Readers Roundtable: What’s the Weirdest Sh*t You’ve Stumbled Upon?

imageThere’s nothing like running somewhere peaceful, somewhere we can get lost in thought and find a little solace in our otherwise busy days. We often like to run in places of natural beauty or places off the beaten path, places where we don’t have to worry about dodging cars or other pedestrians. But often these are the same places people choose to do some freakin’ weird stuff.

This weekend, Coriander stumbled upon some teens smoking pot, which, for activities runners stumble upon, is relatively mild. Naturally, we started regaling each other with tales of things we’ve accidentally witnessed on the run. And naturally, we thought it would be fun to ask you.

Tell us!

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve stumbled upon on the run? How do you handle the surprise? 

Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

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  1. I’ve seen some masturbating, drug deals, and a girl being slapped by her boyfriend.( which really really made me upset so I ran back to my car, drove by the park I witnessed the slap and yelled at the girl to get in my car. I took her home and let her know that a man hitting her is not OK and to never ever let a guy slap her again)

    1. Wow! Good for you Margaret. I saw something like that once when we were living in CA. I called 911, it was the middle of the night and I didn’t want to the guys going off on me too.

  2. Once I went around a turn and almost tripped over a guy sleeping in the middle of the trail. I’m assuming he was…not sober?

    Naked men out for a jog: it happens a lot around here. Also naked cycling (?!). They always wear shoes and socks, though.

      1. It seems likely. Once I even came across an article about naked outdoor fitness activities (not a euphemism – like, literally running, hiking etc) in some fitness mag. I should have saved it for posterity!

  3. Not so much weird but scary. I was running in Amish country (I was at a conference). I was running up a hill and thought a horse and buggy was coming down the hill. As I got closer I realized it wasn’t a horse and buggy, it was a bull. He was tagged, must have escaped. We both went to our sides of the road, I was too afraid to make eye contact. He kept going. I never ran up a hill so fast, lol!

  4. One time we stumbled upon a large snapping turtle in the middle the road. I’m sure the poor thing would have been run over. We dragged the 30 pound thing to the nearby pond with a shovel. It didn’t even say thank you!

    1. I’m glad y’all used a shovel – a snapping turtle can ROYALLY mess UP a person if you catch it in the wrong mood!

  5. On one early Sunday morning run at the beginning of the university school year, I came across an entire bush party – frosh passed out and waking up from a night of drunken partying the night before, in a bit of a field near some woods along the path. When I came back on my out-and-back route, the cops were there breaking things up!

    1. Ha! I ran a race in the woods yesterday and the same scene was going on, only no cops. Just a lot of drunk people who’d clearly been there all night. They were pretty cheerful and offered us beer. You could smell the party fug from like 200 meters away!

    1. Interesting. My husband and I used to pass chicken bones on our way to the parking lot after work all the time. But not a chicken foot. That is some downright weird sh*t.

      1. When I lived in New Orleans, chicken bones were a hazard of the trade any time you were within a two block radius of a Popeye’s, and especially during Mardi Gras, when you also have to watch out for crawfish heads. I had to leave the dog at home because he would be constantly eating the remnants of fried chicken AT ALL TIMES

  6. James and I ran in a back alley in Hudson, Ohio (think 1950s sitcom perfect little neighborhoods) and ran past two adults in their car. The woman’s shirt was pulled down and was “breastfeeding” the guy! They looked up, saw us, and then continued on with the act.

  7. i run on a rail to trails like path almost every day from work, i’ve seen the cops pulling out a dead body, and most recently a lost baby jogger 1/2 submerged in the water (bad nanny!)