Deer smashes into woman running Jersey Shore Half Marathon — but doesn't stop her
Christina Sanchez was slammed to the ground.The culprit that crashed the 40-year-old runner onto the pavement during Sunday's Jersey Shore Half Marathon at Sandy Hook wasn't a muscle cramp, clumsy step or blister.It was a deer.Actually, a buck with antlers, Sanchez said, and one that stood taller than her own 5-foot-4 frame."Out of nowhere the deer came running out of the woods," she said. "He just hit me kind of head-on. It was just a blur of brown and white fur."Moments before, at 10 miles into the half marathon, Sanchez felt good mentally, had '90s alt rock pumping in her headphones and was picking up her pace. She'd trained for months.Only three miles to go.But as the course under Sanchez's feet took a turn, so did her race story.Sanchez, of Fair Haven, remembers someone screaming as she was knocked to the ground, but said she was in shock. She said the buck jumped into her and then used her leg as a launch pad to make his getaway toward an area of brush and trees near Gunnison Beach. Listen to her tell the story in the video at the top of this page.JERSEY SHORE: 11 weird and wild NJ stories from Summer 2018If you live at the Jersey Shore and frequent local parks this time of year, you've likely spotted deer grazing nearby. Chances are you've seen the signs along the Garden State Parkway urging caution and warning that it's peak season for deer to lope into the path of your car.
A woman was knocked down and injured by a deer 10 miles into the Jersey Shore Half Marathon. There's a lesson in the odd incident, she says. Stacey Barchenger, @sbarchenger
October to December — mating season — is when most crashes occur, with so many in New Jersey during the three-month procreation period in 2016 it was equal to two vehicle-versus-deer crashes per hour, according to AAA. But deer versus human hit-and-runs?“I have never heard of that happening," said Daphne Yun, spokesperson for the National Park Service and Sandy Hook, who confirmed park rangers responded to the incident Sunday."I've seen a lot of crazy things happen in races, but nothing like someone being hit by a deer in a race," said David Friedman, who has competed in races or helped organize them for more than 50 years. "I'll definitely start paying more attention to those deer crossing signs," said Sanchez.As she lay stunned on the pavement, Sanchez first thought her leg was broken. Fellow runners stopped to help, and paramedics staged at the race rushed over, too. It took about 10 minutes to regain her composure and test her leg to make sure the bones were intact. By then, the deer had disappeared and Sanchez had made her decision."The EMTs looked at me like I had 10 heads," she said. "Three miles left out of 13, you have to finish it. I guess my adrenaline just kept me going."
Stacey Barchenger: @sbarchenger; firstname.lastname@example.org; 732-427-0114
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