• May 27, 2024

China: Chain-smoking marathon runner banned

 China: Chain-smoking marathon runner banned

Image: Iryna

Image: Iryna

A 52-year-old man has been banned from Xiamen Marathon’s races for two years after he chain-smoked throughout the C&D Xiamen Marathon 2024 on Jan. 7, 2024, according to The Independent. He completed the race in three hours and 33 minutes, but his time and ranking were voided.

The smoker has also been reported to the Chinese Athletics Association for further penalties.

The man’s smoking was verified by “race supervision, referee reports, timing chip data, race videos, pictures and other materials,” according to the organizing committee.

The runner is popularly known as Uncle Chen and is often called “Smoking Brother,” according to Canadian Running magazine.

Chen reportedly smoked during a 2022 marathon as well.

Smoking is listed as one of the “(punishable) uncivil behaviors” on the Xiamen Marathon’s website along with “open defecation, littering, trampling on the flowers and grass and other behaviors that might affect other runners.”

Other Chinese cities have begun addressing smoking during marathons and introducing rules against “uncivilized behavior.” The Chinese Athletics Association introduced a proposal last year aimed at encouraging healthier participation and reducing smoking during road-running events. According to the proposal, participants caught not adhering to the new rules would be subject to disqualification.

Chen is an ultramarathoner, and images of him smoking during races first emerged in 2018.