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A runner wearing a face mask as he takes part in the 35th Beijing International Marathon in Beijing on Sept 20, 2015, with the 42-kilometer course beginning at Tiananmen Square and ending at the Olympic Park. Some participants wore face masks to protect themselves from air pollution. Seven heart attacks occurred during the run and all were taken to a hospital in Beijing. — AFP pic
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BEIJING, Sept 21, 2015:
Six runners and one race official suffered heart attacks during yesterday’s Beijing International Marathon, reported South China Morning Post.
A 30-year-old man passed out just 4km from the finish line of the 42km race. The Legal Evening News said he had regained consciousness after being rushed to hospital.
He was one of six runners and one official to have been taken to hospital after suffering heart attacks, The Beijing Times reported.
Some of the runners wore masks as protection. At 10am, the US embassy in Beijing recorded an Air Quality Index level of 175. It classes levels between 151-200 as “unhealthy” and advises people to “reduce prolonged or heavy exertion” during such periods.
About 30,000 runners took part in this year’s event, with the mass of participants so great it took nearly half an hour for all of them to cross the start line, state news agency Xinhua reported.
Kenyan Mariko Kipchumba, 41, finished in 2 hours 11 minutes to become the first non-Ethiopian athlete to win the event since 2011.
Berhanu Tolcha from Ethiopia came in second in 2:11:37, followed by Wirimai Juwawo of Zimbabwe, who finished in 2:14:25.
In the women’s competition, Ethiopian runner Betelhem Cherenet took the title in 2:27:31. Abebech Bekele from Ethiopia and Sin Yong-sun from North Korea came second and third.