It really was a near death experience

Six kilometres to go.

Six kilometres to go.

I am staring down a fierce white and black coiled snake.

Just minutes ago a bright green garden snake slithered across my path.

My legs are feeling good and I know the Lost Soul 54K end is in sight.

Coming across not one but two snakes was not part of my finish plan. Between you and me … snakes and spiders give me the heebee jeebees. Honestly I would rather come across a brown bear.

The snake is holding its ground. There’s no way around the serpent.

No other runners are in sight. A man in a blue shirt was a few minutes back.

In hopes of confusing the snake, I turned around and pretended to run in the opposite direction. Not easily fooled, the snake hissed (do snakes hiss?) and edged closer to me.

Thankfully the man in the blue shirt finally appeared in the distance. I am not embarrassed to say I rushed toward him while squealing like a banshee. The snake won’t let me pass. Will it bite? Should I just offer my body as a human sacrifice? Help!

My new friend calmly said the snake would bite but it would not kill me.

I sighed a breath of relief as I asked the man to stand in front of the snake so I could bypass it.

My swift manoeuvring worked and I finished the last few kilometres without more snake sightings.

Yes I should be writing about how all my training paid off and how I shaved an hour off my 2014 54K time. But I can’t shake that creeped out feeling I had after my near death experience with the two snakes.

It’s the first thing I told my friend Carleigh LeClair, who was waiting for me at the finish line.

I confess I may have texted her in a panic at the bottom of that coulee. Her response? Take a picture! (My friends know me so well.)

I digress … a lot … My wonky knee gave me grief on the downhills but I had no trouble on the climbs. There was no point during the race when I thought I couldn’t finish the race or I wanted to give up. It was great seeing Bill Kossmann near one of the aid stations.

He yelled, “What are you doing? Hustle! It’s a race.”

Yes, I wanted to smack him.

But I will forgive him since he ran 100K the day before.

Find Running with Rhyno on Facebook and @CrystalRhyno on Twitter. Send your column ideas, photos and stories to crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com.

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