Wacky Wednesday – Weird Running Stories

When I worked at Iowa State, we always called Wednesday “Wacky Wednesday” because strange things always seemed to happen in the middle of the week.

Note, pictures may not correlate to stories.

One of my favorite all-time running pictures. Did you run a relay if you didn’t dress up?

As we’re halfway to the weekend, here’s a fun post to help pass a few minutes of your Wednesday. And running isn’t all training and races; we’ve gotta have some fun moments in there too, right? So without further ado, here are some of my more bizarre running stories.

The first is my go-to when it comes to stories.

1) This one throws back to Sophomore year (I think…maybe Junior year) of high school cross country. Our school always shipped us off to “Sports Camp” for a week of two-a-days, iffy camp food, and a crap ton of ice cream.

Anyway, on one of our first runs, we tackled a route called “The Y” which was a glorified out and back that turned around at (you guessed it) the Y Camp. On the way back, I wound up in no-man’s land (which is the story of my life while running).

When I passed one of the houses on the route, I saw a dude literally sprinting out of his yard to me. Knowing this house was home to a rather large dog, I figured that’s what he was chasing.


Dude runs up to me, falls right into my pace and says, “Hey, do you want a brat?” He’s literally carrying a brat, complete with a bun and ketchup. Being the 15/16 year-old with no regard to personal safety, I said yes and took the free food (to be fair it was the best food I had all week). I thought that would be the end of it.


Dude keeps running with me and says “How far are we going?” Fortunately, I was within about a quarter mile of the camp, so I was able to point to my team and say “There.” He didn’t run with me all the way to the camp.

And that, boys and girls, is the story about how Ben almost died.

2) This next one was actually an important milestone in my running career. The summer going into sophomore year of college. I was set to drop a casual 9 miler with one of my buddies. Like a pair of idiots, we started running at like 9am on a Saturday in July, so it was super hot.

About a mile into the run, he says “Want to run to Hillary’s house and back?” Like an idiot (seeing a trend in these stories?) I agreed because it sounded like an adventure. After a little while, it occurred to me to ask how far we would be running. I was told 9 miles…there.

Oh crap.

Imagine having run 10 miles exactly once in your life. Then imagine getting sucked into an 18 miler on a hot Saturday with no water stops. It. Was. Rough. Part of me is glad I didn’t have a watch on it, because I would be willing to bet that was the slowest 18 of my entire life.

Fast forward to getting home way later than I expected. My Dad asked if I got food after running. I said no, we ran the whole time. His response, “Alright. I figured as long as the cops didn’t call you were fine.” Words to live by.

Sometimes I’m surprised I don’t get the cops called on me. I mean, look at this intimidating squad

3) Those of you who know me know that I love being outside and in nature. When I’m running, though, I’m more than happy to never see any other living creature. My ultimate running fear is encountering a bear, cougar, or moose on a run. Fortunately, there aren’t many of those in Illinois.

However. They are out there in Colorado, where I almost exclusively run in the mountain trails…because of course.

This particular run, I was in the foothills in Fort Collins. It had been raining almost every night, with record high temps during the days; so the trails were pretty good, but with a few puddles in low areas. You trail runners know the drill.

Anyway, I run up to a puddle and while going around it, I notice a fairly fresh print in the mud. A large paw print. And when you see that, are running alone, and on a trail in the midst of four foot tall brown grass, you feel exponentially less safe. That’s the closest I’ve ever come to an encounter with any slightly dangerous creature while running.

Maybe carrying this (water) gun would be helpful when encountering wild animals.

4) This one is a little shorter. But on a group run in Ames, we encountered a stalled car. Being the good people we are (there were four or five of us) we asked the people if they needed help.

And that is how we got roped into pushing a car uphill to a house in the middle of a run. That, folks, is how you effectively cross train.

5) Relay Iowa. I’ll let this picture do the talking.

Relay Iowa. Nuff said.

That’s what I’ve got today. I hope this (long) post was at least entertaining for you all. What are some of the weirder or funnier moments you’ve had while running?

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