Running a marathon is hard enough, so why add an unnecessary handicap? That’s the question you might ask Chen, a 50-year-old marathon runner. His particuliarity ? Running the marathon while chain smoking cigarettes.
In China, this marathon runner like no other is nicknamed “Uncle Chen”. Apart from his stellar performances in races, Chen is best known among sports fans and netizens for smoking cigarette after cigarette during marathons.
Counter productive ? Not according to Chen. Two weeks ago, the runner broke his own record by finishing the Xin’anjiang marathon in Jiande, China.
The 50-year-old covered the 41.84 kilometers of the race in 3 hours 28 minutes and 45 seconds.
Smoking while running, an authorized practice in the marathon
Chen managed the feat of arriving 574th in the marathon out of 1,500 participants, while smoking continuously.
The marathon runner is a follower of this kind of practice during races. In 2018, Chen had completed the same marathon in 3 hours 36 minutes and had managed to do better a year later with a time of 3 hours and 32 minutes, recalls the site Canadian Running Magazine.
The exorbitant amount of smoke inhaled into his lungs does not seem to slow down the runner who has the annoying habit of running with a cigarette in his mouth. Known as the “Smoking Brother” since 2017, Chen simply holds the world record for the fastest runner to finish a race while chain-smoking.
If some Internet users wonder about the interest of this practice or deplore the attitude of the marathon runner, others find it rather funny.
Currently, there are no rules prohibiting marathon runners from smoking during races.