Drivers in forested areas should always be on alert for deer, but apparently runners need to watch out too.
Justin DeLuzio, a senior on the Gwynedd Mercy University cross country team, was just starting off on his final race when an unexpected competitor crossed his path, reports CBS Sports.
While the runners made their way through a field, a group of deer charged across the area at the same time, hoofing straight through the clump of runners. Agile and graceful creatures, the deer were able to weave their way around the humans. Well, except for one.
An animal in the group didn’t swerve fast enough and ended up clothes-lining DeLuzio, knocking him to the ground before prancing forth. The jarring hit can be seen in the top left corner of the video above, taken by onlooker Eric Bologa.
“I sat there in disbelief, I wasn’t quite sure what had happened,’ ” DeLuzio told Fox Sports. “Part of me was like ‘This is your last race! Get up!’ while the other part was like ‘I just got hit by a deer! Take a breath and acknowledge what just happened!’ ”
You don’t see DeLuzio getting up in the clip, but there is no need to fret. Like the little engine that could, the runner rallied after the hit and finished the race. DeLuzio’s teammate, a fellow senior named Matt French, ran beside the deer-rattled runner for the rest of the event to ensure DeLuzio was okay.
“French, he’s a senior like me,” DeLuzio said. “It was his last cross-country race, too. And he sacrificed his potential best time of the season for me … we have five guys on our team, and they were all there for me when this weird thing happened.”
While we’re sure both the parties involved were shocked, they luckily both ran away from the incident without serious injury.