Published: Mar 31, 2017, 9:07 am • Updated: Mar 31, 2017, 9:33 am
There are 5Ks with bubbles and neon paint and foam. There are races for fans of superheros and Disney characters and dogs. And now there’s a “fun run” for those who love cannabis.
The 420 Games are returning to Santa Monica on April 1, with a couple thousand people expected to pack the pier for the race and festival that follows.
It’s undoubtedly a light event, with runners known to wear weed-themed costumes and a finish line “village” packed with cannabis industry vendors, live music, performances by professional BMX riders, a beer garden and more.
But creator Jim McAlpine – a ski industry executive from the Bay Area – said the 420 Games are also focused on spreading some serious messages about defying the “lazy stoner” stereotype while celebrating the benefits of marrying cannabis and fitness.
“I’ve been an athlete my whole life and I’ve used cannabis as an athlete my whole life, from surfing to skiing to lifting weights,” he said.
McAlpine said he primarily uses the plant before he works out or does sports. He said smoking a bit of weed helps to quiet his brain and gives him that “eye of the tiger” feeling so he can focus on what he’s doing – a practice many professional athletes have told him they’ve also come to rely on.
Others use cannabis after they work out as part of their recovery, he said, to ease muscle soreness, prevent injuries and help them relax.
But given his day job as an executive, McAlpine said, “It’s been one of those secrets I’ve had to keep hidden.”
In 2014, he decided it was time to come out of the green closet.