I thought I would go a different direction with running today. Us marathon runners get to see a whole lot of different things while we are running. More so than the casual runner mostly because we are out there for much longer periods of time during our long runs. I have had my share of odd experiences while running and I am sure you have as well. So I will let you in on some of the strange (and some pretty cool) things I have seen while running. I have put it into 2 categories. Things I have seen while on training runs and things I have seen while in a race. My list in incomplete for 2 reasons, I am still running so more will happen, and I can't remember them all.
Strange things I have seen or experienced while on training runs:
1. A large white swan chased me as I ran past what must have been close to her nest. good thing I out ran her. She was not in a good mood.
2. A red winged black bird flew and pecked me on the top of my head actually drawing blood. Again, I must have been close to her nest. I have seen these bird often hovering and chirping but this was the only time I was hit by one.
3. A dog tried to bite me on the thigh 4 days before my first marathon. Left scratches on my leg but did not break the skin. Close call!
4. A few times I have seen drug deals going down. At least that is what I perceived them to be, i didn't wait around to find out.
5. On a bike trail, I ran behind a man riding a bike so slow, I was behind him by 25 yards for over 1 mile. He was carrying a boombox radio listening to (I think) a Christian radio story. I think he was mentally challenged, not sure, but it was at least nice to hear him listening to a good story.
6. I ran past a car full of kids waiting to enter a outdoor music theater's parking lot a full 9 hours before the parking lot was scheduled to even open. They were there to see the Dave Mathew's Band so I guess they were dedicated fans.
7. Running on a bike path through a golf course, I saw a golfer hit a shot that sliced and smashed the back window of a car in the parking lot. the ball rolled right past me as I was only about 50 feet from the car when it was hit.
8. A car cut me off so closely out of a parking lot in the winter that I slid into it. As I continued my run since I was not hurt, the driver followed me yelling at me out his window. He then drove ahead, parked his car, and tried to grab me as I ran close to him. I was too fast for him and lost him.
9. On a long run with Art, we saw what seemed like 2 dead people in a river. They looked very real to me and I had to get a closer look before I realized they were dummies face down. They are now know to us as the Fake Dead People.
And the strangest thing I saw:
10. A lady kidnapped a goose from a local park I was running through. She grabbed the goose and put it into the trunk of her car and drove off.
Here are a few strange and cool things I have seen during races I have done:
1. 4 guys ran Al's Memorial Run in Milwaukee wearing Milwaukee Brewer Sausage Costumes. They ran the whole 5 miles.
2. Ladies relieving themselves on the side of the road. Men do this all the time, a little more difficult for women. I guess all modesty goes away during races.
3. A guy running, actually more like doing, The Grand Rapids Marathon (2007) on stilts.
4. A guy running a marathon barefoot. I saw this twice. Chicago Marathon 2006 and Twin Cities Marathon 2008.
5. A marine running the 2008 Twin Cities Marathon in full fatigues and in Marine issue boots. He was also carrying a pole with both a full sized American Flag and a Marine Flag. It also rained (Poured) during this race for about 1 1/2 hours.
6. The strangest thing I have experienced in a race was when I pushed my middle princess in a local 5K. As we finished, a lady tried to grab the jog stroller handle. I am not sure why. The front wheel moved to the right as she grabbed it touching a guys foot who finished just ahead of me. He proceeded to go off on me using every curse in the book saying I was a hazard to dangerous to all runners and how I have no idea how to run. I walked away as he kept up his tirade (did I mention my 2 year old was with me). After I went to the car to change my shirt, he saw me again and continued his cursing in front of all the families there. I could not walk away without him continuing. My friend Chaz stepped in and told him if he did not stop, he would call the police on him. the only funny part of this was that he said between curses, that I have no business running and that I was not even going for an age group award. I fully was thinking of that as I was holding my daughter in front of everyone accepting my 4th place age group plaque.
Like I said, this list is incomplete. I would love to hear some of your strange, weird, or cool thongs you have seen or experienced. Please leave me a comment or even make a post of your own on your blog.
I will end today with a nice running quote I saw today. "Someday I will not be able to run anymore, today is not that day!"