Chinese man ‘Uncle Chen’ goes viral for running marathon while chain-smoking cigarettes

A 50-year-old man has gone viral after managing to finish a marathon in China while smoking cigarettes throughout the entire race.

A runner known as “Uncle Chen” has become renowned for chain-smoking while competing and he has attracted attention after doing it again at the Xin’anjiang marathon in Jiande, China last week.

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Chen finished the race in a very respectable time of three hours and 28 minutes, placing 574th out of more than 1500 competitors.

After photos of Chen went viral on social media site Weibo, race officials shared his race certificate and confirmed his finishing time.

It’s not the first time Chen has run a marathon while chain smoking.

He has also been spotted smoking heavily while running at the 2018 Guangzhou Marathon and 2019 Xiamen Marathon.

He finished the 2018 race in 3hrs 36mins and the 2019 race in 3hrs 32mins, according to Canadian Running Magazine.

Chen first shot to fame when racegoers labelled him “Smoking Brother” during marathons in 2017. He is also said to have competed in ultramarathons.

Anecdotal reports also suggest Chen only smokes when he runs.

Reactions to his chain-smoking antics were mixed on social media, with some people praising his ability while others believe he shouldn’t be allowed to smoke during a race.

“There goes my hero. Watch him as he smokes,” wrote one Instagram user.

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

“Whoever runs next to him is unlucky,” a person commented on Weibo, while another added: “Is this a doping violation?”

There are currently no rules prohibiting marathon runners from smoking cigarettes while they compete.

Read related topics:China

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