I love reading stories about funny or crazy things that people see while they are out on a run. I even have a couple to share of my own like the time I ran past a flock of vultures gathered around some large dead thing on the side of the road – and looking at me like I might be next – and the insane woman I encountered during another early Saturday morning long run. The vultures were amusing, if not a little ironic considering how much I was struggling at that point in my run.
The crazy lady…well she was the most disturbing thing I had ever come across until this morning.
I was planning to do 5 miles and my alarm was set for 6am. It went off and I thought about it for a minute before saying “NOPE!” and gave myself an extra half hour. I just didn’t have the energy yet and my bed was so comfy.
I was laying there half asleep when I heard sirens very close to my house. I wondered if they were coming into my neighborhood, but then figured they were probably just on the highway which is down the hill from where I live. I looked at the clock again and it was nearly 6:30. I almost threw in the towel completely and reset it for 7, but then I figured I might as well get the run out of the way early rather than struggle to fit it in later. I got up, dressed quickly, and headed outside.
Everything started off as my new normal with a slow first mile as I tried to get my foot loosened up. I ran past a lot of kids outside waiting for their buses to take them to school. Since when do kids go to school before 7am? Anyway, I was just about to get into my third mile and was trying to decide whether I wanted to tackle this one monster of a hill or bypass it when I saw some flashing police lights. I also noticed that the sidewalk up ahead appeared to be blocked by something large and dark right at the corner where a side street intersected with the road I was on. I couldn’t tell what it was, but I could tell that it was too big for me to get around. I checked for traffic and crossed over to run on the opposite shoulder.
I’m pretty blind when it comes to seeing things that are far away so it took me a few moments to get close enough to get an idea of what was going on. And even as I got close enough, my brain still didn’t believe what I was seeing. It was an accident.
The massive dark thing that was blocking the sidewalk was a silver car up on its side and leaning against a telephone pole. I had been looking at the undercarriage of it before crossing the street. I can’t even begin to imagine what the driver had been doing in order to get the car into that position. Maybe trying to take that corner WAY too fast? There are a lot of deer around here and maybe they swerved to avoid one? Who knows. The top of the car was gone and I couldn’t tell if that was because it was a convertible or if they had to remove it to get someone out. The interior was a mess of shattered glass and metal and the airbags were deployed.
The nearby sirens I had heard after my alarm went off had to have been for this accident. Whoever had been involved in it had already been taken away and they were just waiting on the clean up crew. There was another police car parked next to the wreck and two officers were standing there chatting. One of them smiled at me.
As I ran by on the opposite side of the road I’m pretty sure my mouth was hanging wide open. I was kind of in shock thinking about the person or people who had been involved and hoping that they were okay. And then a chill went up my spine as I realized that if I had actually gotten up with my 6 o’clock alarm and went out for my run, I would have been right there when this happened or seen a much more gruesome scene than what I was looking at just then.
I finished up my run – where I did decide to tackle the big hill…I had a lot of weird pent-up energy after what I had just seen – and before getting ready for work checked some online news to see if I could find any information on what had happened. I didn’t which I will take as a good sign. Usually the messiest accidents get reported right away and I can’t imagine a police officer would be smiling at random runners going by if something really tragic had just happened.
Still though…so uncool.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy day today!
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen while you were out on a run?