BOULDER, Colo. --Libby Swenson says she is still sore from an encounter with a mother bear while on a daily run near her Boulder home.
“I heard this galloping sound coming at me," Swenson said. "I thought it was an elk, but it turned out to be a huge 500 pound bear.”
With just seconds to decide what to do, Swenson ran to the first tree she could get to and began to shimmy up.
She said it was like climbing a pole because the dead Aspen tree had no branches.
Her whole body has been left scarred by the climb and "hang-time" as she put it.
She says she could feel the bear’s breath on her legs.
At one point, Swenson kicked the bear in the nose. She said she remembered wondering what the bear must have thought.
“This woman just kicked me in the nose! Really?”
But she says that is what did the trick and got the mama bear to head back to her cub.
The pair wandered off, allowing Libby to climb back down after about 20 minutes in the tree.
“I was screaming and praying at the same time -- asking God to just let me get away from this bear,” said Swenson. “With my arms giving out, I had to come down. I was just lucky the bears left. That let me head down the trail to home.”