General Running

Weird Running: The Unexplainable Phenomenon of the Little Latino Kid

As a runner, I’ve always been apt to explore, to walk out the door and to just run. No route needed, no segments scouted. Even in my hometown, I’ll run routes that no one has thought of, running directly down streets most people avoid. Like I’m equipped with some sort of GPS-like brain.

It’s a gift, and it’s worthless.

But because of it, I just go. Wherever.

And when I go wherever, weird stuff has a tendency to happen.

The following is true. Disturbing, but true.

The Kid, Upon Exiting the Pot of Gold

Some days you remember things. Blinks in time, sometimes mundane, sometimes interesting and other times hilarious. I recently recalled one of the most random and bizarre running experiences of my life.

On the date of this particular situation, I did a bike ride between 40-60 miles with my friends. As triathletes normally do, I had a short run planned for immediately after (sick brag!).

It was summer and wicked hot. I neither wanted to run nor was willing to not run, an amplified situation in my southern Louisiana climate. There’s no upside to either. Run and suffer. Don’t run, suck, and suffer. Logically, I ran.

As anyone who runs knows, running and uncomfortable bathroom situations go hand in hand. There’s nothing you can do about that. Plan for the best, hope there’s no disaster—that’s how it goes some days. Hell, that’s how it went for a decade with me.

At this moment of time, 1.2 miles into a scheduled 2-mile, all-out affair, a situation was brewing within me. An inescapable one. By way of miracle, there happened to be a construction site nearby, one that had been there for weeks or months. Point being, there was a port-o-let on the course. That meant there was hope. PRAISE JESUS.

I stepped into a bright yellow, plastic beacon of hope before the emergency became dire. The beacon of hope quickly devolved into a pit of despair.

Immediately I was engulfed with the stench of construction workers’ fast food diet, and whoever else had an emergent situation before me. I sat on the shoulders of giants. Did I mention it was summer in the deep South? Ninety degrees outside meant 100+ in the POT OF GOLD.

I got my business done as quickly as possible and walked out. Shirtless, stunned and ready to jog home.

That’s when it happened.

As I wandered out of the port-o-let, a young, maybe six-year-old shirtless Hispanic kid was standing directly in front of me.

He looked up at me, and without hesitation—stuck his finger directly into my shirtless, sweaty, belly button.


I stood stunned. Such an act was on par with a kick in the groin. No words were spoken or emotions exchanged. He calmly walked off, leaving me to slog through a half-mile of wondering what the hell just happened.

There is no ending to this story, as if there ever could be.

I still just wonder.

Coach, chef, shepherd, race director, triathlete, dad, husband, and writer from Baton Rouge, La. Spent 8 years working in the running business, but now owns FRESHJUNKIE restaurants, and is co-owner of FRESHJUNKIE Racing which owns and produces The Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathons. He likes wearing Speedos. Check out his blog here.

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