It’s one week after the cold, wet rain permeated the White Rock Marathon. Lots of people, including my mother, have asked me if I caught pneumonia from running “The Rock”?
So, does running in the rain make you sick? This is one of those questions that seems to be doomed to getting inconclusive answers forever. Especially when it comes to the opinion of Mom!
People usually do get sick more when the weather is rainy. That's because they stay indoors more, and indoors is where cold and flu viruses spread because of increased contact between individuals. On a sunny warm day, everybody goes outdoors, where there is (obviously) more space, better ventilation, and less physical contact with large numbers of other individuals.
Catching an infectious disease such as the common cold requires direct exposure to the pathogen (virus). Exposure comes in the form of close contact with an infected individual. Going into cold and rainy weather will not make you sick unless you also get colonized by the pathogen while you're out there.
There have been reports that cold temperature itself reduces the effectiveness of our immune system, but even that's not sufficient alone - you'd still need exposure to the virus.
"I'll get sick if I stand out in the rain or go out into the cold without a hat on" - Fiction
"Cold and rainy weather causes virus infections to spread more rapidly than usual" - Fact, due to people staying indoors more
Wash your hands, stay away from people who are sick, and feel free to run and play in the rain, just like we did last Sunday at the White Rock Marathon. Run Happy....and remember to jump in puddles after the 6th mile when your feet are already soaked!