That Time a Squirrel Attacked Me After the DC Pride Run

by - Sunday, June 14, 2015

On Friday evening, I ran the Pride Run 5K. The race is in its third year, and it's one of the many events that are part of the Capital Pride Celebration each year. It was also 80's themed. Hence all the neon in this post.

Girls in neon before the race. Emily, me, Sarah, Meghan (Photo from Emily)

But before I get to talking about the actual race, which I ran with a bunch of friends and coworkers, let me tell you about how I was attacked by a squirrel after the race.

So this race offers a pretty fabulous post-race party. There's good music, lots of yummy food and beer (for those that drink it).

My friends and I were sitting in a circle on one of the paths in the cemetery where the race starts and finishes and all of a sudden this squirrel comes barreling down the path at us. It had some crazy eyes, so I don't know if it was terrified of all the people on its stomping grounds or straight up rabid.

But either way, it's running right at us, then it runs around us, then through the legs of one of the guys my friend is talking to.

And then it pounces on my back. True life, this thing comes at me at a million miles an hour, jumps on my back and then sprints off somewhere else. I have never screamed so loudly in my entire life.

Don't worry Mom, it didn't bite me, so I'm fairly certain I don't have rabies.

After a moment of stunned gapping, everyone started laughing, myself included, because I mean...what the heck just happened.

So anyway, before the squirrel excitement, there was this little ol' 5K.

Meghan and me pre-squirrel incident

It was hot and humid, and DC was under a heat advisory, so the smart thing to do was definitely run a race. Some storms blew through right before the start, which delayed the race, but also helped cool things down for a hot second.


We got started about 15 minutes late and took off pretty quickly.

Team GSA at the Pride Run.
Coworkers pre-race. Me, Warren, Tim.

I was running with my coworker Tim because before the race we realized we ran similar paces. We cruised down the first big hill out of the cemetery onto the Anacostia Trail.

The rest of the course was mainly an out and back on the trail, which meant you got to hit the water stop and the sponge stop twice (so, so necessary).

The sponge stop was the best thing ever. Volunteers were basically handing out sponges drenched in ice water. Given that it was in the 90s with insane humidity, they were a very welcome relief.

All. The. Neon. Post Pride Run 5K with
Post-race picture, which somehow makes us look not covered in sweat.

I was keeping a pretty quick pace for the first 2.5 miles, but somewhere after the second sponge stop, the humidity got to me and I couldn't keep up with Tim anymore.

I dropped back and let him go on ahead wondering where the heck the turn back into the cemetery was.

Finally I saw it and knew I had a nice uphill climb to the finish. I clocked in at 27:21, not so bad given the race conditions.

My splits went something like this:

Ooops on that last one.

I found Tim and we quickly found water and everyone else. We hustled back to the finish line to watch Warren finish. He was coming up the finishers shoot getting tons of cheers from all the people around! I had no idea he had such a big fan club!

We didn't melt!
We took many of this picture. Warren had sweat dripping in his eyes every time

Afterward we grabbed some watermelon -- my favorite post-race food after a hot run -- and hung out. Then the squirrel thing happened, and we eventually packed it up and headed home.

Overall loved this race. I've never done a Friday night race before so that was kind of cool. Plus it started and ended in a cemetery and was really well organized! Highly recommend if you're in the DC-area!

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  1. Warren6:23 PM

    We'll definitely have to ask Pacers to clear the grounds of squirrels next year. Maybe it belonged to one of the evangelists who were yelling at us before the start of the race. One wonders.