Animals don't like me, none of them. I have a running history of animals attacking me and if I was in the US I'd surely be suffering as this lady did.
Not sure what it is that makes animals turn on me, they may smell the fear. Here is a brief list of the ones I've encountered.
Running the Dartmoor Discovery where there are wild cows on the moors. Some of them spilled onto the road where I was running and I thought nothing of just running past them, cows don't attack people to they? Well actually they do and one of them just ran at me from the other side of the road.
I was torn between jumping over a nearby wall or just running faster. I chose the latter and then in a panic asked myself a question that I had never asked myself before "How fast can a cow run?" The answer is quite fast but it didn't matter as it broke off it's pursuit.
I spent the rest of the race (and my life) in fear of running through fields of cows.
Harmless and cute aren't they. Well no not really. I have heard stories about some of the really urban squirrels attacking people for food and even cigarettes. I don't smoke when I run so have no problems there but they do gather round me when I run through a local park.
What do you do when a squirrel chases after you? Can I turn around and kick it in the face or should I just move on and feel slightly embarrassed that I am running away from an animal the size of an small meal? I just fear how good and climbing those things are. I know that if I stop then one of them will climb right up my body onto my shoulder ready to claw my face off.
I truely hate them. The closer they live to humans the more cocky they are and the less likely they are to get out of your way. I've been wary of Geese ever since my first week working for the postal service where I went on a round with a postie for a day. I asked what must be asked of him all the time "how often do you get bitten by a dog?" He replied not often and it's the geese you need to be careful of. Their beaks are armour piercing.
With this in mind I have been fearfl ever since and avoid them in Hyde park and wherever they appear. However towards the end of the GUCR I could not avoid them. They were sat on the bank of the canal and refusing to move and they had adolescents with them. For some reason they were quite protective of their young and just sat there hissing like snakes. I ran right out of their way as I was in no condition to fight back.
Not had any problems with the 2 snakes I have encountered so far (one in Canada, one in Leamington Spa) but they can be startling to see. Rattlesnakes are not usually fatal and get quite a bad press about being dangerous.
It can be difficult to understand the gruntings of those who wear 3 types of headwear simultaneously as you run past them. I often pick out the words "run" and "forest" but not much else. They normally hang around in packs of 4/5 and near off licences and JJB sports. They are nearly always in populated areas so it's safe. If you are feeling brave you could shout something back. If they ask you why you are running just reply with something like "to stay fit, cos your Mum goes like a train since Daddy went inside".
Ones to look forward to
The MdS will have these. Apparently thay are the only animal other than us that can kill itself deliberately. I'll be sure to check my shoes before slipping my foot in them. I imagine getting trapped in my shoe would drive any animal to suicide
I have encountered dogs already on various river/canal runs. Some of them are just a bit too friendly when I am not feeling the same. It's all fairly harmless.
However I have read race reports from the Spartathlon that wild dog attacks are to be expected. Not to sure what to do about that, take a baton? Or some meat?
I'd like to run a race where this might be a risk, but I can't find one.