Horse Fly Horror

When Tiffany and I met with the Striders again on Saturday, we planned to run 8 miles on the trail (4 out and 4 back).  Tiffany roped another running friend, who also wanted to run 8 miles, to join the Striders and our little running group.  However, with an 8 mm pace, Kim is no Lori replacement and thankfully, she found people in the pack to pace with other than Tiffany and me. 


As a courtesy to its visitors, Starkey Park offers water stations along the scenic trail.  Still, I would like to invest in a dorky water belt for these trail runs just in case the water stops are empty one day.  Plus, after Saturday’s run, I also need it to hold my heavy duty DEET bug spray.


As we approached the 4 mile mark, a HUGE bug few at Tiffany and me.  In our panic and dehydrated state, we couldn’t determine if the inch size bug was a bee or horsefly.  Just shy of 4 miles, we chose to turn around and head back; however, with the huge horsefly chasing us, we were pushed into speed drills against our will.


At one point, the horsefly kept attacking Tiffany and I had to come to her rescue.  With a mighty force, I clapped my hands together in an attempt to kill it, but I feel my lame attempt only maimed the vile creature and made it mad.  When the injured fly returned to his hive, he told his son to seek vengeance of us.


A few minutes later, the son of a horsefly began harassing us to avenge his father.  At about one and half inches, the son was much larger than his dad.  Tiffany froze in her tracks as I swatted the fly with my hat.  After our second attack, we were forced to run even faster.


We knew this battle was not over and son of a son of a horsefly would return to avenge his family’s honor.  I explained to Tiffany our plan of action.


“When the son of a son returns, you keep running.  Run ahead and send for help.  I’ll stay behind and fight him off.  I’ve got your back, girl.”


And sure enough, the son of a son came and he was even larger than the first two.  As promised, I protected Tiffany and defeated the bad bug.  We returned to the beginning of the trail a little faster and avoided any further attacks.


8 miles

Time: 1:33:58

Pace: 11:44

(Holy horse flies, Batman!  WTF???  I guess each bug battle affected my pace.  Stupid bugs.)


On our return run, Striders Melanie and Rebecca caught up to us.  We shared our horsefly horror story with them and they shared their bug spray with us.  They also shared a little swatter secret: Run with a washcloth.


***Disclaimer: When writing this post, I researched “horse flies” and discovered that the species commonly found in Florida are deer and yellow flies.  Also, the female yellow fly typically attacks and drains blood from its prey.  So, although Son of a Son of a Horsefly makes for a better horsefly horror tale, it is scientifically inaccurate.


  1. Cascia @ Healthy Moms says:

    Running with a washcloth sounds like a great idea. I can’t stand horseflies. Thank goodness we don’t have any of those around here. But back in the mid west where the summers are not only hot but also humid horse flies are everywhere. Better bring your bug spray next time!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. lindsay says:

    well written recap of the horsefly encounter. i’ve had a few bees buzzing around me in circles in lately. i just slam on my brakes (stop) to trick them and have them fly ahead. makes me feel like a cartoon character or something, haha. glad you came out victoriously on this run.

  3. Tiffany says:

    Denise, I laughed so hard that I started to cry reading your all-too-accurate rendition of our Saturday run. Thank you for not including my overly high-pitched horror movie scream. Ha!

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