Sony Walkman Mp3 Player Giveaway Winner plus My Snake Encounter

I want to thank everyone who liked Dirty Running on Facebook, and also to everyone who left comments on the Sony Walkman Giveaway post. You shared some great music, some more embarrassing than others, and I've had some really bad songs stuck in my head for the last week.

I did the thing and picked a number between 1 and 154 (I added up the 117 likes and all the favorite running song comments). The winner was number 118, which is pretty cool because it turned out to be the first comment on the blog, so I didn't have to count very high. So, congratulations to Rose at Eat, Drink, and be Meiri. You won, and now you too can look like Lobot. Send me a message with your address and I'll ship the Sony Mp3 player out to you.

I would suggest you leave the music at home when running windy single-track.

You can still like Dirty Running on Facebook as that is where I share running videos, links to podcasts, running tips, and other cool running-related links that I'm sure my "normal" friends get sick of seeing and hearing about.

Speaking of snakes.

I was running in a part of Daley Ranch that I have never been through before. What started as a group of six, slowly became a group of one as each runner peeled off to head back to the trailhead. It was quiet on the trails as I hit 15 miles, and with only 3 or 4 to go, I decided to do a little exploring.

I ran up and then back down the steep and rocky section of Cougar Ridge, and I passed a couple of hikers beating the brush with trekking poles, cameras at the ready. I asked them if they had seen a snake and they said not yet, and they asked me if I had seen any, and I said I haven't, but I'm so oblivious I'd probably step right on one before I saw it (I swear I said that). Once I passed the hikers, I hit Boulder Loop.

I wasn't quite sure how to get back down to the Meadow Loop and eventually the trailhead, and when I saw a couple of mountain bikers fixing a flat off the side of the trail, I asked them for directions. You should head up to the top of the hill, then take a left onto a beautiful single-track, they said, you'll love it, then you'll hit a fire road that will take you back to Meadow Loop.

It was a beautiful single-track and I was loving the shade-covered narrow twists and turns of the trail. I saw a branch sticking out into the trail and I was just about ready to leap over it when the branch opened its mouth wide and hissed, baring long fangs. I wish I could list the string of words that came out of my mouth as my body broke a few of the laws of physics, stopping mid-jump, reversing directions, and quickly backing up about 15 yards as the triangular head of the Diamondback rattlesnake turned to look at me, tongue sliding in and out, seeming to decide if I was worth it or not. It was too late to re-trace my steps, so I decided to wait it out. I probably should have thrown a small rock at the snake to scare it back into the bushes, but I was watching in awe at the harsh quiet beauty of the snake in its natural state as it slowly made its way across the narrow trail. I also didn't want to piss it off any more than I already had. The trail was about two feet wide and as the head of the snake disappeared in the bushes on the other side of the trail, the body seemed to just keep going and going until the long white rattle slid across the sand and into the cover of the brush and scrub. I'm not sure exactly how long it was, but I'd bet some good money it was at least four feet.

I couldn't see where the snake was, and as I debated whether to make a run for it or to wait a couple of more minutes, the mountain bikers who sent me down this path came rolling by. I warned them about the snake and they seemed to speed up to pass it. I watched, waiting for a strike, but none came, so I went for it, releasing a freeing, wild scream, something from deep down, between fear and exhilaration as I bounded down the trail, again, oblivious.

I didn't have my camera on me, but this is a snake.


  1. I won! Awesome!

    I have seen rattlers twice while running, and both times I shrieked like a baby banshee. I did throw rocks at one to get it off the path.

    As a kid, my dad would behead and grill rattlers on our property. I don't remember what they tasted like, but he had a box full of their rattles that I would play with all the time, and a skin mounted on redwood hanging over the front door.

  2. Lmao!!!! But I can guarantee I wouldn't have been if it'd been me :D The only snake I've ever seen on a run was a grass snake and that stopped me in my tracks because I'd never seen one before, but then we only have 3 species in this country and it's only the adder that's venomous.

    Sometimes the thought of running in your landscape scares me to death - lions, snakes; blimey I'd be carrying a bloody big first aid bag, ha, ha!!!

  3. Always turn the music down on single track trails...that is all I can say.

  4. I'm with Will. I always take the earbuds out on single tracks in the hills when the weather is warm. I've seen at least four rattlers in the hills here in OC this year....


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