Within 16 minutes of my trail run this morning the four of us, Captain Kirk, Wonder Woman, and Power Girl had seen a huge buck, than a herd of Turkeys, than on the left maybe 5 feet from the trail a huge mama bear and her rather large cub and than not 10 feet later another mama bear and her 2 cubs. That was 5 bears!
The best phrase I have ever heard, "Quick, everyone grab a rock!"
This was all within 16 minutes of our run. We started our run at the Cool fire station and the plan was to do the Olmsted Loop and hook up with the secret trail than back on the Olmsted Loop. Only we hadn't planned on seeing 5 bears. I was taking up the rear, as the other three are super fast, but I did manage to somewhat keep them in my sights.
As I was running in my own little world I see two runners coming up the hill, at first I didn't know who they were as my friends didn't need to stop for me at this point as we were on a fire road. Than I realized it was Power Girl and Wonder Woman sprinting up the tiny hill. Then I heard the words "BEAR!!!" Captain Kirk was busy making loud noises as us girls were keeping our distance. Than I saw the cub and the gigantic mama bear not 20 yards off the trail. Wonder Woman told me the bears when they came upon them were maybe 5 feet from the trail.
As we approached Captain Kirk I heard him say "Quick everyone grab a rock!" Wonder Woman and I grab the biggest rocks we could find, but small enough that we could throw them if we needed too. Captain Kirk had picked up three rocks and Power Girl picked up a medium size rock. Wonder Woman and I weren't taking any chances. As we ran by we tossed our rocks thinking we were in the clear and we were nervously laughing and talking about the experience when on our right maybe 10 feet from the first bear sighting we saw another bear. Dang it and we already dropped our rocks.
As we slowed to a walk Captain Kirk yelled a bit, and than I heard him say "Ohh crap there are two cubs, lets get out of here!!!" and off we went, sprinting as fast as we could. This group of bears were not going to back down, a huge black bear and two rather large brown cubs.
As we ran away, we again started laughing and joking around, I made the comment that next time we should all throw our fuel! I have had beer encounters before, SNER 50 miler but nothing like this. This was way more intense I mean 5 bears within the first 16 minutes. Crazy!!!
I knew that this was going to be a great run. When Captain Kirk is leading the charge we always have great adventures on the trails. I am just glad I was with others.
As our run continued on I slowly started fading, as I couldn't keep up with them. They were kind enough to wait/or yell which direction they went. That is the great thing about the ultra community and running with some great friends. My legs started to ache as the hills became more intense. I thought maybe I was low on salt so I took a salt tab and that seemed to help right away. I still could run the downhills pretty well and I just knew that I needed to slow the pace down and listen to my body because it was telling me it wasn't liking what was going on.
The miles seemed to tick by pretty fast, or it might have just been me. I was really enjoying the single track and the greenness of the bushes and the stillness of being in nature. Ever so often I would here the scuffling of birds and a bird even caused me to yell. I was a bit jittery after the bear encounter.
As we neared the home stretch I was still smiling and was just enjoying being on the trails. I have missed them as I have been staying close to home. I couldn't have asked for better running conditions today and I wouldn't have changed a thing. Being able to run with good friends is price less and better yet being able to experience seeing 5 bears with my friends is extraordinary and I am sure that we will never forget today's run. I know I wont.
Thank you Captain Kirk, Wonder Woman and Power Girl for a solid 14 miles.