Horror Story Giveaway Winner!

Even the cover of this running horror story is creepy!

Who doesn’t like a scary story on Halloween? We sure do, so we had a quickie contest to find a scary running story for us all to enjoy!  The winners received a new horror novel “On the Lips of Children” by Salty friend Mark Matthews.  The novel is about a running experience gone horribly wrong.  Eek!

And now we’re so pleased to present the winning tale of horror, written by Salty Reader Jess P. from New Jersey, who will receive a free copy of “On the Lips of Children!”  Congratulations, Jess!!

Click through for more about our winner, Jess, and also for two more scary stories from our runners up!

When I was in law school, I adopted a very special dog named Eli. Eli is an 80-pound black-lab mix, and back then he was 18 months old and full of mischief. I would run miles with him every day just to take the edge off his energy.

One morning, Eli and I woke up early for our daily run. It was fall, and still dark out when we left the apartment at 6 am. I started down the trail behind our apartment. As I turned a corner down the trail, a man stepped out of the woods right in front of us. Eli and I stopped in our tracks.

The man was disheveled and his eyes were having trouble focusing. He was bigger than me, and as he approached he got too close for comfort. He looked me up and down and said: “You like running?”

Unsure of what to do, I responded yes.

Next he said, “Want to try running from me?”

At this point, I silently freaked out. I had no idea what to do. Luckily, Eli had a plan. His hackles went straight up and he started barking and baring his teeth menacingly.

The man stepped toward Eli with his had outstretched: “Nice doggy” he said.

No dice. Eli knew this man was bad news and strained at the end of his leash, snapping at the air.

I slowly turned and walked away, Eli growling the whole way. I didn’t look back, and once we turned the corner, I started running flat out until we got home.

I still don’t know who that man was, but I do know that he intended me harm. Eli is 8 years old now, and doesn’t run as far as he used to. But I’ll never forget how he protected me when I really needed him.


Jess and her hero, Eli!  Jess is the one on the left. *wink*
Jess and her superhero, Eli! Jess is the one on the left. *wink*

WHOA! I just got chills!

We loved Jess’s creepy story because we can all relate to it.  Even if you’ve never encountered a scary person while running, you must have imagined it.  I think I’ve watched way too much Law & Order in my time to not imagine it!

I wanted to write a swell paragraph about Jess, but she did it for me, and I believe in letting a winner speak for herself!

I’m a 20-something from New Jersey. I ran all through high school, but fell off the wagon during college. In 2007, I got back into running and have been going ever since. I finished my 8th marathon a few weeks ago in Detroit (was pacing my sister to her first marathon finish!) and I’m looking to PR (i.e. 3:52 or better) in Philadelphia in November. I’m also registered for the Paris Marathon in April and I’m really looking forward to it! When I’m not working or running, I love to travel, hike, read, and hang with my dogs and wonderful husband. I blog at: http://www.girlonthewing.com.Eli ran with me for years, eventually coming in 9th at the NYC Iams Doggy Dash in 2010. He is now enjoying a luxurious retirement, and likes bones, duck treats, and tennis balls.

Thanks so much for your awesome story, Jess!  And thanks to Eli too, for saving you!

For the rest of you readers out there, we invite you to check out Jess’s awesome blog.  Her writing voice is really great, and lately she’s written about some really interesting topics, like how the shutdown affected a local half, and about how Hurricane Sandy affected her as a runner last year.  Really great stuff.  Keep up the great work, lady!


And now, here are two more horror stories from our runners up:

Our first runner-up was Liz H. from North Carolina:

I ran Baltimore Running Festival 2012, my goal-qualify for Boston.  I planned my outfit out weeks in advance, practiced running in it multiple times assessing  comfort, chaffing, breathability, cuteness etc.  It passed the test.  It was a pair of Nike grey spandex shorts, a large drifit tank, and a pair of hot pink CEP compression socks.  I knew my inner thighs inevitably would hurt running 26.2, but these spandex were a bit longer and on my 16-18 mile runs definitely passed the test only resulting in a manageable amount of chaffing.

My inner thighs were on fire during the race, I could feel them chaffing but paid it no mind…I was living my dream of running sub 8:00/mi splits and feeling GREAT! Upon finishing and qualifying (3:29.17!!!) a women came up to me and said “Excuse me sweetie, it looks like you started your period.” 

Immediately I knew what happened. I replied,  “No, no, it’s chaffing.”  She was horrified, and when looked down I was too. I had blood dripping down my inner thighs and 2x2in patches of the worst chaffing I have ever seen. 

I now race in much, much longer spandex.


OUCH!  This was, hands down, the bloodiest, gory-est submission we received!  We’re so glad Liz has some longer tights now!

And our second runner-up was Angelique R. from New York City, NY:

My biggest running horror story was in May 2012, my third half marathon over Memorial Day weekend. I had given up beaches and barbecues to be in sunny Fairmount Park, Philadelphia that morning, for a race that sadly ended in a 3:13 walker half marathon time.

The ODDyssey is a costume race where everyone’s encouraged to do something totally weird or different. The only weirdness that occurred that day is the fact that I thought I could run this distance in a super hero suit without melting, chafing, and having to all but strip naked inside the porto-potty more times than I’d like to remember.  

Not all super heroes fly or cruise around in cool cars– some of them just walk, very slowly, with their legs as far apart as possible for 13 miles at a time.

OUCH!  Maybe we should do a chafing addendum to our Running Costumes post.  But way to go finishing the race, Angelique!

Thank you so much to all our readers who submitted!  We hope you have a great Halloween, but that any running you do is perfectly un-scary.

Cinnamon made Salty Running, takes lots of pictures and drinks lots of coffee. She has 8 more minutes to knock off her marathon for a 3:40 BQ, and will get there or die trying. Her writing is an eclectic mix of finding wholeness as an average runner, news reporting, curious reactions, satirical humor and more.

Leave a Reply


  1. Thanks, guys! I can’t wait to read “On the Lips of Children”!

    And yes, it was really creepy. I called the police when I got home, haha. They never found the guy… Also, I totally feel the ladies with chafing stories!! I have been there too, unfortunately!

  2. Holy crap – Jess’s story totally creeped me out too! I am SO glad it ended the way it did. Eli IS the boss!! Happy Halloween everyone! And please stay safe.

  3. Thanks to Salty Running for putting this giveaway on! And thanks to everyone who entered. Winners will have their stuff toot suite. Cool stories. Plenty of blood, chaffing, and a couple of lines of dialogue I wish I had included in the book.

    :”You like running?” “Want to try running from me?” I could fully see the one-armed homeless man with the dobermans from the book saying these lines.

    Another giveaway offer. I will be in New York this weekend for the marathon. To everyone who ‘chicks’ me (and I suspect you will) a free paperback.

    Happy and safe travels to everyone.