Chris Barnicle is taking a lot of heat (in the form of ribbing) for his attempt to run the marathon in the Olympic trials. Being a good natured individual, he is proud of his efforts in the pre-trials and proud of his stance as a business owner of a medical marijuana company. As a good sport, Barnicle, now known by some as the “Fastest Stoner,” is letting the attention bring to light the issues facing those who use medical marijuana. After we stop laughing about the situation, let’s look into some of the facts of what happened here and dispel some of the rumors.
Barnicle had run several marathons before the qualifying trials. While attending universities at Arkansas and New Mexico, he was considered to be an All-American long distance runner. He was also considered to be an “excellent runner” while in high school. This was not a brilliant idea that came out of nowhere in a Kona Gold stoner haze. He was, and still is, contemplating getting back into competitive running.
As with many professional or Olympic competitors, one must be dedicated to train almost everyday. Unfortunately for Barnicle, his last competitive race was in 2014 before turning his focus toward becoming a business owner. Then he found out that a half marathon finishing time from 2013 qualified him for the Olympic trials. But, the qualifying trials were only two months away. Not much time to become his best.
Runners are allowed to supply their own water bottles or use the ones furnished by the race committee. It was rumored over the Internet that Barnicle supplied Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) beer for his refreshing stops on the 26 mile journey. Being the “Fastest Stoner” can make a man real thirsty, but Barnicle assures us that it is not true. Looking over the “Elite Athlete Fluids Form” that an athlete must submit, it clearly states that listing the contents of “their” special fluids is only optional. I can see a whole new list of sponsors lining up for the next race.
It is sometimes forgotten that Chris retired from competitive running in 2014 due in part to chronic injury to the Soleus muscle. The Soleus is a part of the calf muscle structure that is very important in walking and running. During the Olympic trial, Chris experienced severe dehydration which led to cramping in the calves. According to Chris, they would alternate back and forth during the race until one time both calves were hit hard. Chris collapsed unable to support himself in an upright position. He was helped by someone with some electrolyte pills, some Powerade and some Clif shots. Chris was hazy on the identity of the Good Samaritan as his focus was dealing with the pain. With that help, he was able to finish the race. Along the way, he overheard jeers from the crowds who didn’t realize the amount of pain he was running with.
Barnicle isn’t saying because he doesn’t want to be disqualified from the trials, not to mention the short term memory loss some say a stoner can suffer from…maybe he just doesn’t remember? Kind of sounds like he ingested, doesn’t it? It is becoming well known however that the running community is using pot more and more to help them deal with the long distance races. It helps with anxiety and pain levels among many other things. The question is does this become a performance enhancing drug now? Many runners/users are saying that a good diet could be considered performance enhancing. Marijuana use is closer to a good diet than a banned substance. First time I have ever heard pot and a good diet used in the same sentence.