With a UFO-creating layer of haze blanketing Beijing once again on Sunday, conditions weren’t exactly suitable for running long distances and/or breathing. Still, some 30,000 athletes showed up to put their respiratory systems to the ultimate test.
The 2014 Beijing International Marathon consisted of running 42 kilometers through ‘hazardous’ air conditions. According to Xinhua, the PM2.5 level reached 331 micrograms per cubic meter in Beijing. The World Health Organization warns against going outside in levels above 25, pretty sure this also includes running 26 miles.
Despite the dangers to runners, organizers refused to think of postponing the race, since that would be way more complicated than just running it through the hazardous smog. According to Beijing News, they did provide extra medical staff, who gave out some 140,000 water-soaked sponges that athletes could use to clean their skin. Their lungs, meanwhile, were out of luck.
As usual, marathon participants dressed up in their finest garb. The air pollution level was so high that it even caused the Man of Steel to be on the safe side and wear a mask (or maybe part of Beijing’s smog is made of Kryptonite?).
Finally, at least the smog concealed all the runners peeing everywhere around the city.
by Alex Linder
[Images via Tencent & ChinaNews]