Ultra runner collides with bear as the finish line looms

Black bear walking in grassland
Not actual bear (Image credit: Getty Images)

Less than half a mile from the end of a 50 mile ultra run, Jon-Kyle Mohr race nearly came to a very sticky end when he almost literally ran straight into a black bear.

Last Sunday, Mohr, 33, from June Lake in California, was coming to the end of an epic run from his home town, over the Sierra Nevada, then down into the Yosemite Valley when the encounter occurred, reports the Los Angeles Times.

It was dark by that point, and Mohr suddenly saw a large shape lumbering towards him from the corner of his eye. Next thing he knew, there was a sharp pain in his shoulder and Mohr was sent sprawling. Then he heard some people nearby shouting, “Bear!”

The black bear also so surprised by the collision that it dropped a bag of garbage that it had been carrying in its jaws.

The annoyed bear started to approach Mohr. “It was coming back at me,” he told the news outlet.

Mohr he did what all the bear safety guides tell you to do in a situation like this – he made himself look as big and threatening as possible, yelling and banging his running poles on the ground (there’s a use for running poles that rarely gets highlighted in their marketing material). 

The collision happened on the road near Happy Isles, not far from the Vernal Falls trailhead, which luckily is one of the most populated places in the park. Some people from a nearby campsite came to help him out, banging on pots.

All of which had the desired effect on the bear, which decided to cut its losses and skedaddle, leaving Mohr with a few scratches and some torn clothes. And, presumably, somebody’s bag of garbage.

He hadn’t posted an images to the socials, so here’s Mohr on a previous trek across the Sierra Nevada, just so you know what he looks like.