J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

A Runner’s Nightmare

I typically have the pleasure of making my long training runs with my buddy who is also prepping for a marathon. However, this past Saturday, with so much travel going on, I had to run 12 miles alone.

I headed out around 5:30am, so a good bit of my run was before the sun was up. On our runs, we typically catch this one dead end road which gives us 1 mile without the worry of oncoming cars. This dead-end also has no houses, so it is a quite dark half mile down and half mile back.

I entered the road enjoying a good pace, and I was far enough on the run where most of my early pains were gone. I was feeling great, but I was also aware that I was running down a dark road completely alone. As I neared the dead end preparing to turn around, I noticed some lights bouncing off of the trees. I began looking around wondering if there was a car behind me or if a car from the Interstate down the road was somehow casting a light onto the trees.

Then, I noticed that those weren’t car lights but a flashlight.

A silhouette of a man stepped out of the woods within 10 feet from me. I couldn’t see his face. All I knew was that he was walking towards me with the flashlight. I had pretty much nothing to defend myself if he was going to be hostile.

I’m not quite sure why I said what I did, but I practically yelled, “It’s me. I’m running and turning around,” hoping that he was as surprised to see me as I was him. I didn’t want to provoke him.

So turn around is exactly what I did. Once I was headed back up the road, I took off. I had no desire to figure out why this guy was in the woods before sun up. I didn’t want to know if he was a hunter or anything else. I just wanted to make it safely home.

I passed by the dead end road again on my route home but opted not to run down it, and I never saw the man again. The lesson learned was that when running alone, always run down places that are well lit and carry a cell phone. Oh yeah…I also learned that God is incredibly gracious and takes care of dumb runners like myself.

This article also appears at the Raleigh Examiner. Read it there and help me earn a penny.

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November 30, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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