Smoke-free and breathless

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 7:10 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

People in cigarette hats and black spandex pants and a man in a chicken suit were spotted on Tuesday running a 26.2-mile lap around the city of Columbia, celebrating the start of the smoking ban in the city’s bars and restaurants.


Participants in the Laugh Out Loud marathon run along Broadway during the beginning portion of their 26.2-mile jaunt. Onlookers were taken aback by a chicken costume worn by runner Mike Denehy.

“More people showed up than I thought would, considering it’s a Tuesday, in the middle of the day,” Jim Linville said.

Linville, a smoking cessation counselor, organized the Laughing Out Loud marathon in hopes that people would have fun celebrating the smoking ban and that he could eventually plan a similar marathon in the future.

“Everyone is just here to have a good time,” he said.

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