Given the heat we've endured lately in central North Carolina, I was having a pretty pleasant run Sunday morning. It was fairly cloudy and, although it was pretty hot, it could have been a lot worse. I'm still out of shape, but at least I'm making some progress.
I am nearing the end of a 10.3-mile run and less than two miles from my house when I see flashing lights about a block away. When I get there, I see that police have closed the cross street (a one-way street) to the left of where I am running. I see a lot of police and emergency vehicles and wonder what is going on.
But I keep going and notice two K-9 unit officers in a slow jog just in front of me on the sidewalk, following their dog. Suddenly the dog stops and sniffs at the ground. As I pass the officers, I ask, "what's going on?"
Rather than tell me what is going on, the officer asked where I was going. He doesn't seem thrilled with me running down that sidewalk. I tell him that I lived just down the road in the direction I was running and that I was hoping to run home. He instructs me to take a right and run around this section of road. I never had run down that street before, so that is a little unnerving.
Also unnerving is wondering if there is an armed suspect loose. I have no idea. I take the right, as instructed, and take the first left that I can. There were officers there, and at the next intersection where I took another left.
I finally get back on the original road and looked back to see those same officers about a half block back. At least I was fairly confident that I was running away from whatever trouble there was. But then a couple of more blocks down, there is a police car with his lights flashing at the side of the road. When I run by that car, the officer had wasn't in it.
I get home and wonder what the story was. Finally, later Sunday morning, I saw this story on the website of one of the local TV stations. Some guy's car collided with a police car and he ran away from the scene.
I guess I'm just lucky that he wasn't balding with a beard.
My only other memorable contact with an officer was during the Charlotte Marathon one year when it was 14 degrees at the start. I was wearing a Balaclava, and the officer said jokingly, "There is our suspect."
Let's hope my next contact with an officer during a run is more like that!