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Beijing Marathon 2014: Runners Don Gas Masks As Race Is Blanketed By Smog [Photos]

In addition to iPods and stretch pants, participants in this year’s Beijing marathon made use of one other piece of equipment – gas masks.

The 2014 race, the 34th international marathon to be held in the chinese capital was blanketed by a thick cloud of smog.

Beijing’s environmental centre rated the city’s air quality as “severely polluted” — the most serious level on china‘s air quality index, which comes with a warning for children, the elderly and the ill to stay indoors, and for all everyone to avoid outdoor activities, according to a report from the Associated Press. The U.S. embassy in Beijing rated the air quality as “hazardous”.

Beijing Marathon 2014: Runners Don Gas Masks As Race Is Blanketed By Smog [Photos] Participants run past the Tiananmen gate with a portrait of China’s late leader Mao Zedong on a hazy day during the Beijing International Marathon in Beijing October 19, 2014.  REUTERS

The men’s race was won by Ethiopia’s Girmay Birhanu Gebru in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 42 seconds, while Fatuma Sado Dergo won the women’s category in 2:30:30.

“I was basically a vacuum cleaner,” William Liu, a 30-year-old banker, told Bloomberg after completing the full marathon in five hours. He said he could’ve run faster if the smog hadn’t given him a dry, itchy throat and stuffy nose partway through.

Beijing Marathon 2014: Runners Don Gas Masks As Race Is Blanketed By Smog [Photos] A runner wears a mask as he takes part in the 34th Beijing International Marathon which began at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on October 19, 2014, with many of the tens of thousands of participants wearing face masks, as the 42-kilometer course ended at the Olympic Park.  Getty

Organisers rejected calls to postpone the race despite the cloud of pollution over the Chinese capital, but said they had laid on extra medical staff to treat injuries among the more than 25,000 registered runners, according to the AFP.

Beijing Marathon 2014: Runners Don Gas Masks As Race Is Blanketed By Smog [Photos] Participants run past the Tiananmen gate with a portrait of China’s late leader Mao Zedong during a hazy day at the Beijing International Marathon, Beijing October 19, 2014.  REUTERS

 

 

Jolene Creighton

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