My Carbon Footprint Is a Heel Strike

The Washington Post Health & Science section last week featured a baffling column on the greenhouse gas emissions caused by marathoning. It seemed especially pointless since the author explained that “the carbon dioxide that a runner exhales does not directly contribute to climate change, because it’s a part of a natural carbon cycle.” Apparently it’s only the food you eat and how it is produced that add to your carbon footprint.

What does this have to do with marathoning? Beats me, but it sure filled up some space in the Washington Post. How much carbon dioxide was produced by that column?

Anyway, there are significant environmental factors caused by marathons and marathon training that go unmentioned in the article.

After a few hundred miles of running, the tread on your running shoes disappears. Where does it go? Yes, untold trillions of tiny rubber particles are released into the atmosphere and inhaled by unsuspecting humans.

What effect is there on our planet’s flora by the excessive urination on plants, trees and bushes by marathoners?

Released body heat can contribute to global warming, and is only partially mitigated by those mylar blankets.

And don’t get me started on cropdusting.