The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD -

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.”

Russ Dilling­ham, The Lewiston Sun-Jour­nal

Moninda Marube points to the house in Auburn, Maine, while recounting his en­counter with a pair of bears that chased him.

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