A runner attacked by a bear in a New Mexico high-altitude marathon shared her harrowing story on social media.
Karen Williams revealed publicly the life threatening attack she withstood while competing in the Valles Caldera Marathon near Los Alamos on Saturday. She said she was at mile 23.5 and just coming up a little rise when suddenly a black bear was charging her. Turns out she must have startled a mother with cubs.
“I raised my arms and yelled “NO!” then saw the cub,” she wrote on a Facebook post to the Valles Caldera Runs Facebook forum. “Then I was on my ass and being raked with claws and bitten. I cried out in pain and Mama bear did not like that so she hit me with a left hook and bit my neck and started to try to shake me.”
Fearing for her life, Williams curled up in a ball and played dead. The bear went off about 30 feet and beckoned the cub up a tree.
“Mama bear kept glancing my way to make sure that I was still ‘dead’. I was at that point afraid I might die,” she wrote. “I didn’t know what the wound on my neck was like because I did not move for fear she would come wail on me some more.”
Once the huffing and panting wore down, after about 10 minutes Williams dared to stand up, but she was badly hurt. A flap of skin covered one of her eyes and she suffered injury to the belly, her left bicep and a lot of punctures and lacerations.
Two fellow runners assisted Williams with her injury as did paramedics and rescue workers, which she expressed extreme gratitude. Thankfully she is still alive.
The bear, however, was shot by Game and Fish officials, according to a statement about the incident. It was determined the mother had three cubs, which are at this time being tracked for live trapping and a transfer to a wild game park.