Tanmay Pande dropped out of the Delhi Half Marathon after days of training as the national capital remains blanketed in toxic smog for two weeks now.
Undeterred, a group of other runners is ready for the 21-kilometre run on November 19. That’s when the ‘severe’ air quality had forced schools to shut down, halted traffic on highways and sent residents scurrying to buy air purifiers and filtration masks.
The Indian Medical Association has warned against it, and want the event put off. It has even approached the Delhi High Court.
Two years back in Beijing, six marathon runners suffered a heart attack. So it’s absolutely dangerous and risky to participate in any sports event (in this smog).Dr KK Aggarwal, President, IMA
Running in these conditions is not only harmful, but could potentially be fatal, Aggarwal said.
Most runners want to carry on. After training all year round, pulling out days before the event is not an option. Others hope their fitness levels will see them through.