San Francisco’s large community of “medical” marijuana users now has its own 5K footrace — except it’s not a 5K race, it’s a 4.20-mile race. The buzz is building for Saturday morning’s 420 Games, the grandaddy-purp of all athletic events geared to cannabis users. The high point of SF’s 420 Games is the San Francisco 4.20 Mile Fun Run, a Saturday morning footrace through the trees of Golden Gate Park that will be followed by a post-race beer tasting, concert in the park and a roster of well-known speakers making blunt points about the efficacy and benefits of medical marijuana in an exercise regimen.
Expect to see blazing speeds attained by the cannabis enthusiasts running in the race, because there’s $500 worth of free weed being awarded to the first place finisher. Delivery service Eaze is offering a $500 credit for the race’s winner, plus a $250 credit to the second place finisher and a $100 credit for third place. And yes, every race bib is assigned the number ‘420’. Heh heh heh! But do people really get high on marijuana before running nearly four and a half miles?
“Some do, some don't,” 420 Games founder and organizer Jim McIlpine told SFist.
“We ask people to obey the laws of the park and not smoke at the event. It is about earning respect so we make sure to follow the rules. The vibe is healthy and family-friendly cannabis users, the opposite of a smoke-in or a ‘stoner-y’ event.” To that end, the organizers ask that you blaze up in the privacy of your car beforehand, or consume only edible or topical cannabis products in Golden Gate Park.
The early morning start time is sure to weed out the stoners from the true athletes. Bib pickup starts at 7 a.m. Saturday, and the 4.20-mile Fun Run begins at 8:30 at the Music Concourse (a.k.a. the bandshell between the De Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences). Once you and your buds are finished racing, you get a live concert from reggae star Pato Banton, a series of booths, exhibitors and speakers and (if you’re 21 or over) an all-you-can-drink two-hour beer tasting. “It is Lagunitas beer so it is good!,” McIlmore noted.
Slots in the race are filling up fast for this second annual event, so you’re encouraged to register today if you want to run in Saturday morning’s race.
“So many people have supported this event and come out, and they’re the right people, too,” McIlpine told SFist.
“I was a little bit worried at our first event that people would misconstrue this and it would be ‘Stoner-fest’. But the support that we’ve gotten, and the clarity and understanding of the people who come out to support us, has been truly amazing. From the police department down through people I would have thought would have never supported cannabis and the right of people who use it. I’ve had literally nothing but support from 99% of the world. It’s just been amazing to see how many people are behind what I’m doing.”
If you can’t make it to tomorrow morning’s 420 Fun Run, the 420 Games is also holding a San Jose 420 Golf Tournament on August 29 and a Lake Tahoe 420 Stand Up Paddleboard Race on September 26. Additional 420 Games events will be held in Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, with Colorado, Oregon and Washington events being scheduled for 2016.
The San Francisco 4.20 Mile Fun Run is Saturday, August 15 at 8 a.m. in Golden Gate Park. You can register for the race online, or just sign up for the 420 Games t-shirt.