Running in the Anthropocene

Just got back from a sweaty run. Oh how I am going to suffer in the summer. It’s not even really that warm here, but it’s extremely humid and sweat is still pouring off me. Guess I’m going to have to toughen up!

If you haven’t noticed, I have changed the name of the blog to “Running in the Anthropocene”–anthropocene being a buzzword that is not truly geological but is representative of the human epoch. When I try to unite this idea with running, and climate change especially, I think of that run post I made about the Beijing Marathon, where runners wore masks. There are various ways in which I incorporate running into the other themes at Eco-fiction, but there’s also the matter of how doing any physical activity out in the elements might change now and in the future, due to our impacts on land, air, and water.

I ran across this article from Business Vancouver recently, which predicts how climate change will affect the area I live in. Drier summers, wetter winters, lower rivers, higher sea levels, receding glaciers. Some of this has already begun happening. This year, for instance (and in recent years), there is less snow up in the mountains. Skiing and winter tourism have been hit badly. The main river here, the Fraser, is mostly fed by snowmelt instead of rainwater, so it makes sense to predict lower rivers as well. What does this mean for runners? I think adaption is key; getting used to warmer and drier summers and wetter winters when running is what we’ll do. I get sad when I think of sea levels coming up over our city, but that will happen too, eventually.

I think it will be a gradual adaption. For now, I need a second shower and a cold beer!

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