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Family of black bears provides mid-race adrenaline rush for runners

A black bear and her two cubs emerged from the woods during the running portion of a triathlon in Alaska last weekend.

Gold Nugget Triathlon

During the running portion of the May 15 Gold Nugget Triathlon in the woods of Anchorage, Alaska, competitors were met mid-race with a black bear and her two cubs.

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Race volunteer George Stransky was well-positioned to capture footage of the encounter between the three black bears and a group of runners. One participant was within a metre of one of the two cubs but remained calm despite the young bear running up to her.

“We were going to give her an award for handling herself so nicely,” said the race’s board president Lia Keller.


The family of bears retreated back into the brush shortly after while the runners stayed back to allow them to move through. The triathlon is a women’s-only, annual event with more than 1,500 competitors having participated in the latest edition. The running portion of the event was 6.6K.

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The video, posted on May 18, has been viewed more than 26,000 times. No one was harmed during the encounter between the runners and the black bear family. Here are some tips to consider when heading out on runs in remote areas.

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“There was no affect on the race,” she said. “We did send out an extra car with bear spray to monitor the situation in case anything happened.”