Outdoor activities are still going on despite the poor air quality, but some people are playing it safe

Race organizers have announced that 700 people have registered for the Urban Wildland Half Marathon in Richfield on Saturday morning. About 500 showed up.

RICHFIELD, Minn. – There are a lot of people who would never run a race, even on a good day, let alone a bad one.

And then there are people who will run no matter what.

At the Urban Wildland Half Marathon in Richfield, more than 500 people competed in the 19th annual race despite the poor air quality.

“It was definitely not part of our plan, but it’s something we watched over the last week,” said race director Brianna Rodgers.

Race organizers were wondering if they should continue the race this year.

Rodgers says they have contacted the National Weather Service for advice.

“They gave us a directive that if you are in a sensitive group, they recommend against running. So we messaged our riders and gave them the option to run our virtual race instead, ”said Rodgers.

Several runners took this advice and signed up for the virtual race instead.

Rodgers says about 700 people signed up for the race, but only about 500 people showed up on Saturday morning.

“The races always have a few people who don’t show up on the day of,” says Rodgers. “Usually that number is around 10%, then during COVID that number is a little higher by around 20%. There are, however, a few runners who signed up for the virtual event after hearing this recommendation. “

Dr Nick Simpson of Hennepin Healthcare says it’s probably a good idea for anyone with chronic breathing problems.

He says it might be tempting for people to go for a run or some gardening or gardening this weekend, but he says it’s probably not a good idea if you have a chronic respiratory problem or any other problem. another condition that could be exacerbated by poor air quality.

“For those people, I would recommend as much as possible to stay indoors and avoid things that would otherwise stress the body,” Dr. Simpson said.

But if you can’t avoid it, Simpson says you’re better off doing your physical activity in the morning, as air quality typically deteriorates throughout the day.

“Usually it does, and it has to do with other factors like traffic pollution later in the day, and things like that,” says Dr. Simpson.

This is one of the reasons the half marathon was given the green light to continue.

The race itself started at 7:00 a.m. and organizers say everyone finished by 11:30 a.m.

“Everyone came back to the finish line. We didn’t have any major medical needs and the atmosphere was really exciting. A lot of the riders were very grateful that we had a race anyway,” said Rodgers.

If you are concerned about the air quality in your area, there is a helpful tool you can use.

You can enter your postal code at www.airnow.gov

The website offers a free interactive tool that will show you what the air quality looks like in your area and also give you tips on what types of activities are safe to do.