The 420 Games light up healthy lifestyles
The term “420” designates the the date (4/20) or or time (4:20pm) when weed aficionados gather to celebrate the virtues of this plant. While 420 references conjure up images of stoners gathering to pass the pipe or bong, the 420 Games are designed to change the perception of cannabis via athletics. These games want to disprove the stereotypical image of a stoner as a coach potato addicted to the munchies and video games while reciting very dated Cheech & Chong references.
According to Jim McAlpine, a sports entrepreneur and marketing executive, he founded the 420 Games to target those who want to live a healthy lifestyle. “Some [of our participants] are very athletic, some just want to get in shape. The common bond is we all look at cannabis as a plant that helps us in our lives but we don’t look at ourselves as ‘stoners’ and want to change the perception that just because we use cannabis that it defines who we are.”
What are the 420 Games?
These cannabis games originated in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park in 2014 and have since expanded to include Boulder, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, and Seattle. Business Insider described these games as an Olympics-style athletics event where pot enthusiasts and their families compete in triathlons, obstacle courses, mountain bike races, golf tournaments, and the signature 4.20-mile run where everyone participating dons a 420 bib. For those who aren’t runners, they can walk, run, ride, or skate along the route. McAlpine adds that these games also include 420 Yoga sessions and a “Tough Mudder” like fitness challenge. In addition, they will be featuring a flag football tournament at the upcoming Seattle event.
While these are marijuana games, the emphasis here is on participating in the games and not getting stoned. Participants may partake of cannabis before and after the game in accordance with local and state laws but smoking weed is discouraged during the event. The emphasis here is to emphasize the healthy lifestyles of those who combine sports with cannabis not creating weed clouds more reminiscent of a Dead concert than a sporting event.
Early bird tickets start at $4.20 with packages ranging from $10 to $60. At the finish line, participants will find a 420 village featuring cannabis industry vendors and representatives, cannabis educational programming, a Lagunitas beer tasting garden, live USC concert, and other offerings. Those who want to party without participating in the games can purchase ticket that allow for admission to the 420 village. Also, volunteers are needed for those who would like to support this event but do not feel called to participate in the games.
Most of those participating in the 420 games are amateur athletes ranging from beginners to advanced athletes. The games have attracted some professional athletes as well. Since retiring from the NFL, Ricky Williams continues to advocate for cannabis as a healthy alternative for athletes and is a supporter of the 420 Games. Other former professional football players who have participated in these games include Kyle Turley of the New Orleans Saints, St Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs; Eben Britton of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears; Reggie Williams of the Cincinnati Bengals; and Boo Williams of the New Orleans Saints.
Getting Fit with Cannabis
In addition to the 420 Games, McAlpine co-founded Power Plant Fitness. The Billed as the world’s first cannabis gym and fitness center, this place allow members to consumer cannabis at the gym before or after their workout. While this sets them apart from other gyms, their website notes that their defining factor is that they are a “full blown health and wellness center, focused on full body integrative health, wellness, and fitness. Cannabis is one of many supplements we at Power Plant Fitness use to attain and maintain our symbiotic state of wellness.”
According to McAlpine, the key advantages of combining marijuana with athletics is that marijuana can help with focus and recovery. This article from Leafly notes how cannabis can help with weight reduction, as well as elevating the runners high. In addition, preliminary research indicates that cannabis can be effective in treating chronic pain without the addictive properties found in prescription medications such as opioids.
According to Green Rush Daily, Orange Diesel, Flo, Sour Cheese, and Fruity Chronic Juice are four strains that are best for athletes. As cannabis strains vary greatly regarding their particular attributes, those interested in marijuana fitness should get recommendations from the budtender at their local dispensary.