Moninda Marube was in the middle of an 18-mile run near his home in Auburn, Maine last Wednesday when he encountered something pretty terrifying—a pair of black bears. As he told the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal in an impressive story that I highly recommend reading in full, he quickly sized up his options for escape. Jump in the lake? Climb a tree? Race to a nearby house to take shelter? From the paper’s article:
“Jumping into the lake wasn’t an option.
‘In my head, I know I can’t swim. I fear swimming. I fear water,’ he said.
‘Secondly, I knew I could not climb up a tree because bears can climb a tree,’ he said. ‘The only solution I had at that time was to be able to run.’
Those calculations took about five seconds, he said.
The moment he turned his back to them, both bears charged him, he said.”
!!! But Marube, a professional runner from Kenya, kept it together. He sprinted to the house, “screaming as he went,” and reached the screen door to the house’s porch with the bears just 10 yards behind him.
Marube found the door secured only with a simple latch and made his way inside as the bears came up to the porch. And with nothing but the screen between them... the bears just sniffed at him and then left. That’s it! They went away! Fierce beasts mystified or bored or otherwise deterred by a simple screen door!
What’s perhaps most remarkable here, however, is just how chill Marube was while describing his ordeal later that very same day. This interview was just hours later, and he’s completely calm about it:
Take a moment to appreciate just how flimsy that screen door is. That was the screen door between one man and death!
(For what it’s worth, a black bear can reach speeds of up to 30 mph, per the North American Bear Center. The Center specifically notes that this is true only of “lean” black bears, not fat black bears, but we sadly do not have a body description of the two bears in question here to determine their speed. No matter: Moninda Marube outran two bears, goddamn.)