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15th Nov 2022

Chinese man ‘runs entire marathon in just three and a half hours whilst chain smoking’

Charlie Herbert

You wouldn’t want to be stuck behind him for long…

A marathon runner has become a cult figure in running circles because of his unorthodox decision to chain smoke throughout his races.

The Chinese runner known as a ‘Uncle Chen’ has gone viral after he completed the Xin’anjiang Marathon in Jiande, China while smoking cigarettes throughout the 42 km endurance event.

Photos of the 50-year-old Guangzhou man were shared on a Chinese social media app, and event organisers shared his finishing certificate afterwards.

Despite what you may think, there are currently no rules prohibiting marathon runners from smoking while they compete.

Chen finished 574th in the race overall, with a remarkably good time of 3:28:45 out of nearly 1,500 runners.

According to Canadian Running Magazine, this isn’t the first time he’s decided to light up while running.

He was chaining it at the 2018 Guangzhou Marathon, where he clocked a time of 3h36m, and the 2019 Xiamen Marathon, where he finished with a time of 3h32m.

His smoking exploits have even apparently earned him the nickname “Smoking Brother” in running circles, a moniker he adopted after a 2017 event in Hangzhou.

And there is even some evidence online that he runs ultra marathons as well, with one spanning 50km and another lasting 12 hours.

Reactions to Chen have been mixed, with some full of admiration for the runner whilst others understandably question his methods.

Putting their own spin on the Foo Fighters classic, ‘My Hero’, one Instagram user wrote: “There goes my hero. Watch him as he smokes.”

“Imagine being stuck behind him the whole race,” said another.

“So this is what peak performance looks like,” joked a third.

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