When trail running in the lonely mountains, where a lot of people find solace and open space away from the noise and fast pace of the city, it is easy to go farther and farther without concern for safety. After all, you are in nature. You have your phone, water, and snacks. You anticipate such dangers as a snake bite or getting lost. But what if you are encountered by an unexpected predator and it’s not an animal—but a violent human being?
Take for instance Pedro, a man who has taken running only a few months ago and wears all the appropriate gear to be safe on the trails of Chula Vista California’s San Miguel Mountain. He wears bright colors to be easily seen. His longest run was a 6-hour trail run through hills and canyons. He has seen snakes, coyotes, mountain lions, deer, and runners and mountain bikers.
He mentions that he’s not afraid of the animals, he is most afraid of other humans. “They are usually friendly and are patient with sharing the sometimes single-track trails but not this time.” Pedro alleges that a biker, who was with a helmet and glasses and typical mountain bike attire, pushed him with such force that he fell to the side and hit rocks and sharp plants that left him shaking from freight and terror. He hasn’t been able to forget the incident and warns other runners of the “lonely and angry” people who can be out there.
It’s not unusual for trails to be shared by both runners and bikers but keeping alert for others is key to avoiding an accident and the lamentation that results from a rude encounter with another nature lover.