What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever come by while running? Law and order has always prepared me that I will see a dead body. It’s always the morning runners that happen to stumble upon a body and start the show, but it’s been four solid years of running, and I have yet to trip over a dead body, thankfully.
The scariest thing I’ve ever encountered while running, Turkeys.
It all started the Thanksgiving of my first year running. Where I live there is a state park that surrounds me. Bears are released here, people fish in the four different lakes, pheasants run like deer, and apparently turkeys live to haunt runners. It was Thanksgiving day, the Macy’s Thanksgivig Day Parade just finished, and the bird was slowly cooking in the oven, perfect time for me to sneak away and get in a quick four miles before company started to arrive. The first three miles went smoothly, but as I approached the fourth mile over a small creek crossing the smooth sailing came to a halt.
Out of the taller grasses a Turkey popped out and shouted his battle cry. It was on, me vs the turkey. I’m a fast sprinter, I thought I could out run him. I flew over the creek crossing, my feet barely touching the ground, off the trail, onto the pavement and the turkey was literally on my heels trying to peck at my calfs. It was terrifying. I think I cried, but there was so much adrenaline pumping. He gave up after what felt like forever, it was really less than a tenth of a mile. Damn turkeys. After the thanksgiving chase I went home and stuffed my face with my captors meat.
Since that Thanksgiving run I have not had any issues with Turkeys, I’ve told my story countless times, all to which no one believed. But now I have proof.
On February 2nd around 1pm I made an attempt to start my five mile loop. Less than a mile in I heard the gobbling cry of the feathered fowl, instant fear came over me. Little known fact about the turkey, these bitches can fly over 55mph. I don’t know about you, but I can’t run anywhere near 55mph. They can peck with the force of death, be over four feet tall and if kept in pens can smell worse than 20 garbage cans in the middle of summer. Turkeys are the closest thing to the devil as you get.
Not long after the call, I saw them, yes, them. There was two. As if one feathery devil was not enough there were two feathery devils just waiting to take me out at the knees. We locked eyes, I ran a little faster, they ran a little faster, I went faster still, and they turned and started to charge me. I retreated. Yes, it might sound sad, but I lost a battle to Turkeys. But I got video evidence that these creatures do in fact chase.
A little less than a week later, it happened again. Again, I went to start my five mile loop, less than a mile in we locked eyes. They chased faster this time, I ran faster this time. They caught up to me, I was on the left side of the road and they were about to cross a double yellow. The male screamed his battle cry. I thought this was it, it was a fowl way to die, but I guess it happens.
Then out of the corner my of eye I saw it. The school bus. In its bright yellow gleaming fashion it drove around the bend. I thought as long as I can out run these Turkeys a little while longer the school bus would scare them away. It took all I had to keep up the fastest sprint I ever did in my life. I was gasping, crying, probably in pain. It was like an intense action movie that will never be made because seriously who would think Turkeys were this aggressive.
Finally in slow motion the bus went past me. Just as I suspected, the big school bus scared the Turkeys back just enough so I could get away. I felt like I was the new heavy weight champion of the world, I out smarted the fowl weather friends. I did a dance which could be compared to Rockys winning dance.
The scariest thing I’ve ever encountered on a run is turkeys, and I’ve gone on a lot of runs. I’ve feared for my life not once, not twice, but three times. However no matter how big and scary the birds, I will never change my route.
What’s the scariest thing you have ever encountered? Has it changed your route? Let me know in the comments!