After a two-year hiatus from the operating world, Chinese language marathoner Uncle Chen made his triumphant return on the 2024 Xiamen Marathon on Jan. 7. Nonetheless, Chen’s comeback didn’t go as deliberate. Regardless of ending the race in three hours and 33 minutes, he ended up being disqualified for chain-smoking all through the marathon.
Often called the “Smoking Brother” in China, Uncle Chen’s time was 5 minutes slower than his 3:28 end two years in the past on the 2022 Xin’anjiang Marathon. It seems that the smoking behavior could also be taking a toll on the 52-year-old marathoner.
Pictures of Chen posted on the Chinese language social media app Weibo after the race introduced extra consideration to his smoking throughout the occasion. The photographs circulated alongside feedback citing an “initiative” issued by authorities two years in the past that explicitly banned smoking in marathons in China. Within the images, Uncle Chen is seen with a cigarette in his mouth, whereas sustaining an above-average marathon tempo, seemingly oblivious to different runners (who additionally don’t seem involved).
The Xiamen Marathon organizing committee later issued a press release saying Chen’s disqualification for smoking throughout the race. The choice was primarily based on a violation of Article 2.12 within the Xiamen Marathon guidelines and laws, which states, “Uncivilized behaviour from runners comparable to open defecation, smoking, or trampling on flower beds or inexperienced areas that have an effect on the race and the security of different runners will end in disqualification.”
In an effort to advertise wholesome participation and curb smoking throughout road-running occasions, the Chinese language Athletics Affiliation (C.A.A.) carried out a proposal final 12 months, specifying that these failing to adjust to the brand new guidelines at races would face disqualification.
Uncle Chen, recognized for combining his smoking behavior with operating, has been partaking on this unconventional follow for years. Pictures of him smoking whereas operating first surfaced on the 2018 Guangzhou Marathon and the Xiamen Marathon in 2019, the place he completed in 3:36 and three:32, respectively. Notably, Uncle Chen can be an ultramarathoner, having accomplished occasions starting from 50 km to 12 hours.