TRAINING RUNNER ESCAPES TWO BEARS
A professional runner from Kenya who was out training on a nature trail in the woods near his home in Maine says he encountered two charging black bears but was able to outrun them during a frantic sprint to a nearby vacant house for cover.
Moninda Marube said when he saw the bears Wednesday his instincts kicked in and he did what he does best: run. He said the bears were 20 yards from him and a vacant house was 20 yards away in the opposite direction. So he made a run for the house, with the bears closing to within 10 yards by the time he found safety on the house’s screened porch.
The bears stopped, not realizing they easily could’ve crashed through the flimsy porch screens, Marube said. They sniffed around for a while before wandering away.
Wardens advise people who encounter black bears to make themselves appear big, make noise and back away slowly. But they recommend people stand their ground if a black bear charges. If the bear attacks, fight back. But Marube said that’s easier said than done.
Marube, a student at the University of Maine-Farmington who finished third in the 2012 Maine Marathon and won the 2013 halfmarathon, said he’d once encountered a leopard perched in a tree while alone in Africa — but the bears were scarier.
He said he learned an important lesson from his close encounter with Maine’s wildlife: “Just make peace with people. You never know when your day comes.”
Moninda Marube points to the house in Auburn, Maine, while recounting his encounter with a pair of bears that chased him.