Smog’s Impact on Running

We’ve heard lots about the impact of smog on the environment and that there really is no upside to having smog around. Here in the USA we’ve done a decently good job at beginning to reduce smog – especially in metro areas. We aren’t smog-free by any means but some places are doing better than others.

By now most people have heard about the Olympic Games in China – and maybe even the fact that China has a lot of pollution due to the high number of cars in areas like Beijing. That’s part of why oil prices keep rising. Good old supply and demand economics (for a simple explanation!) There are a lot of concerns about the Olympic Games being held in China – probably too numerous to mention here.

Today’s post focuses on the issue of how smog will impact the games. The Washington Post is reporting that:

Fearful of the effects of air pollution on their performance, Olympic athletes are taking extreme measures to prepare for this summer’s Games in Beijing.

The article goes on to say that at least 35 countries are planning to house their athletes outside of China or outside of Beijing. Additionally, most athletes will remain outside of the country as long as possible to reduce the impact of the environment on their bodies. The article talks about food concerns and I actually saw somewhere else that the US is shipping its own food for its athletes. Generally, the Olympics are seen as a great boost to the host country’s economy, even with all the expenditures related to construction and hosting the games. If other countries follow suit this may not be as good as China had hoped for their reputation.

Recent measurements show that on some days the amount of smoke and dust particles in the air exceeds by three to 12 times the maximum deemed safe by the World Health Organization. So while some teams say they are encouraged by the progress, they are preparing for the worst. Jacques Rogge, the head of the International Olympic Committee, has said events could be rescheduled if the air quality does not meet safety standards on a given day.

It is mentioned at the very end of this article that Halie Gebreselassie, was considering changing his running plans, it is actually a fact. According to the BBC article, he is going to try to qualify for the 10K and then do whatever is best for his country.  It could be an interesting few weeks while we watch and see how China handles the intense outside pressure and all of the major concerns.

[tags] Olympics, China [/tags]

2 thoughts on “Smog’s Impact on Running

  1. Pingback: Eco-Gyms | Team Cross Runs

  2. Pingback: Week 5: Half Marathon Training | Team Cross Runs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *