By: Magi Scallion
You never know what will happen when you head out for a trail run. Mine are normally pretty benign, albeit beautiful when I’m running at Nipika. I didn’t expect today’s run to be anything different as I called my running buddy, Titan, to my side, grabbed a can of bear spray, and set out.
Within 2 km on the trail I see a deer dart off into the woods with Titan hot in pursuit. It was a full grown deer that would have no problem out running Titan so I thought nothing of it and only called Titan a few times before letting nature play its game.
I shortly heard some bleating/barking sounds and called Titan a little more vigorously. I was worried that Titan had either managed to get the deer, or was getting attacked by some larger animal himself. There are a lot of bears in the area due to snow in the high country and the rivers being really high, too. Deer can also be really aggressive if they’re protecting their young.
I was surprised and nervous to see Titan come trotting toward me, dragging a baby deer in his mouth. The fawn was bleating loudly and struggling. I started yelling at Titan to drop it while also trying not to look as I really can’t stomach seeing animals in pain. The other major worry was the mama deer coming out to try to get her baby back. So… there I was with the bear spray unsheathed, yelling at Titan, praying that the fawn was OK. It felt like hours before Titan finally responded to my commands and dropped the fawn. The little guy ran off and looked more or less fine. I grabbed Titan’s collar before he could pursue and we quickly set off in the other direction.
The rest of the run was more or less normal – cruising the bluffs over the Kootenay River and making as much noise as possible so as to warn off other animals and avoid a similar encounter! Titan was a real champ and I’m so happy that he was smart enough to listen to my commands against his animal instinct.
I’m looking forward to more, yet less eventful, runs with him in the future!
Born in Nova Scotia and emigrating to British Columbia via Ontario and Alberta, Magi has been running the entire way. Primarily defined as a cross country ski racer, Magi has competed nationally and internationally in that sport. The highlight of her career was competing in the World University Games and the World Cup races in Canada in 2007. Cross country skiers rely heavily on running for cross training and Magi has become an accomplished trail and mountain runner, representing Canada at the World Mountain Running Championships in 2005 and the winning numerous national championships medals.
Today Magi runs for fun… and it’s a lot of fun! Epic mountain runs, city cruises with friends, and more keep her happy and occupied outside of work and school.