“Smoking Brother” wins marathon while smoking
If smoking is already bad for your health, smoking while running a marathon makes it even worst, but this is what one Chinese ultramarathoner did recently. The 50-year-old known only as ‘Uncle Chen’ but popularly called the “Smoking Brother” won an entire 26-mile run, and broke his previous record, while smoking cigarettes.
He came 574th out of 1,500 runners with an impressive time of 3 hours, 28 minutes, and 45 seconds, Metro reported. And according to Running Magazine, this was not the first time the 50-year-old runner from Guangzhou was photographed smoking during a marathon. Earlier photos of Chen running while smoking emerged during the 2018 Guangzhou Marathon and the 2019 Xiamen Marathon.
Fox Sports reported that there were conflicting reactions from people on different social media platforms as photos of Chen went viral. There were several who praised both his ability and agility while others criticized his habit of openly smoking while doing the race. Still, others believe he shouldn’t be allowed to smoke during the competition.
One Instagram user said, “There goes my hero. Watch him as he smokes.” Another one joked and said, “So, this is what peak performance looks like.” Someone commented on Weibo, “Whoever runs next to him is unlucky.”
Currently, there are no rules barring marathon runners from smoking cigarettes during the competition.
Why Smoking Brother?
A subjective report by Running Magazine indicated that Chen only smokes when he runs. Thus, a question arises. What’s with those cigarettes he’s always using? Are those his secret weapon? Would it be too much to think that the cigarette smoke may have enhancing drugs within, thus giving Chen the ability to withstand the rigours of the race despite his age? And how come he only smokes when doing marathons?
It is a known fact that some athletes do take performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids to level up their game, so it wouldn’t be too farfetched if this is the case with Chen as well. Speculative but possible.
The most celebrated case of trimetazidine in sports doping involved Chinese swimmer Sun Yang, according to NBC. Sun was banned in 2014 for three months after testing positive for the stimulant. He was likewise disqualified from competing at the Tokyo Olympics, ending his hopes of protecting his Olympic title in the 200-meter freestyle.
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