AUBURN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A professional runner says he got the scare of a lifetime when two black bears joined him on his run.
Moninda Marube, a distance runner from Kenya who now lives in Auburn, said he was on an early morning training run Wednesday on Whitman Spring Road Trail when not one, but two black bears crossed his path.
Marube did what instincts told him to and ran.
"Sadly, that was not a good option," he said.
The bears took off after him, but Marube was able to shimmy his way into a camp building before they caught up. Marube said the bears could have easily broken through the screen that separated the two parties, but instead, the bears ran off together into the woods.
"I cannot say it's my feet that saved me, it's God that saved me."
According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, when it comes to black bears, running away is not the best move.
"He should have stood his ground, yelled and screamed and acted big and loud and scary," said wildlife biologist Cory Stearns. "In all likelihood, the bears would have run away."
Stearns said if bears see someone running for them, their instinct is to chase. Though bears don't wind up in the path of humans very often, Stearns said runners should be ready.
"In southern and coastal Maine, the bear population is increasing, so such encounters are probably going to increase," Stearns said.
As for Marube, his close encounter is not sending him running for the hills.
"I am not deterred," Marube said. "I might change my time, but I will always run here."