So a funny thing happened on my last short training run. I only had 4 miles on the schedule and I was still trying to get acclimated to running in the heat and the elevation of Tucson, so I went down to my favorite running path at the Rillito River trail. There is no actual river, it is a dry lake bed, but that’s not the point of this story.
It was fairly early because I wanted to avoid the higher temps later in the day. I started out westbound with the sun to my back and, as I was going along the paved trail, I noticed several runner/walkers on the adjacent dirt trail. I started to consider moving over to the trail myself to try out something new. The only reason that I decided not to run on the loose, dry sand was that I was concerned that the surface would be too soft and would stress out my already sore calves. So I plodded along to the 2 mile mark and turned around for the home stretch. I was now pointed directly into the east rising sun. I had my sunglasses on but still could only see a few precious feet in front of me. I was on my last half mile, running on the right hand side of the path when “something big” caught in my left peripheral vision. I had run right past the business end of this beautiful rattlesnake! He was not as far over the center line when I blew past him, but I had to stop and fiddle with my camera to get a shot of him as he continued to advanced across the path. This snake did not care about my presence, or that of the rest of the folks that gathered to watch him cross the road. It never coiled or warned us with his rattle. He was totally unconcerned about the humans and knew he had the right of way. To my credit, I did mange to pause my running app (because every runner knows that keeping your stats intact is far more important than protecting your life) and got a couple shots, at distance, of this impressive 4 footer!
I now have a better reason to not run on the dirt trail by the side of the running path!