Trail running

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Trail running

Postby marymatt718 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 3:31 am

Hello all,
I wanted to post this for all the newbie teachers who are runners. I have seen some postings of people being excited about the opportunities to do some trail running, and I just want to warn you that YOU ARE IN ALASKA AND THERE ARE THINGS HERE THAT CONSIDER ANYTHING THAT RUNS AS PREY.

Please run in groups or with a buddy, at least, AND LEAVE THE IPOD OR THE SMART PHONE AT HOME OR IN YOUR POCKET. You need to be aware of your surroundings at all times. There have been incidents, and, hopefully, you will get a surviving in Alaska talk at your New Teacher inservice which will tell you of some of these...such as the young woman teacher who was attacked and killed by wolves while she was running alone with her earbuds in...to them, she looked like a lone deer...easy prey.

Actually, running with ear buds can be dangerous ANYWHERE but in the gym or on the treadmill, so let me mount my soapbox for a minute here with a personal story:
When my niece was in college in Mississippi, she decided to go out running early one morning. She was living in a small college town with a low crime rate, renting a house, with her then fiancee, in a nice neighborhood, so no problem there. She was wearing her earbuds, jammin' while running, crossed a neighborhood street at the top of a hill, and woke up a month later in a trauma center in Memphis.
She NEVER EVEN HEARD the truck that was accelerating up the hill, and the driver never saw her until it was too late because the sun was rising behind her and the glare from the rising sun impaired his vision. It was a full size pick up truck and he hit her so hard that she flew over the entire truck and hit the pavement behind it. We should have lost her, and it was a near thing, but we were lucky; there was a police car just behind the truck. The officer got her med-evacced from the scene within minutes, and she was being treated in the trauma center in Memphis in less than an hour. Even then, we nearly lost her, and to this day she still has a blood clot on her brain that impairs some of her physical and mental functions...almost 20 years later.

So, yes, having access to your tunes is a wonderful modern marvel, but please don't be foolish. Please stay aware of your surroundings. Please don't become a statistic. (Science teacher here) As a species, we don't have fangs and claws to defend ourselves; we have intelligence and awareness. Use them.
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Re: Trail running

Postby Bushteachers » Fri Aug 14, 2015 2:00 pm

I never leave the village (and now town) without something for bears. A can of bear spray works great as does a 44 mag. Or at least a 357 mag.
If you are funning get a nice chest rig like this: http://www.mangearalaska.com/

When i was living in the Yukon/Kuskokwim delta bears weren't as big of a problem, but now I walk around town and I see bear scat. A lot of it.
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Re: Trail running

Postby Johncn » Sat Aug 15, 2015 4:57 am

Hello,

Although incidents are few and far between with runners having, uh, run ins with wildlife, it does happen. And, it can end badly. But, there ere are other dangers, such as four wheelers sharing the trails, and subsistence hunting going on outside the villages. Be aware of surroundings if running local trails, and talk to locals about where you plan to go and when you plan to do it...ask them if they think it's OK before deciding your route. Running with others is a good idea, and some schools have teachers that work out together regularly in all sorts of weather. My wife and I got a good treadmill for running, and was a very good investment for mental and physical health. It was well used and loved, and passed on to another employee when we finally left.
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Re: Trail running

Postby kazachka » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:05 pm

Greetings from the Kenai ( been too busy to post much as our first workday was Aug 3 and between school and my training , my time is filled) The kids here are great BTW!....we have BEARS needless to say. This is a good topic and bear safety IS an issue. I am 10 miles out of Homer and carry bear spray and wear a bear bell on my shoe. I run the hilly mountain trails near my house and have seen bear scat more than once. I am a 70-100mile a week runner depending on what I am training for and in what training cycle I happen to be. I will probably find a running buddy when hell freezes :( I do hard speedwork 1-2 times a week when preparing for a race as well. Getting company for that ....I wish ... but just not a reality. My coach in Russia skypes me and I still follow the program I've been on with him for 8+yrs. I did have company in Fairbanks waaaay back in the day as I was one of the leaders for the Farenheit Be Darned runs Wed evenings Oct-April we did from UAF. I do however have a buddy who bikes with me on runs when he can for safety. In the dark season, don't forget a headlamp and reflective gear.
I did pull out of 100k Worlds this year that is in 4 weeks. I just didn't feel cool about asking to use all my personal lv so soon and, yeah, after the move, I can't seem to justify 2500$ to go to the Netherlands to run it now, so I'll get good hard training here on the terrain for the year and carry over my personal days for next year and go then :)
...and after 12 yrs, I returned to my favorite race-
http://www.adn.com/article/20150816/rai ... fe-runners
I was just hoping for a good race-had no Idea I'd set the 49k record by 10 min. After training on the hills of Homer for a month, Kincaid Hill in Anchorage seemed like nothing!
But, yeah on trail runinng where there are bears, bear spray is recommended. A.44 is not comfortable to run with but good for berry picking or fishing in remote areas. You Need at least a.44 to penetrate the bear's skull. Also, don't feed the bears- meaning, don't leave leftover food, munchies. litter, that rings the dinner bell! Do not leave trash on your porch, etc....
Moose- look at their ears-ears back or even licking their chops means not good. Back off take another way home! Don't get between a cow and a calf!
Good luck!
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Re: Trail running

Postby kazachka » Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:07 pm

Well.....today the neighbor spotted a blackie in the yard....I saw scat on my evening run too...sigh
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Re: Trail running

Postby Fabbecky » Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:45 am

how about running with dogs? I am a trail runner and have a lab/husky and a lab/husky/mastiff mix that both love to run with me. I have no problem keeping bear spray in my running pack, but should I do something extra to keep the dogs safe?
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Re: Trail running

Postby kazachka » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:45 pm

I don't have a dog, but their barks can help keep bears away. Careful with moose as well. I have a friend who lost a dog to a moose years ago. :(
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Re: Trail running

Postby Bushteachers » Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:15 pm

Fabbecky wrote:how about running with dogs? I am a trail runner and have a lab/husky and a lab/husky/mastiff mix that both love to run with me. I have no problem keeping bear spray in my running pack, but should I do something extra to keep the dogs safe?


Here is a problem with dogs on the trails. When they run off on their own and then return to you, guess who they bring with them sometimes? That's right...Momma Bear.

I sound crazy, but carry a handgun on your trail running in the bush. Even if you aren't in bear country, you may have other wildlife to worry about (moose are very dangerous).
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