Ultramarathoner Attacked by Coyote While on 150-Mile Run Speaks About Terrifying Ordeal, How He Fought It Off

Experts say coyote attacks are becoming more common in populated areas.

A California man is speaking out after he was attacked by a coyote while running an ultramarathon. 

Dean Karnazes was on a 150-mile trail run in Marin County when he says the coyote came up behind him. After the attack, he was able to finish his run, but was left with a bloodied face.

“I heard some footsteps coming up behind me, and I thought, ‘Oh there's a dog maybe coming up behind me.’ And I swung around to look, and a coyote hit me from behind. It happened really quickly and left me in a state of shock, I think,” Karnazes told Inside Edition. 

He says he fought off the coyote with poles he runs with to give him stability on ultramarathons, which can take as long as 30 hours to complete.

“I hit it on the side, because I was carrying my poles like this, so it was pretty convenient to just whack it,” Karnazes said.

Experts say attacks by coyotes are becoming more common in populated areas, because too many people are feeding the wild animals. The result is coyotes are losing their fear of humans.

“When we start feeding animals, they become habituated and it creates problems. Once animals become reliant and dependent on human beings as a food source, especially previously wild animals, they begin to push those boundaries to get more and more food and get closer and closer,” wildlife biologist Forrest Galante said.

Karnazes says he believes the coyote attacked him because he wanted the granola bar he was eating.

Related Stories