I suppose most of this post is aimed at my fellow female runners, but I hope it’s of interest to all. I was reading Sean’s blog yesterday where he posted about his close encounters with all kinds of interesting (scary!) wildlife over his years of running. It got me to thinking about my runs and whether or not I’ve stumbled upon anything I’d rather not when on the road or trails.
As far as wildlife encounters, I haven’t had many. I’ve seen my share of black snakes here in Maryland. They can be long and creepy looking, but they’re harmless. I’ve also come fairly close to a coyote during a run in the Adirondacks. Luckily, he ran off after giving me a quick look over. Any time I ‘m running out West, I have my mountain lion and rattlesnake eyes open–I’m sure this is silly, but I am paranoid and think about both the whole time I am out there.
I think I’ve been pretty lucky as a runner when it comes to unhappy encounters of the human kind also. Several of my friends have told me stories about guys who have given them the creeps when running. A couple have actually had to run for safety to get away from potential offenders. I have to say I’ve never had anything like that happen, and I hope I never will.
I try to be careful about my running routes when running alone. I pretty much never run at night in the dark. I don’t wear an ipod. Both of those things hopefully make me a bit safer. The one area where I think I am negligent sometimes, however, is the rare run down a path in the woods by myself. I am pretty much on alert the whole time whenever I do this–that in and of itself tells me I probably shouldn’t be there.
What about you all–any bad encounters out there? Do you think you do all that you should to stay safe?