Wednesday, 30 April 2014

My craziest, funniest moments on the move

I love hearing other people's funny running stories.  It appears that exercising outdoors creates opportunities for bloopers abound - heaven only knows why.  I've shared many funny running moments on the blog over the years, like Zola Budd being asked for a lighter to light up someone's cigarette while out on a long run (seriously??), and Philippa from Run Cape Town being splattered by a seagull on the run (how's that for a good aim?!).  But I've never shared my own craziest, funniest exercising moments on the blog until now (although my ostrich encounter is quite a gem), so here goes...

First up, my craziest moment on the move.  On the move, because it actually happened while I was out cycling, not running.  (Don't worry - running will always be my true love.)  This happened when I was still at university, early one Saturday morning.  I took my bicycle for a quick spin around town, and as I was rounding a corner, lost in thought and minding my own business, I suddenly found myself bang in the middle of the most surreal scene I've ever come across in my entire life: An armed robbery.  Yes.  It took me a second or two to process what was going on and then it was as if everything was happening in slow motion.  I leaped off my bike, scurried to the opposite side of the road, and took cover behind a scrawny little hedge, where two or three other people were already hiding.  And there we lay - minds racing and hearts thumping until the culprits sped away with the money they had stolen.  Thank Heavens no-one got hurt.  Phew.


Donning my cycling hat.

Next up, my funniest moment on the move:  In my third year at university, I did a project on the breeding behaviour of the Red Bishop Euplectes orix for my Zoology class.  My research/fieldwork consisted of counting and weighing all the little baby Red Bishops in nests at a little dam on campus - something I would do every Saturday morning.  My attire for this exercise consisted of the oldest denim in my cupboard (my legs had to be covered against biting Bullfrogs), coupled with the oldest, ugliest pair of sandals you've ever seen in your life, for wading through the mud.  (Counting the birds involved wading into the water up to waist level in order to reach all the nests, so by the time I went back to the hostel, I'd be drenched from the chest down.)


Euplectes orix.  They landed me in some pretty funny situations... [Source.]

This particular Saturday was no different - I cycled to the dam, counted and weighed the baby birds, and then headed back to the hostel on my bike - totally soaked.  And then, out of the blue, a guy on a time trial bike came flying past me.  And then another.  And another.  And suddenly it dawned on me: I'd somehow managed to stumble across the cycling course of the varsity triathlon championships that were taking place on campus that morning...  I was mortified and hysterical with laughter at the same time - I don't think I'll ever forget the bemused and confused looks of the race officials and cheering supporters as I came cruising by with my dripping denim and sandals, ha!

Have you had any crazy, funny moments on the move?  Please share!


7 comments:

  1. That is so crazy that you witnessed an armed robbery! I probably wouldn't have set foot out of my house for a week at minimum after that. Love that you found yourself in the middle of a race course with such style ;).

    I've had a few crazy moments while on the run. The most interesting is probably finding my whole name written in paint on a cement block I run by. It happened a few years ago and is still there today. I have absolutely no clue who wrote it and for the longest time I was scared that the police were going to track me down and blame me for it haha. The funniest/grossest is probably the time a bird managed to poop right on my watch when I was running. Luckily, I was almost done with my run so I didn't have to run with a poopy wrist for long :).. oh running...

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    1. Wow, how crazy is it that you found your name on a cement block? And kind of creepy too, no?

      Lol, and the nerve of that bird to poop right on Information Central! So funny!

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  2. Love your stories! I also did zoology but was at was then RAU. Our focus was mainly freshwater fish. I once ran and heard lots and lots of gunshots about a block away. I turned around and sped off. It was a gun battle between police and a gang that blew up an ATM. Sadly two policemen were killed and also two gang members. I actually changed my routes because of that. Our stories doesn't say much about our country I suppose :(

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    1. Sho, how sad and scary that we've both experienced situations like that while out exercising. A sad, sad state of affairs in this beautiful country of ours.

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  3. biting bullfrogs? I didn't know they bit! Glad you came out of the armed robbery scene unharmed and everyone else too.

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    1. They do and can be quite aggressive when provoked! My zoology lecturer once showed us a video where a bullfrog bit his finger and it bled quite badly. I used to feel like I had eyes in the back of my head the way I was watching out for bullfrogs in that dam...!

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  4. Oh my gosh, how scary!! Glad everyone was ok. Also, that's hilarious that you managed to get onto the race course this past weekend. Amazing.

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