The entire point of running a marathon is to promote fitness and improve overall health. Running a marathon is not easy and requires a commitment to training and a healthy lifestyle. Unquestionably, people who run marathons are considered to be some of the most health-conscious athletes on the planet. However, a Chinese runner, also known as ‘Uncle Chen’, has gone viral for chain-smoking cigarettes while he competed in a marathon, TMZ reported.
We all know for a fact that smoking cigarettes hinder running performance. If you smoke, you get less oxygen in your heart, lungs and muscles, making it quite difficult to run. Despite that, 50-year-old Chen completed the Xin’anjiang Marathon in Jiande, China while smoking throughout the 42-kilometre endurance event on November 6, according to a TMZ report. He completed the marathon in three hours and 28 minutes while finishing 574th overall out of nearly 1500 runners who competed. And all this, while chain-smoking a pack of cigarettes.
Photos of him first went viral on Weibo, a Chinese social media app, which received mixed responses, said the outlet. Meanwhile, event organisers also celebrated his achievement by sharing his finishing certificate afterwards.
This is not the first time Uncle Chen has pulled off such a strange stunt. According to Running Magazine, he was pictured lighting up and smoking several cigarettes while running the 2018 Guangzhou Marathon and the 2019 Xiamen Marathon. In 2018, Mr Chen clocked a time of 3:36 and ran 3:32 in 2019. The report also says that the 50-year-old has participated in ultramarathons, with one spanning 50km and another lasting 12 hours.
Pictures of Uncle Chen have gone viral all over social media, with users expressing their disbelief and disproving the act. While some joked about it, others said that such acts set a bad precedent. One user reacted to the news on Instagram and wrote, ”Sadly this proves legit nothing. If he wouldn’t smoke, he would’ve performed better and I’m sure he knows this.” Another wrote, ”His lungs were literally screaming help.”