A marathon runner has been pictured chain-smoking his way through an event in China and posted an impressive finishing time. The athlete known only as ‘Uncle Chen’ completed the Xin’anjiang Marathon in three hours, 28 minutes and 45 seconds finishing 574th overall out of nearly 1,500 runners.
Pictures of Chen chain smoking have been widely shared on a Chinese social media app Weibo resulting in marathon organisers sharing a picture of his finishing certificate. Chen is well known for his chain-smoking antics during Chinese running events and is known as ‘Smoking Brother’ by fellow athletes.
The 50-year-old, from Guangzhou, was first pictured smoking while running his home town marathon in 2018 and then a year later he posted a time of 3-32 at the 2019 Xiamen Marathon. You might think his smoking would result in slow times, but three years on Chen went faster at the Xin’anjiang Marathon running 3-28.
Not content with just competing over the 26.2 miles marathon distance Chen has also ran longer distances. Canadian Running Magazine claim that Uncle Chen has also ran ultramarathon events with one over 50 kilometres and another lasting 12 hours.
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The reaction to the pictures online have been mixed with some praising the runner while others feel that smoking while competing in the events should be banned. One of his supporters posted on Instagram: “There goes my hero. Watch him as he smokes.”
Another joked about the 50-year-old: “So this is what peak performance looks like.” Chen could also go into the record books, if permitted, as the Guinness World Records doesn’t currently have an entry for the fastest marathon while chain-smoking