The Magic Run

The Magic Run was being advertised all over, as the “biggest event in Armenia.” It basically looked like a color run complete with live DJ’s and who knows what other fun surprises. Sounds like a good idea, right? So I recruited a friend to sign up with me and I got ready for a good time.

The Magic Run turned out to be lacking in many things, chiefly magic and running. And also participants who were born pre-90s.

Usually when I do these runs in America, there’s a pretty good 20’s and 30’s crowd, some older participants, and a sprinkling of younger kids. This was pure tweens. We arrived at the starting point to join a bunch of kids who were buying spray foam from vendors on the street. There was a DJ, and everyone was getting pumped up and having some fun.


The race was supposed to start at 2:00. I fully expected it to start late, but it did not start until 3:00. So for an hour we were standing in a huge crowd of sweaty teenagers, getting sprayed with foam that smelled way too strongly of bubble gum, and listening to the DJ play electronic dance music. I would like to point out that I had started getting sick the night before, so at this point, my throat hurt, my muscles were achy, and I was just generally not in a pleasant mood. The hour of waiting pushed me over the edge to downright pissed.


Passersby were at the mercy of thousands of children with spray foam


Why did we wait so long to start? Because some of the runners were on the other side of the street eating ice cream, and the announcer said he wasn’t going to let us start until everyone was in the starting lane. After these announcements, the crowd would usually boo, while the ice cream eaters would stay on the other side, continuing to eat their pre-race sundae.

Finally the race started. But not so fast. Literally not so fast. They made us walk for like the 1st half a mile. But why? Who knows. They literally had a car driving slowly in front that you couldn’t pass. Then, at each kilometer mark, there was a DJ, and people throwing the colored powder on the runners. But you didn’t just run through this station. They made everyone stop and dance for like 20 minutes before you could finally move on to the next kilometer. Again, why??

At this point, I was pretty fed up. This was not a run or a race. This was an excuse for 14 year olds to form a mosh pit. I tried to run the first kilometer, but my body was like “What do you think you’re doing?” My throat got worse, and my muscles started aching even more. So I did what is apparently a completely acceptable thing to do at the 2k mark of a 5 k in Colombia. I stopped at the snow cone truck and got a snow cone. The guys in the truck were shaving the ice by hand from a big block, and I would say it’s pretty safe to bet that they were getting much more exercise than any of the actual race participants that day.

Finally, I got to the end and got out of there as soon as possible. I didn’t think I could handle the after party.


Me pretending to be having fun. Also that’s paint on my forehead, not a unibrow.



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