A well-known ultramarathon runner is recovering after being attacked by a coyote while running on a trail near the Golden Gate Bridge.
Dean Karnazes was running alone when he was attacked at 3 a.m. in the middle of a 150-mile race, on mile 37.
“I was running and I heard some footsteps behind me, I thought it was a big dog on the trail and I turned to look and it was a coyote,” he said.
It was big enough to knock him to the ground. He doesn’t think the coyote was after him, he believes it was after the energy bar he was about to eat.
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“Honestly I think it didn’t know what to do,” said Karnazes. “He was looking at me, I was looking at him, he was going for the bar.”
The renowned endurance sports runner has won some of the world’s most legendary ultramarathons. He’s run to the South Pole and done 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days in 50 different states.
He’s taken his athleticism into the water and has even been attacked by a shark, but never a coyote until now.
Karnazes said a lot of people who run and walk on those trails often leave food out for coyotes, something he and Fish and Wildlife officials are strongly against.
“Let’s cut that out, he said . “Let wild animals be wild animals.”
“Conflict with coyotes stems from people feeding them. Coyotes see opportunity. They get conditioned to think they can get food from us. They’re going to keep pushing that boundary,” said Ken Paglia of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Karnazes believes it’s important for people to know what happened to him but at the same time he doesn’t want anyone to shy away from enjoying the outdoors.
“This was a very isolated incident. I think that I’ve been on many trails, none of them ever bothered me,” he said, adding he won’t stop running, but will be more careful.