Have a great *cough* race!

photo credit: Andy Wong

photo credit: Andy Wong

The Beijing Marathon was held on Sunday in less-than-ideal conditions. The Air Quality Index topped 400 (and was 344 at race time), well above the 300 level that is considered hazardous, and 14 times higher than the level considered safe by the WHO. In fact, race officials handed out over 100,000 sponges “to clean skin that has been exposed to smog.”

Men’s Results:

1. Girmay Birhanu Gebru, Ethiopia, 2:10:42
2. Abebe Negewo Degefa, Ethiopia, 2:10:54
3. Solomon Bushendich Naibei, Kenya, 2:11:07
4. Eliud Kiplagat Barngetuny, Kenya, 2:11:07
5. Debebe Tolossa Wolde, Ethiopia, 2:11:23
6. Han Chengcai, China, 2:18:21

Women’s Results

1. Fatuma Sado Dergo, Ethiopia, 2:30:03
2. Meseret Kitata Tolwak, Ethiopia, 2:31:08
3. Gong Lihua, China, 2:32:23
4. Zhang Yingying, China, 2:37:09
5. Yeshi Esayias Tesemma, Ethiopia, 2:38:36
6. Geng Shaoqing, China, 2:40:08

Would you have participated in the race?

Have you ever raced in smog? How was it?

Which international marathon is on your bucket list?

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7 Responses to Have a great *cough* race!

  1. Chris P says:

    I would never run in Beijing. I wouldn’t want to visit China until they do something about this out of control pollution.

    I was born and raised in the Bronx. It is one of the most polluted counties in the entire U.S and has the highest asthma rate. I started running there as a child, and I would notice a huge difference between running there and if I ran in the countryside. I notice a difference now too, since I live in a less polluted area. Sometimes I think I may have permanent lung damage from my Bronx smog runs, but I’m not sure.

    • Jason says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised. I lived in Atlanta for a few years and the air was terrible. I prefer city-living, but I think the country wins out on this one.

  2. piratebobcat says:

    I probably wouldn’t put that one on my list. Smog is nasty. They have it down here in Houston. Once I went to Mexico City and they’re lousy with it too. International marathon? I’ve always wanted to run London, but I’ve been shut out of the lottery like 6 years in a row.

  3. Angie says:

    I wouldn’t do it. I ran when I was out of town in an area with a big forest fire and the smoke was horrible. I sounded like I had smoked a pack after that run. I can’t imagine smog feeling much better.

  4. I would definitely not run in Beijing, ever. This reminds us a lot of how Ironman Lake Tahoe was canceled due to the fire yet some people STILL did the race unsupported and in toxic air conditions. Ridiculous.

  5. literarylydi says:

    When I went to Hong Kong two years ago I was shocked by the level of air pollution. I felt like I couldn’t breathe unless I was inside. Throughout my stay the whole place was shrouded in thick smog. I find London too polluted now, it’s nowhere near as bad but I and my London friends definitely notice the better air quality when we’re further north.

  6. WalkToRio says:

    That sounds terrible!
    I doubt I would race in those conditions.

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