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Moose Intervals For Trail Runners

mooseElite long course trail runner Karl Meltzer recently was forced to create a new trail running workout – Moose Intervals.

Crazy story…

Last weekend Meltzer was leading the Bighorn 100 and nearly halfway into the race, he encountered a moose on the trail. The moose was apparently having a bad day and was interesting in relieving a bit of frustration by knocking around 142 lb Meltzer. Btw, moose weigh on average between 600-1200 lbs. This is definitely not an even fight.

The showdown between man and beast happened not once, but twice. Meltzer recalled “…sprinting faster than Carl Lewis ever had.”, while barely finding a tree to keep between himself and the feisty animal.

Fortunately a truce was eventually called and both parted ways.

Meltzer still went on to win the race in record time with a bit of additional adrenaline pumping through those veins. Scary stuff!

Make sure to check out Meltzer’s complete heart pumping story.

In case you ever encounter an aggressive moose on the trail, here are a couple tips from the Alaska Wildlife Conservation:

How do you know when a moose might attack?

The long hairs on its hump are raised, ears laid back (much like a dog or cat), and it may lick its lips (if you can see this, you are way too close). A moose that sees you and walks slowly towards you is not trying to be your friend; it may be looking for a handout or warning you to keep away. All of these are dangerous situations. Back off. Look for the nearest tree, fence, building, car, or other obstruction to duck behind.

What do you do if a moose charges?

Many charges are “bluff” charges, warning you to get back. However, you need to take them all seriously. Even a calf, which weighs 300 or 400 pounds by its first winter, can injure you. When a moose charges it often kicks forward with its front hooves. Unlike with bears or even dogs, it’s usually a good idea to run from a moose because they won’t chase you very far. Get behind something solid; you can run around a tree faster than a moose can. If it knocks you down, a moose may continue running or start stomping and kicking with all four feet. Curl up in a ball, protect your head with your hands, and hold still. Don’t move or try to get up until the moose moves a safe distance away or it may renew its attack.

Moose intervals? Maybe stick to the track.

Have you had any crazy animal experiences during any of your road or trail running?

I haven’t had any life-threatening running experiences but I have had some less-than-friendly dogs try and take off my leg while biking. That wasn’t all that much fun either but I did reach new speeds. Ah, the adventures of endurance sports!

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

3 Responses to “Moose Intervals For Trail Runners”

  1. on 24 Jun 2009 at 1:07 pm Blaine Moore

    I’ve never been chased by a moose, but I’ve seen them on my runs a few times. I’ll usually just work my way through the trees until we’re out of sight of one another and start running again. Usually I’ve been in central Maine, although I did see one right in the Back Cove in Portland some 5 or 6 years ago.

    The police were trying to get the crowd to leave the moose alone and leave the area so that the moose would come out and they could tranquilize it, but they wanted to keep gawking at it for some reason. (Personally, I have no interest in being near a moose during rutting season.)

    The cops eventually pulled out a shotgun and killed it since the people wouldn’t go away. There were some great letters to the editor the next morning from people who were horrified by what happened and instead wanted the cops to have tranquilized it instead; apparently they thought that having it drown to death was a better way to go than getting shot. That they might listen to the police and leave it alone long enough to wander out of the water where it could be knocked out without killing it never seemed to enter their minds.

    At least the folks at the soup kitchens had plenty to eat for a week or two.

  2. on 25 Jun 2009 at 5:14 am David P

    This guy got my heart rate up at Philmont Scout Ranch in 1983.

    This was our second encounter of the day. Earlier he had chased us away from our lunch in a clearing. He followed us to camp later, ate our supper and then tried for the ‘bear bags’. He didn’t get them, but I heard that he was later shot after harrassing a number of other groups.

    A perfect example of what happens when bears get a taste for human food and why campers need to be responsible with food and trash.

  3. on 25 Jun 2009 at 6:17 am David Hanenburg

    Hey Blaine – That’s too bad the moose actually had to be shot.

    David P – Yikes man! That freaks me out a bit just looking at the pic.