I'll let you into one of my biggest fears of running alone on the trails....Big Cat sightings!!! Now don't laugh, I know this is the UK, but I mean every year you read something in the news about one of these sightings!
Come to think of it, would it make much difference if I was running alone or with other people?....Well at least it would give the cat more of a choice I suppose.
Anyway back to the story. Now I'm getting back into the swing of running injury free again, I'm slowly upping the miles on the long run and running back on my favourite local trails.
The route I take on my run takes me on a steady climb until I reach a long ridge that is long, straight and open to the elements and in my head....open to big cats!
The long open ridge in the middle of nowhere, to me feels the purr-fect (ha ha) place to meet an escaped puma or leopard from a zoo.
The surrounding heaths and woodland are full of cat food including deer and wild cows, so why wouldn't a big cat feel at home here.
|Purr-fect habitat for a big Cat!|
I've run this ridge so many times so over the years I've come up with many scenarios and escape plans.
|The open top|
The open stretch of trail is probably a few miles long with a few scattering of hardy trees that have survived the open elements.
See this is one of my plans, I have two trees along the route which are purr-fect (I can't keep using that joke!) for climbing.
|Tree #1-Low branches for quick climb!|
|Tree #2 - Good climbing tree and|
I can get high!
I imagine myself getting up these pretty quick and although cats are good climbers as long as I get up first I will be able to fend it off with my kicking feet or use some of the large stones from the trail that I would pick up and put in my pockets as I spot the cat in the distance and I head for my chosen tree.
See I've got it all figured out....well nearly, I'm just not sure how long I would be up there for and how will I know that if the cat gets bored and decides to walk off, he's not just sat there waiting round the corner till I come down!
I guess I'll have to carry on working this out each week on my run. I've been worrying about this, on this run for the last five years. So far so good in that time, I've only come across the deer, cow's and dog walkers in that time.....but you never know! Still at least I've got sort of a plan.