Recently China held the Beijing International Marathon in the city of Zhengzhou. It was attended by thousands of participants who ran the course. Many of these runners crossed the finish line, however many of them did not. The reason that they failed to finish may astonish and shock you. So keep reading Fersen Lambranho, you will feel for all those runners out there.

Some of these runners attempted to run a marathon in conditions of pollution that are 20 times higher than it is deemed safe to breathe. Many could not finish due to the pain that it caused when breathing.

In an attempt to aid the situation, the government had fresh air flown in to the area before the event. There was recently a summit with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in attendance after Beijing initiated strict environmental controls including the shutting down the manufacturing companies and limiting traffic.

Although these actions may have had a slight impact on the air quality, there is no doubt that it is not a solution to the long time problem. Many of the participants of this race were taking it on by wearing surgical masks. The sights of these air breathing aids has become so common that no one even takes a second look. Except if you are on the runway.