Saturday, October 30, 2010
In the upcoming Deer-vs-Man war, we'll all have a part to play. I've selected mine.
How much time would you lose if you were in a foot race and collided with a deer?
And, more importantly, are our runners under attack by deer?
That's the question raised by an alarming set of news stories I dug up and/or heard while driving.
First up, Sarah Glidden, of Hortonville High School. While running a cross-country race on October 22, Sarah was only about 100 yards from the finish when a deer bolted from the woods in front of her, and Sarah hit the deer.
She was spun around, but she and the deer continued on their respective ways, with Sarah suffering only a bruise and some deer fur on her. She didn't qualify but finished 18th overall, with a time of 17 seconds slower than her previous time a few weeks ago.
Seventeen seconds is all she lost by hitting a deer? And she finished the race? I think we all need to remind Sarah that this is America, and when you run into a deer during a race, you do not finish the race. You drop to the ground, yell whiplash! and sue everyone within a 200 mile radius, including the deer.
Glidden says she's a magnet for deer and has gotten offers to join hunting parties. Glidden's coach, meanwhile, said no big deal, this happens all the time:
"When I was coaching in Virginia, I was at the state meet years ago and it was the same kind of deal," said Sours, who has 20-plus years of coaching experience. "A deer cut across and hit the lead girl runner."
Glidden's coach may be right: Anna Phelan, a 10-year-old elementary school runner was knocked down by a deer just a week earlier while walking during a portion of a cross country run. Reports the "Thaindian News" site:
The school children were singing through the bush during the even and that might have startled the animal.
No word on what they were singing -- probably a Lady GaGa song. Deer hate those. Especially Canadian deer, who also seem to hate young Canadian cross-country runners, given that 14-year-old Emma Ashby was also run into by a deer during what was billed as a "midget girls' 3,000 meter race," back in 2009.
Even earlier, the ironically-named Emily Buck was hit, all the way back in 2007, by a deer during a cross-country meet. Emily, who weighed just 78 pounds at the time, was smacked into by a deer and didn't finish the race.
It all just goes to show that this:
Was just a precursor. Obviously, we're in the early stages of a Deer Uprising, one in which our brave young cross-country running girls must risk life and limb in order to run 3,000 meters.
What can you and I do to help them? You can get out to the woods and cheer them on, for one thing, and form a human barrier against deer attacks all along the course.
I'll do my part by by hunkering down to watch The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. Let me know how things go for you.