I bumped into this article on TreeHugger explaining a pretty remarkable - but comprehensible - fact. Air pollution levels are reflected in the average finishing times of marathon runners; the higher the air pollution, the longer it takes a runner to finish a marathon... At least, for women.

It's a pretty straightforward deal: runners use up more air than an average person, and will therefore notice the impact of the difference in air quality quicker. The study was conducted by analyzing the average finishing times of marathons in cities like New York and Los Angeles over a period of 28 years. It's important to note that the level of pollution never exceeded the American standards for air quality. Apparently the reason women are more heavily affected than men is: because of their smaller trachea. Lucky me with my big tracheas.

Read the press release at EurekAlert
(photo by J. Gropp http://www.flickr.com/photos/gropp/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)