Smoking Bro ran marathon in under 3.5 hours in China

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A chain-smoking grandad in China known as “Uncle Chen” has been photographed puffing on a cigarette while running a marathon. The 50-year-old gentleman completed the race in less than three and a half hours, despite slowing down to light a fresh cigarette while still running.

Uncle Chen had a finish time of three hours, 28 minutes and 45 seconds at the 26-mile Xin’Anjiang Marathon in Jiande, in China’s southwestern Zhejiang province last week.

Reports stated that he chain smoked throughout the entire duration of the race.

He finished 574th out of around 1500 other competitors.

This is not the first time the keen runner has been seen indulging in his habit while competing, after he was first spotted smoking in 2017’s Hangzhou Marathon, leading to him being nicknamed “Smoking Bro”.

Chinese media reported that he was even puffing away while taking part in the 2021 Lhasa Marathon, which starts at an altitude of over 17,000 feet above sea level.

While that would be high enough to cause altitude sickness, Uncle Chen has consistently reported finishing times of around three hours and 30 minutes.

This would make his most recent performance a personal best time.

Pictures of him posted on Chinese social media site Weibo sparked debate, with some praising and others contradicting his method.

One user wrote: “He is such a steam engine.”

Another pointed out: “Imagine how much second-hand smoke those behind him would endure, smoking should be banned during marathons.”

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As it stands there are no official rules prohibiting marathon participants from smoking.

The World Health Organisation states that China is the biggest consumer and producer of tobacco in the world, with more than 50 percent of adult men in the country smokers.

There are over 300 million smokers in China altogether, almost one-third of the world’s total number.

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