What’s the NOISE all about?
Last two weeks the air quality in Delhi and NCR has hit the Hazardous levels and predicted to stay as bad (actually it is terrible for now - the fumes once set in won't leave your lungs) for the next couple of weeks. In a random news, the Indian Medical Association issued an Advisory- DEMANDING the organizers of the biggest running event of north India - Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) to Cancel this event. It says it's bad for the health of runners to run given the terrible air quality! Click HERE to read the advisory issued by the Indian Medical Association!
It was time for the blogger to do some RESEARCH!
I did some research on countries around the world and what their stand has been towards Running Events in such situations:
One interesting article I came by Guardian on Air Pollution : Should It Stop You from Exercising! The article writes about how there were warnings given out to Olympic athletes that they could underperform, and even risk their health, because of London's summer smog. It enfolds a very interesting point of view that you must read!
The article ends with the following lines:
"People need the government to stop looking for loopholes to avoid complying with the law. Instead they should be proposing bold solutions such as banning the oldest diesel vehicles, as Germany has done." That, he says, really would be a breath of fresh air.
AND THE LEARNING HERE IS : A WARNING WAS ISSUED! NOBODY WAS DEMANDED to CANCEL THE EVENT! NOBODY WAS FORCED TO RUN OR NOT TO RUN!
An then I came across this article - Beijing's Olympic War on Smog. Click Here.
4 months before the Olympics were held in Beijing - The government ordered work stoppages at construction sites, chemical plants, cement manufacturers and mines. Beijing Eastern Petrochemical suspended production until September. The city banned spray painting and crack down on printing, furniture production and motor vehicle repair outlets that didn't meet city standards.
AND THE LEARNING HERE IS : THE GOVERNMENT MADE EFFORTS TO KEEP THE POLLUTION LEVELS DOWN! OLYMPICS SUMMER GAMES 2008 WEREN'T CANCELLED!
The Report and the Research later, here's my take as a RUNNER!
I run 4-5 times a week all year. I run through:
- Bone biting winters - I make myself a warm cuppa, drink it off and run through the fog of 5-6 degree winter mornings.
- Blazing summers. Not one, but weeks of 40 degrees + . I do my long runs, short runs - give me the distance, I'll do it. But I take good care of my Hydration!
- Soul shaking humidity. I did 4 half marathons on days when the humidity was more than 70% and temperatures were more than 40 degrees.
All for ? - The Love of Running!
SO for heaven sake why would I stop running And why would I not run that one run I train for every year - ADHM!
Where are the Advisories when
- Stadium Runs are organised to encourage runners to run for 24, 48 and 72 hours?
- What about the ultra runners out in the wild? - The ultra runs that are organised in deserts, in crazy mountain trails where the distances sometimes run upto 500 kms and the runners are out in the wild for days? Animals? Weather?
- What about high altitude running? Which is truly dangerous! Where are the warnings????
Hate me for writing this - But I find the above 3 far more dangerous for human body than running through polluted air!
But we do all of the above because we let our judgement and our maturity decide for ourselves. We chose our battles, we think through our decisions and we love doing what we do! Yes - keep us aware, warn us but please don't decide for us!
A few suggestions for the Runners:
- Wear a mask if that works for you.
- If you already have a medical condition, then you know what you should be doing!
- Stay supremely hydrated - Your body is less likely to get hugely affected
So yes, I'll be running the ADHM - 2017. Infact we all are Running the ADHM - 2017
If I wrote anymore on this topic, I'll be saying the same things as my fellow blogger - the vivacious and lovely Christine Pemberton . So just in case you haven't read her perspective (which is the voice of at least 95% runners), then please CLICK HERE!
And before I sign off - If anybody in the ranks is reading my blog, and cares about me enough to tell me not to run - can I please first request you to make at least one - JUST ONE - good running track in Gurgaon??? I run through dust spread by random construction and roads full of traffic! So that's where I need help!!!!!