I along with 700+ runners went through the gate next to the buffalo. It was 100
yards from the finish. As always, the Buffalo have the right of way. If you
can't get through the gate to finish then wait. End of story. I
didn't see this happen but the guy was wrong. I have run on trails at
Antelope Island many times among the Buffalo with no issues. I have had to
divert around them a few times too. I have also ridden horses close to buffalo
in the back country of Yellowstone. If you don't act threatening then they
just ignore you. I am glad he wasn't hurt but treating Buffalo like some
cow is not too smart. It's a great race, well run by the race director and
a great opportunity to see the island. The buffalo stew after the race was tasty
too. I'll be there next year!
In the future:Antelope Island could be a great place with the Bison
all at the main gate area on the east end of the causeway. The runners could
all be in front of the bison and they could all run the 7 miles to the island
and the protection net would be the water on each side of the causeway.
However, runners would have to verify or show certificates that they could swim
just in case the buffalo chased them into the water, the runner could swim away.
The runners would also have to have shoes that could be kicked off if needed to
get more of a headway from the buffalo. The buffalo would not have calves in
the mix so not to be as hostile if it was the cow protecting the calf. Bulls
would be in the mix to provide more dynamics to the whole run through the
causeway. In years this may be part of the meet or meat, depending on what the
track will be like. Maybe that would be the year of the brine shrimp or the
brine flies as the theme of the program with sponsors with shrimp drinks or fly
Not to be sarcastic, but what would you expect the race organizer to say?On the other hand, what's the running of the bulls without a little
goring? That's what gives it the reputation.They were going for the
same effect, right?
Bison are very territorial animals and will not normally charge on somebody
unless their space is being threatened, or if there may be a calf or a cow close
by they are protecting...They are for the most part very docile, and keep to
themselves...It is always wise to keep a safe distance if you don't want to
become bison shishkabob...
The runners were not damaged. There is a 911 number for emergencies, if he felt
he needed to stand in front of a wild buffalo to protect runners. Witnesses or
other people were in the area and supposedly didn't feel threatened.
Colorado Springs residents shouldn't be approaching wild animals and trying
to scare them. You never know the mind of a wild animal, even domesticated dogs
attack when they feel threatened. This could be a ploy to get the buffalo off
of antelope island and just have it for people from the east that believe the
west is just like Rhode Island or North Carolina. Even with a horse, a person
can be kicked or stomped on, depending on how you treat an animal or how it woke
up that day.This is the hot cup of coffee and McDonalds that
McDonalds didn't tell the person that the coffee is hot and not to spill it
Wow! Anyone who has spent time near buffalo has seen them turn on people. When
they do, you'd better have a safe haven to get to. They are quicker than
you can imagine and highly maneuverable. They accelerate quickly and can easily
outrun any human being. They have no qualms about ramming a horse or a car. I
agree with the other posters here that this gentleman needed to get one of the
organizers or DNR personnel involved rather than playing the hero. He's
quite lucky he wasn't gored or trampled.
I ride my mt bike out there on the back country trails every week and have had
buffalo block the trail a handful of times over the years. You don't take
chances and you wait for them to move and keep back. If you can't turn back
I think the rangers would rather you go off trail than have you die. It's
a beautiful place you just have to respect it and be careful.
I ran the race. The race director explains very well and multiple times how to
properly interact (stay away, go around, don't make direct eye contact,
etc) with the bison. The bison have the run of the island but the race
isn't run through crowds of bison. I saw them three times. The closest
was about 35 yards and I didn't feel any urgent concern. I just followed
the recommendations and things were perfectly fine. I think if he was really
concerned then yes you want to do something. Next time get with someone who
knows what they are doing like the people running the race. Let's try to
not get the race cancelled because of concerned people who don't know what
they are doing.
There are a few pretty reliable sources that said he was throwing rocks at the
buffalo before it charged him. I have run this race a few times and know people
who witnessed what happened. Contrary to this article and subsequent comments
he didn't do the runners any favors.
JWB: "...call the organizers..."you think he had the number
readily available?!"Colorado people should know about buffalo as
they live at the beginning of the plain states that was the roaming ground for
centuries of the buffalo."seriously? i lived in northeastern colorado
for over 14 years. we never once saw a buffalo and we didn't learn about
them in school. great job in thinking of the runners!
Oh, ya cain't roller skate in a buffalo herd....sing it with me!
It seems as if this spectator probably had his own camera with pictures of the
bison before the attack. Colorado people should know about buffalo as they live
at the beginning of the plain states that was the roaming ground for centuries
of the buffalo. He probably had a cell phone that he could have
used to call the organizers and explain his concern and not take the buffalo on
as target practice. The buffalo deal with their DNR people all the time as they
know how to handle buffalo. Buffalo can be like pit bulls and can have their
moments dealing with humans.
Runners "in and among the bison"? Sounds like a recipe for disaster, if
you ask me. The man did good, then.