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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Ambulance dispatch should be kept local,’ says Red Deer mayor

Four Alberta mayors meet with Minister of Health on Thursday

Central zone down to 19 active COVID-19 cases on Thursday

Provincially, 158 new COVID-19 cases were identified

Empty Red Deer hotels could be purchased to create more affordable housing

City and its housing partners will be applying for a new federal program to reduce homelessness

As Agri-Trade neared exhibitors had second thoughts

Agricultural show cancelled rather than fall short of expectations

Liberals vow wage-subsidy extension to 2021, revamp of EI system in throne speech

Canadian labour market was hammered by pandemic, when lockdowns in the spring led to a loss of 3 million jobs

Davis, Lakers beat Nuggets to take 3-1 lead in West finals

Davis, Lakers beat Nuggets to take 3-1 lead in West finals

Heat get chance Friday to oust Celtics, reach NBA Finals

Heat get chance Friday to oust Celtics, reach NBA Finals

Russian Olympic biathlon champion loses Sochi doping case

Russian Olympic biathlon champion loses Sochi doping case

Raptors coach Nurse says he needs to ‘decompress’ from this season

Raptors coach Nurse says he needs to ‘decompress’ from this season

Canadian rookie receiver Claypool is impressing early with Pittsburgh Steelers

Canadian rookie receiver Claypool is impressing early with Pittsburgh Steelers

Iditarod preps for any scenario as 2021 race plans proceed

Iditarod preps for any scenario as 2021 race plans proceed

Pac-12 to kick off 7-game football season in early November

Pac-12 to kick off 7-game football season in early November

Penguins trade 2-time Cup winner Hornqvist to Panthers

Penguins trade 2-time Cup winner Hornqvist to Panthers

Most Read