesday.
“It’s very troubling,” said Rachel Johnson, a former track athlete who graduated from U.C. Berkeley last April and still works in their medical research lab. “It’s hard to imagine what they have to go through…. It’s like they’re preparing to crash their plane.”
Trisha White, the mother of a baby on the Berkeley team, said she initially thought the video was serious. Her 11-week-old son Noah was the most critical, but he had already been through hypothermia in January, her son’s pediatrician told her.
“We were going to the hospital to talk to him about it,” she said. “But he had a lot of other things to deal with.”
The University of California at Berkeley has suspended the training drill until the investigation is completed.
The group was preparing to train on the UC Berkeley campus in December when the video surfaced, said Mike Farrell, executive director of the University of