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In Photos: Heavy Smog Doesn't Stop Beijing Marathon

Running 26.2 miles is hard enough.

Now imagine running them through the deep smog that often envelopes Beijing. That's what happened this morning as some 25,000 runners took to the streets for the 34th Beijing International Marathon, which begins at Tiananmen Square.

As The South China Morning Post reports, some runners sported masks. The People's Daily reports that things were so bad that some runners gave up.

Still, most runners finished. Girmay Birhanu Gebru of Ethiopia won the men's race in a respectable 2:10:42.

We'll leave you with a few pictures from the event:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Runners take part in the 34th Beijing International Marathon which began at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Sunday.
/ AFP/Getty Images
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AFP/Getty Images
Runners take part in the 34th Beijing International Marathon which began at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Sunday.
Runners with masks on compete in the annual Beijing Marathon.
Chi Ben / EPA /LANDOV
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EPA /LANDOV
Runners with masks on compete in the annual Beijing Marathon.
Ethiopia's Girmay Birhanu Gebru wins the 34th Beijing International Marathon in a time of two hours, 10 minutes and 42 seconds in Beijing on Sunday.
STR / AFP/Getty Images
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AFP/Getty Images
Ethiopia's Girmay Birhanu Gebru wins the 34th Beijing International Marathon in a time of two hours, 10 minutes and 42 seconds in Beijing on Sunday.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.