The 5K at the Arizona AIA Cross Country State Championships last weekend featured a furry bandit.

 A coyote jumped into the race at the 1.5-mile mark and ran alongside the race’s leader, Harvey Nelson, a senior at Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson. Trina Painter, cross country coach for Flagstaff High School, said the coyote ran alongside Nelson and another runner for about 50 meters before pulling off to return to the brush near the course.

“Everyone was thankful that nothing happened to anyone,” Painter said. “It was just so surreal.”

Karlene Nelson, Harvey Nelson’s mother, said she wasn’t near her son when the coyote joined in, but her sister Marylin Aune, who took the now-viral photograph , was there.

According to Karlene, Harvey didn’t realize the coyote was right next to him. Instead, he thought it was one of his competitors trying to pass him.

“It didn’t distract him,” she said. “He just kept running.”

Nelson held on to beat the coyote and the rest of the field, finishing first in 15:25.


Responses to "Coyote joins cross-country championship race in Phoenix"

  1. Anonymous says:

    And the Coyote WINS!!!!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    way to go willy the coyote, where is the beep beep at this time?

  3. Amazing ... encounter/s with wild animals start coming just like something normal ...humans are experiencing 'new' closer relationship with wild life !!! I'm certain of this process in progress !!! We Are ONE !!!

  4. lou. says:

    wow, now isn't this something.

  5. Unknown says:

    Ma se non si vedeeee,,,,,!!!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow! This is so cool.Thank you for sharing this. ~Gail~

  7. Anonymous says:

    when we ignore our animal siblings some times they do somthing to get our attention.

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