Here is a beautiful picture of a waterfall, if only all runs were as perfect as this. I hardly know where to start. The hazards of trail running start with the obvious; you fall over alot and cut yourself badly, sprain and twist things and in my case last year broke my leg. Most of the time you just have to get on with it infact its a miracle I have'nt been hurt more often. Technique, training, stretching or biomechanics as they call it today can play a large part in keeping you injury free however some things are out of your control. Dogs must be the number one hazard. If you run in woods in well populated areas the general public always seem to leave their dogs off the leash and when they attack you they ALL say, 'Well its never happened before he's normally very docile' thats usually just after he's taken a chunk out of my leg.......and then they suggest its my fault! Sue says I am a 'pack leader' and so they feel threatened. They feel threatened!!! Nowadays if I see a dog I just go another way its just not worth it however getting stung and attacked by bees has also happened but that's clearly my fault because I obviously smell like honey. I have come very close to Wild Boar and I have actually been attacked by a low flying Duck protecting its young in a river....'QUACK QUACK QUACK' ..I nearly had a heart attack.
When running along the rim of the Grand Canyon about 6 AM I felt totally at one with nature and all passed of peacfully well but when I returned to the lodge the local Ranger said I had behaved irresponsibly and said I should not have gone out alone..'Why' ........' Because of wild Bears'...... 'Your kidding'.......'Nope'......'Are they dangerous?' said the naive Englishman.......'Well' said the Ranger..'You are in their home, I would never go out without my rifle'. Although its a scary thought I don't think anything ever prepares you for your first Snake encounter.
In the USA in deserts you look out for Rattlers, in Europe its Vipers, in Asia Cobra's and Vipers but the list is endless and when running you are always hearing strange slithery noises in the bushes. It scares the crap out of me. On one occasion in France on a lovely warm summers day I stopped about 15 feet from a small black Viper. I remember being told that they are the worst but don't worry they always run away quickly when they sense a human. IT DIDN'T. It rose up and looked at me and I thought why is it not scuttling off. It tuurned to me as if to say 'I am a Viper and I am not going anywhere........What are you going to do?' Shit...I began to slowly back away and then I turned and shot off in the opposite direction convinced it was chasing after me. I had been running for two hours but I think I did the 100 metres faster than Usain Bolt !
I had visions of the Viper smiling to himself and saying 'What a pussy'. And yes.......I am.