After returning to Ibri a little over a month ago, I experienced a few unexpected encounters while running. To be exact – stray dogs. Before summer vacation, I ran on the service road and short desert path near my house and rarely encountered anyone or anything. Well, that is not exactly true. There were two loose camels for about a week but they ignored me. I enjoyed having the camels around and even tried to feed them leftovers. Eventually, their owner came and took them home.
The friendly camels have been replaced by unfriendly stray dogs that look hungry. The first morning, the big white one with brown ears barked at me and then ran back in the field. I was terrified and ran home as fast as I could without completing my run. A couple of days later I met this dog again but it was not alone. There was a smaller one with it. Actually, the smaller one may have been a goat, but I am not sure. The next day, I met dogs on my way to work. As soon as I saw them I ran and jumped over the road barrier and escaped to the other side of the main road and they sprinted towards a garbage bin located near the service road. These dogs terrify me because I know they can run faster than me. Rather than deal with these dogs I decided to find a new running place. It was also time for a change.
Now, I run on the gravel area between the service road and the main street in Ibri (the part from Ibri Hospital to Ibri College of Technology)which happens to be a much nicer running place. I have carefully measured a 2 kilometer stretch which I have claimed as my training ground. I have a starting line and 1, 1.5 and 2km markers discreetly placed along my course. The laborers have promised not to remove the markers when they water the trees and pick up the garbage. At times, I weave back-and-forth amongst the trees which provide a bit of greenery in the desert. Although this weaving slows my pace a bit and messes up my exact distance it allows me to focus on something other than the sand and gravel under my feet. At the end of my run I can check my Garmin for accuracy.