Sunday, January 14, 2007

Water intoxication eyed in ‘Hold Your Wee for a Wii’ contest death

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A woman who competed in a radio station’s contest to see how much water she could drink without going to the bathroom died of water intoxication, the coroner’s office said Saturday.

Jennifer Strange, 28, was found dead Friday in her suburban Rancho Cordova home hours after taking part in the “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” contest in which KDND 107.9 promised a Nintendo Wii video game system for the winner.

“She said to one of our supervisors that she was on her way home and her head was hurting her real bad,” said Laura Rios, one of Strange’s co-workers at Radiological Associates of Sacramento. “She was crying and that was the last that anyone had heard from her.”

It was not immediately know how much water Strange consumed.

A preliminary investigation found evidence “consistent with a water intoxication death,” said assistant Coroner Ed Smith.

John Geary, vice president and marketing manager for Entercom Sacramento, the station’s owner, said station personnel were stunned when they heard of Strange’s death.

“We are awaiting information that will help explain how this tragic event occurred,” he said.

Initially, contestants were handed eight-ounce bottles of water to drink every 15 minutes.

“They were small little half-pint bottles, so we thought it was going to be easy,” said fellow contestant James Ybarra of Woodland. “They told us if you don’t feel like you can do this, don’t put your health at risk.”

Ybarra said he quit after drinking five bottles. “My bladder couldn’t handle it anymore,” he added.

After he quit, he said, the remaining contestants, including Strange, were given even bigger bottles to drink.

“I was talking to her and she was a nice lady,” Ybarra said. “She was telling me about her family and her three kids and how she was doing it for kids.”

© 2007 The Associated Press.

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Man Rides Stationary Bike For Over 85 Hours

George Hood may have peddled his way into the Guinness Book of World Records on Saturday night.

The 49-year-old Aurora resident began riding a stationary bike at the Five Seasons Sports Club in Burr Ridge at 4 a.m. Wednesday and surpassed the previous record of 82 hours by 8:28 p.m. Saturday. He stopped several minutes before midnight after completing his goal of 85 hours.

"He's very grateful — and very tired," said Matt Baron, a spokesman for Five Seasons.

Baron said Hood was talking and thanking his supporters right up to the end, but was taken by paramedics to a hospital as a precaution after he got off the bike.

"He'll be under observation for a while, and they're going to administer fluids," Baron said.

The record of 82 hours was set last year by Brian Overkaer of Denmark.

Getting Hood's accomplishment into Guinness Book may take several weeks as officials need to certify it, Baron said.

As Hood neared the 82nd hour — and spun more than 1,000 miles — he sped up.

The Drug Enforcement Administration supervisor and 23-year federal law enforcement veteran had been averaging 12.7 mph. Coming down the final stretch, he cycled at 13.5 mph.

About 200 people gathered at the club to cheer him on.

Hood hoped the feat would help raise thousands of dollars for the Illinois chapter of COPS, an organization that helps the families of slain police officers. Illinois COPS president Jennifer Morales has said Hood could be the largest single fundraiser the local group has had.

Baron said Hood raised $25,000 for the group — $5,000 more than his goal.

Hood took a few brief power naps along the way. Guinness Book rules allow a five-minute break for every completed hour of cycling.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press

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