Stoners Dab in Athletic Competition at 420 Games

The competition ran high at a marijuana mini-marathon in Golden Gate Park Saturday, with about 1,000 potheads powering through a 4.20-mile footrace.

The grandaddy purp of all cannabis-themed athletic events returned to San Francisco this weekend, as the annual 420 Games brought out blazing performances. Nearly 1,000 competitors took a rip through Golden Gate Park early Saturday morning, for a 4.20-mile footrace where every single runner’s bib number was 420.

Image: Adam Davies/420 Games


“The mission has been the same since Day One,” 420 Games founder Jim McAlpine tells SF Weekly, on this fifth annual iteration of the race. “Through  athletics, we destigmatize the cannabis plant and show the world that cannabis does not equate to the word ‘stoner,’ ‘lazy,’ or ‘stupid.’”  

Image: Adam Davies/420 Games


That said, you saw some behavior indicating perhaps a puff or two was taken prior to arrival at the event. Some runners got directionally confused over the path of the race course, other burrowed through the woods to find shortcuts so they could hit the 420 Games’ post-race Lagunitas beer garden more quickly. But a number of Golden Gate Park rangers present  did see to it that weed was not smoked in the park during this event.

Image: Adam Davies/420 Games


“There’s no marijuana being smoked, there’s no cannabis even on-site,” McIlpine says. “A marijuana event doesn’t just mean coming together to get high, today was a marijuana event that was coming together to elevate our education and consciousness about the world of cannabis.”

Several cannabis booths handed out their schwag, but it wasn’t that kind of schwag. And believe it or not, that Willie Nelson picture is not Photoshopped — he was an avid jogger for many years before launching the Willie’s Reserve line of marijuana flower.

These 420 Games are held in several cities nationwide, and are going international as legal, adult-use marijuana takes root in other countries. In fact, you can celebrate the beginning of recreational marijuana sales in Canada on Oct. 17 by signing up for the 420 Games Virtual Race, a real-time virtual run being held that day.


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