Ultramarathoner attacked by coyote while running in California

SAN FRANCISCO — A well-known runner survived an attack by a coyote while out on a trail in California and posted a video of his injuries to social media.

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Dean Karnazes told KNTV he was running alone at approximately 3 a.m. on a trail near the Golden Gate Bridge when he was attacked.

“I was running and I heard some footsteps behind me,” Karnazes told KNTV. “I thought it was a big dog on the trail and I turned to look and it was a coyote.”

In a video posted to his Instagram page, Karnazes had blood around his mouth and said the coyote knocked him over before he was able to whack it with a pole. The animal ran away. The caption with the video reads, “I’ve been attacked by a shark, and now a coyote. Both incidents were terrifying.”

Karnazes was approximately 40 miles into his 150-mile run when he crossed paths with the animal.

“What struck me was that it was healthy,” Karnazes told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I’ve seen hundreds of coyotes — even earlier in the day during the race — and most of them are scrawny and mangy. But this one was well-fed.”

Karnazes told the San Francisco Chronicle that he later learned that a nearby parking lot is a popular spot for people to feed the animals.

In a separate post to Instagram, Karnazes posted a photo saying, “Do not feed the coyotes,” saying that he learned that tourists have been hand-feeding the animals in the Marin Headlands.

Karnazes is known for his running, and has run 50 marathons in all 50 states over 50 consecutive days, according to his website. He also has won the World’s Toughest Footrace, the Badwater Ultramarathon and the 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series.

A spokesperson for the National Park Service told the San Francisco Chronicle that it’s “very, very unusual for a coyote to initiate any kind of approach or charge a human.”

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