Running a marathon is not an easy task, but a Chinese man who goes by ‘Uncle Chen’ did so while chain-smoking a pack of cigarettes. Not only that, but his time was about one full hour faster than the average man of his age.
Photos of 50-year-old Chen, who ran the marathon on Nov. 6, first went viral on the Chinese social media app Weibo. Not long thereafter, Xin’anjiang Marathon organizers shared his finishing certificate.
Get this — Chen finished the marathon in three hours and 28 minutes.
According to Livestrong.com, the average time for a 50-year-old male hovers around 4:34. And that is without ripping a full pack of lung darts on the route.
Chen out-paced that time by 66 minutes. In doing so, he finished 574th overall out of nearly 1,500 runners.
What’s even crazier is that this wasn’t just a one-time thing.
Uncle Chen smokes and runs all the time.
Uncle Chen was photographed during the 2018 Guangzhou Marathon and 2019 Xiamen Marathon while burning down a full pack of boges. He finished the former in 3:36 and the latter in 3:32, so his time in 2022 was even faster than his previous records.
In addition, Chen is an ultramarathoner, so he has run distances up to and beyond 55 miles while taking heaters to the dome. However, it has been noted before that he only smokes when he runs.
Chen is not a regular smoker. He doesn’t get anywhere near a full pack of cigarettes on a daily basis. He doesn’t even pick up one cigarette on a daily basis… unless he’s running. At least, that’s what has been claimed through the social media channels.
Beyond what has been said, there is not much else on Chen. There is no backstory to why he smokes cigarettes while running, but it presumably has something to do with nicotine acting as a stimulant.
Assuming that is the case, it seems like there are so many other stimulants that would be better— but hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!