After two wildly successful events in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the 420 games are migrating down to Santa Monica on March 26 from 9am-3pm. As the first stop on a six city, four state tour, the 4.2 mile race is intended to destigmatize marijuana and the people who use it, showcasing that not all stoners are lazy, out-of-shape couch dwellers.
The route takes runners from the Santa Monica Pier to the Venice Beach Pier and back to Santa Monica. At the finish line will be a Lagunitas beer garden, where marathoners are treated to a two hour beer tasting.
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“We’re out here to set an example and a new standard for what cannabis use is about,” says Jim McAlpine, organizer of the 420 games and founder of SnowBomb, a source for the ski and snowboard lifestyle. The goal, as he says, is to prove that there is a healthy and responsible way to use cannabis to enhance every part of your life—especially when it comes to physical activity.
“The 420 Games were created to emphasize that highly functional people, even professional athletes, use cannabis and are hardly the lazy stoners the world has portrayed,” McAlpine says. “Fostering a new, positive mindset about those who use cannabis is going to be absolutely critical for the legalization of marijuana.”
Activists, celebrities, athletes and musicians will also be participating in the event. Steve DeAngelo, a renowned pioneer in the cannabis reform movement who’s determined to reverse the stigma, will kick off the event with a keynote address. UFC celebrity Kyle “Kingsbu” Kingsbury will also be in attendance and running the race. Event promoters have even proposed a challenge to runners to “beat Kyle outside the ring," and anyone who crosses the finish line before Kingsbury will gain free entry to all 420 games within the next year. The person who finishes first overall, however, will win a cash prize of $500.
The 420 Games have announced multiple events in California, Colorado, Seattle and Oregon. The event series will feature marathons, mountain bike races, and stand-up paddleboard competitions. More information and tickets for LA’s installment of the 420 games can be purchased at 420games.org.