With facial-recognition running tracks and an over-subscribed marathon, Shanghai is fast becoming a city of joggers – despite its notorious air pollution

On a clear, balmy night in Shanghai, a group of lycra-clad runners stretch their hamstrings in the city’s Xuhui district, sporting an array of headphones, water bottles and Fitbits. The group, known as RunnersHai, are meeting for their weekly training – half are practising for a marathon, others are just in it for the exercise.

“Running in Shanghai initially seemed like an impossible challenge – even walking the streets is dangerous because of cars and other vehicles,” says Wang Hui, 26, from Anhui. “But with other runners, we can find better locations together for running.”

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