Runners have noticed more big rattlesnakes than ever before this summer. Another sign of Global Warming? An 18″ rattler appeared between the railroad rails after the Spiral Drive Run, directly in the spot people cross the tracks at the end of F St! A 5 foot snake was killed by a car on CR 175 north of Sand Lake. Two runners saw a hawk fly away with a snake in its talons while running on Tenderfoot. Run with care.
Tips to avoid snakes on the Run, if you are concerned
-Run in the early morning when the cooler temperatures make snakes less active.
-Keep your dogs on a leash or leave them home, unless you want them to get bit instead of you. On the other hand their keener senses will detect a snake before you do.
-Observation is crucial. You want to be able to see where you are running to avoid stepping on something that is hidden. Be alert.
-Run on roads a bit away from the edge, so you can see what is ahead. But beware of cars, because they pose a much greater risk than any snake.
-Avoid rocky trails
-Snakes will respond to vibration (i.e. heavy footfalls), and will either move out of the way or coil and rattle (if a rattlesnake) to let you know they feel threatened.
-Listening to music with earphones may prevent you from hearing a rattlesnake or other dangers.
-If you encounter a snake, leave it alone.
-Snakes are not naturally aggressive and will only bite you if they feel threatened.
-Not running for fear of snakes is worse for your health than the extremely remote chance you might have a bad encounter with a snake. Get out there!
-Seeing a live (or dead) snake on a run is an interesting bonus of running here.