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Woman Attacked By Bear While Running Marathon

Posted by: on June, 21 2016

The person attacked by the bear tells her story:

Hi guys, I was the person who got into the tussle with the bear. I will tell you the whole story but first I want to thank a lot of people. The running community is amazing! The first person to come across me after the attack was Ken Oconnor, about 33 minutes after. ( I stopped garmin when he came so I am pretty sure of that time). I had blood in my eyes and a flap hanging over one so I bear attackcouldn’t really see anybody but I recognized Ken’s calm voice. Then I believe Andrea Telmo was next. Ken then went to the next aide station for help and Andrea went back to the previous aide station for help. Then Matt Simi drove to the start area for help and Andrea came back to me. She let me put my head on her pack and shaded me from the sun. She was great. The Jemez volunteer fire department rocked. The woman with the commanding presence made me feel confident. Tom Stockton drove my husband to Albuquerque in A STICK SHIFT! (My husband’s car) and he even got to see me in all my glory – bare ass and all. Andy Thien, Sarah Thien, Jason Halladay, and my friend from work Jennie all took care of my dogs and garden while Mike and I were stuck at UNMH. My friend Jenny J Mick and Cameron Crandall and the whole team at UNMH made sure that I was thoroughly evaluated and treated. Game and Fish officers Rick and his partner were awesome and they helped us out after discharge from UNMH with a hotel room. There are dozens of other people that helped me and I appreciate them all. THANK YOU.

Okay – the story. I was at mile 23.5 per Garmin and coming up a little rise just before that terrible off-trail uphill. There was some sort of seep or pond or mucky area at the top of that little hill and when I topped it a bear was charging me. She was about 15 ft away. I raised my arms and yelled “NO!” then saw the cub. Then I was on my ass and being raked with claws and bitten. I cried out in pain and Mama bear did not like that so she hit me with a left hook and bit my neck and started to try to shake me. I rolled into a ball and played dead. She went off about 25 – 30 feet and stopped at the base of a tree and huffed at her cub that was up about 30 feet. The cub cried a bit while trying to get down the tree. Mama bear kept glancing my way to make sure that I was still “dead”. I was at that point afraid I might die. I didn’t know what the wound on my neck was like because I did not move for fear she would come wail on me some more. I waited about 10 minutes until the huffing she was doing was gone and I couldn’t hear the cub anymore. Then I tried to look around but was having trouble seeing much. I tried to sit up but was nauseated and my arms didn’t seem to work right. After 14 hours at UNMH and a cool helicopter ride and a very bumpy ambulance ride prior it turns out that I have a fractured right orbit from the mean left hook, missing parts of eyelid and eyebrow, injury to the belly of my left bicep and a lot of punctures and lacerations. But I am alive. Unfortunately the bear is not. Game and Wildlife found her and she is being tested for rabies. They are hoping to catch her cub/cubs.