On Sunday morning as runners were participating in a ten kilometer race through the famous Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado, they were shocked to see that a bear runner had joined the race. No, not a Bare runner, a Bear runner. The incident happened just as runners were coming up on the halfway point of the race and put a screeching halt to the efforts of several of the participants.
But organizers of the event joked that a few of the affected runners had a little extra spring in their steps following appearance of the unexpected competitor. At least one person managed to think about grabbing his smartphone and take a couple of pictures of the late entrant. Donald Sanborn captured a photo of the bear crossing crossing the course just in front of a group of runners in Garden of the Gods 10 Mile Run.
Donald says he was about 5 miles into the race on Sunday when the bear ambled across a roadway near Colorado Springs. Sanborn says the animal seemed to be trying to decide whether to zip across the road filled with runners when a large enough gap finally opened up and the bear made a dash for it. Mr. Sanborn, who has ran several races, says he’s encountered bears, elk, turkeys, bobcats and other interesting wildlife on training runs, but hasn’t seen an animal like this in a race.
Race officials said that there were no injuries during the encounter with the large animal, except to the finish times of some of the participants. The competition winds through Garden of the Gods Park between Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs. There was no word as to whether the Bear’s time would be recorded as he chose to leave the prescribed track of the race.