42.195 kilometers is a distance that even hardened runners can't even run like that - let alone as a smoker and with a lit cigarette in their mouth wrap. A 50-year-old Chinese from Guangzhou doesn't seem to have any problems with that, as he proved at the Xin'anjiang Marathon.
Along with 1,500 other participants, he took part in the race on November 6 in the Chinese city of Jiande. The smoking runner known as Uncle Chen ran the course in an impressive time of 3:28:45. He finished 574th.
This isn't the first time he's lit one cigarette after the other during a marathon: he was photographed smoking while running at the 2018 Guangzhou Marathon and the 2019 Xiamen Marathon. In 2018 he finished in 3:36:00, a year later in 3:32:00, according to Canadian Running Magazine.
The pictures of Uncle Chen smoking went viral on the internet and caused divided reactions. Some users celebrate the 50-year-old and his miracle lung. "Uncle Chen is my new hero," tweeted one user. Another user writes: "I wish I had a cool uncle like Uncle Chen." A user worries about the health of the other runners: "I feel sorry for those who run around him and had to deal with clouds of smoke on their faces, that shouldn't be glorified."
The 50-year-old is also said to have completed ultramarathons and distances of around 50 kilometers or twelve-hour runs. It is not known whether he also smoked during these races. Officially, "there are no regulations prohibiting runners from smoking, as most know it is not conducive to their performance," according to Canadian Running Magazine.
Sources: Canadian Running Magazine, Dailymail, Twitter