Girmay Birhanu Gebru of Ethiopia won
the Beijing Marathon as about 30,000 runners from 55 countries
completed after a warning of hazardous haze engulfing the city.
Gebru completed the race in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 42
seconds, the official Xinhua News Agency reported today. The
organization committee of the race warned marathoners of heavy
smog on its official Weibo feed last night. The Air Quality
Index in the city central area is at “severely polluted
levels” of around 225 to 245 today, with the gauge at more than
400 in some areas, according to Beijing Municipal Environmental
Protection Bureau. The U.S. Embassy said on its website air
quality is “hazardous” today.
“I was basically a vacuum cleaner,” William Liu, a 30-year-old banker, said 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.
The heavy smog compounds Beijing’s task to improve air
quality ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum
next month when leaders gather for an annual summit. The city
has ordered some cars to stay off the roads, construction to
halt, and offices and public schools to shut down during the
summit at which U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese
President Xi Jinping will meet.
Yuan also posted a picture of himself with a number tag and
a screen shot showing “hazardous” level of pollution – PM-2.5
particle level reaching 373 micrograms per cubic meter. The
World Health Organization recommends exposures of no greater
than 25 micrograms per cubic meter in a 24-hour period.
To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story:
Xiaoqing Pi in Beijing at
Penny Peng in Beijing at
To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Stanley James at
Sungwoo Park, Ken McCallum