>Off the Beaten Path>Scaring people while running
Where I run, it's mostly cows that I frighten. They often return the favor, though.
I inadvertently scared a bald eagle on Monday. And he definitely scared me right back. It was awesome.
Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and roguesWe're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes
I try to be conversational in my warning from 20 or 30 yards : "I'm gonna come by you on your Left folks..." Half of the people will step to their left. But usually it is early enough that I can veer to the right.
I had a screamer on Burdell Mountain one morning. She was bundled up in a rain coat with the hood on and with her dog on a leash just gabbing away to her walking partner. As I called out, she shrieked and her dog gave me a tail wagging grin as if to say "Got her good dude!"
I'm more likely to scare walkers than runners. When I pass runners it is usually on a surface road, or bike path. Regardless when I come up to someone I make more noise as I step so no one jumps. Bikers occasionally make me jump if they say on your left within 10 feet of me.
The other day I almost jumped into a car. I had been on 1 sidewalk and crossed the street. On my way to the other sidewalk I could see a walker, and was hitting a minor intersection so stayed out there for maybe 50 yards. Cars often roll through crosswalks (including a driver training car yesterday but I digress). A guy slowed down to yell at me to run on the sidewalk causing me to almost run toward his car. I was pissed and yelled back as we exchanged barbs I rarely use.
I live in the dorm of my factory, and I'm always out running at around 5 AM, and I regularly scare the night shift guards eventhough they can normally hear me running, and I can see their flashlights. Some of the night shift guards are really old and I was always afraid I might give them heart attacks.
Luckily we installed LED street lights recently, so there's less chance of scaring them now. :P
I breathe so loudly, a few people thought I was a big dog coming up behind them.
I spooked a horse and rider on my run yesterday. They saw me coming too, but that horse must've been a skittish one.
Like the others, I scuff,cough, clear my throat, etc.
this reminds me though of a time that a young girl scared the crap out of me. It was late fall and dark on a paved trail. No one else around. About 8 at night. I come to the crest of a hill and as I'm going down, I see a young girls face in the distance. ONLY her face. Gliding through the air about 7 feet off the ground. I'm trying to focus and figure it out, and thinking I should not get closer to this "ghost".
As it turns out, she was riding a tall beach bike with her phone up to her face, giving it a weird illumination ,and making the rest of her seem invisible.
Usually a "Coming up on your right!" as I approach. Sometimes a cough or similar noise. (Word of advice: passing gas noisily, though an effective alert, is not often appreciated by the person you're approaching.)
What is amusing and a little worrisome at the same time is how quickly they relax after they look around and assess the threat I pose. A middle-aged, short, plumpish, gray-haired woman with a British accent, clad in running gear, is apparently a member of one of the least threatening demographics around. If I did have nefarious intentions it would be scary how unafraid of me the other pedestrians are.
LOL - reminds me of a 100K race I followed a few years back. Friend, or foe...?
Queen of 3rd Place
One night I was approaching some people who appeared to be leaning against a car. As I got closer, I realized they were, um, having relations. They were loud enough that I was able to glide by unnoticed.
Where I run in the summer this is a problem. But personally, I'd rather scare a cow than a human. Although one time I spooked a herd of them I couldn't see and they stampeded, which scared the daylights outta me!!! (this is in a very remote part of Canada, so my initial thought was BEAR!!)
'No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch'
"Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'" - Peter Maher
"Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it's hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run." -Monte Davis
I am curious how you scare a cow? I run across them from time to time when I'm running the trails, and the two ferociously barking miniature Australian shepherds I run with barely get them to look up from whatever they were doing. Except for the time a couple of the cows decided they ought to chase us off, but I think I was more scared than they were that time!
I ran a relay in NH a while ago, and saw about 4 pigs escaping from a farm heading out to the course but didn't see them once I attacked a hill.
Usually I suddenly get bad cough. But if this does not help, I cry like the Road Runner from Looney Tunes: 'meep, meep!'. Once I was following a hare few hundred meters. He was just leaping before me, was not afraid of me.
I ask myself that every time it happens, too. Usually they see me coming from a ways away (depending on the foliage, whether the road has turned, etc.) and are pretty mellow about it once I get to them. But every once in awhile, for whatever reason, even if they appear to see me coming, one or two will get startled when I get within 20-30 feet, and then the whole herd gets scared and starts running away.
One time, the bull didn't like this at all, and charged toward me. Yes, there was a flimsy barbed-wire fence between us. No, it didn't look like it would stop a two-ton bull if he decided to press the issue.
"God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people