It was supposed to be combination of some great exercise, enjoying the great outdoors and a celebration of our universe.
Unfortunately, a 5k race affectionately dubbed the “Space Race” in Montville Township, Ohio, turned into a painful event involving a deer and a runner on Oct. 1, according to The Hill.
Rebecca Heasley, of Willowick loves to run. She decided to enter the race.
While Heasley was enjoying the thrill of the race and the beauty of the trails in the great outdoors at Observatory Park in the Geauga Park District, a deer attacked her.
“I thought I got hit by another runner who just was too close,” Heasley said. “I saw blood on my hands and realized it was a bit more severe.”
Heasley took a direct hit to the head. The deer’s hoof left a large gash and nearly tore her ear off.
The impact knocked her down, so she also had several scratches from the fall.
“Honestly stayed calm through the whole thing,” Heasley said. “I had a moment of freak-out when I found my ear wasn’t where it was supposed to be, but other than that, it was more or less like, ‘If I’m going to freak out, this is going to be much worse than it really is.'”
There were emergency medics present in the park, but Heasley was far enough away that she was told it would be a while before they could arrive to help.
“They said it would take a bit of time to get the gurney back,” Heasley said. “So, I actually walked out to the front of the race. So I finished.”
Heasley had to have surgery to have her ear put back in place.
She is presently in the process of healing, and has even returned to work, according to WJW.
“I’m not going to let it scare me from getting back out there because it can happen anywhere at this point,” Heasley said. “It’s nature, it happens. You can’t be afraid of it.”
Deer aren’t typically aggressive animals. They’re more likely to use flight for their survival strategy, according to the City of Bloomington.
They can occasionally become aggressive during mating season, which is from October through December, but that’s very rare.
The park is open year-round and even clears off the paved walking trails after it snows for people who like to continue to enjoy the great outdoors in the winter months.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.