A professional runner from Kenya says he had to outrun two charging bears while training in the woods of Maine, US. Moninda Marube went for a run early last week on a nature trail near his home in Auburn. He ran into two black bears just after passing a vacant house near Auburn Lake.
“I had to think very fast,” Marube, who has lived in the United States since 2010, told the newspaper. “In my head, I know I can’t swim. I fear swimming. I fear water.” Marube says he froze and engaged in a stare-down with the bears. He says he thought his only option was to run away. “I knew I could not climb up a tree because bears can climb a tree,” he said. “The only solution I had at that time was to be able to run.”
He says he ran back toward the vacant house and got inside its screened porch with the bears about 10 yards behind him, screaming as he went. He says the bears just looked at him through the screening and then wandered off.
Marube, a student at the University of Maine at Farmington who finished third in the 2012 Maine Marathon and won the 2013 half-marathon, said he’d once encountered a leopard perched in a tree while alone in Africa. “I don’t fear lions,” he said. “But a bear is scary.”
He said he learned an important lesson from his close encounter with Maine’s wildlife: “Just make peace with people. You never know when your day comes.”