Keen was taken to the hospital in the ambulance with gaping wounds that required 21 stitches. At the 2017 Dallas Marathon, Keen finished second after the first-place runner staggered across the finish line assisted by a pedestrian. Keen refused to challenge the results, despite pressure from other runners who criticized the winner for receiving help. BRO: What were some things going through your head during the attack? BRO: What are some ways that runners and dog owners can work together to be safer in shared spaces? KEEN: Sometimes really unfortunate things just happen. And they suck. And we can’t control the fact that it happens, but we can control how we handle ourselves and our reaction. I am choosing to use this to make me stronger. I survived for a reason. I plan on figuring out why. Olympic Trials Qualifier Caitlin Keen was out running on the Trinity Trails system in Fort Worth, Texas, last weekend when she was attacked by a dog. Keen says the dog appeared out of nowhere, sprinted toward her, leapt up, and bit her arm. She shook it off and kept running, but the dog bit into her back and pulled her to the ground. This isn’t the first time that Keen has made headlines. The dog, a pit bull mix whose name is Taco, was up-to-date on its rabies vaccines and is currently in city-mandated quarantine. Taco belongs to a local homeless woman who was not present during the attack. BRO: Do you feel safe to run outside or at the park? KEEN: I haven’t run since the attack, and I am not allowed to run or drive for at least another week. I know that I will run back at the trail again, but I know that it will take me some time to recover. BRO: What do you want people’s biggest takeaway to be? BRO: You mentioned that you have received a lot of hate from this incident. Is there anything you would like to say on your behalf? BRO: Do you feel changed at all from this? KEEN: I think that dogs should be kept on a leash if it is not a designated “off-leash area.” Dog owners have a responsibility to keep their dog controlled, and runners have a responsibility to stay clear of these areas if they are not comfortable with dogs. We can all work together by putting ourselves into each others’ shoes and thinking about what it would feel like if you had to suffer the consequences of an irresponsible dog owner. KEEN: During the attack, I was thinking how scared I was that it wasn’t going to let me live. I didn’t know what this dog wanted, and I didn’t know how to handle it. All I wanted was to get away and for someone to show up to help me because I knew I wouldn’t have been able to do it on my own. We reached out to Keen to hear her thoughts on the situation. Photo Courtesy of Caitlin KeenPhoto Courtesy of Caitlin KeenPhoto Courtesy of Caitlin KeenPhoto Courtesy of Caitlin Keen KEEN: I have been running outside at this particular park since 2006, since I was 14 years old. I have always felt safe out on the trails and have never had a close encounter to not feel safe. BRO: How did you feel when you saw the dog calm down after it attacked you? Her injuries require 21 stitches. Warning: the pictures are graphic. KEEN: If there was anything I could have done to not get attacked, I would have done it. I went from having one of the best long runs I had run all training cycle to being dragged to the ground fighting for my life in a matter of seconds. I didn’t provoke anything, I was simply running fast. I looked at my watch, and when I looked up, a dog was lunging for me. She kicked at the dog until a woman, who was also on a run, picked up a large rock and scared the dog away. The dog was eventually subdued and caught by the collar by a man walking his own two dogs that were leashed. The dog that attacked Keen became calm and friendly with the man’s dogs. BRO: How long have you been running at that park? KEEN: I currently feel very lucky to be alive. Previously, I used to let all the little things bother me. Now I have a much different outlook and perspective on what matters and what is a waste of energy. This is not a fight against breed, animals, or their owners. This is a story about awareness, safety, and having to overcome things that happen to us that we don’t have control over. KEEN: I was scared. I thought the dog was going to start attacking the other dogs that were being walked by a witness, but it didn’t. It made me wonder, “Why me?” Why was I just running one moment and the next I was being taken down by a dog?
The Magpies travel to relegated QPR on Saturday knowing victory could be enough to prevent them from following the Londoners through the Barclays Premier League trapdoor, but equally aware that anything less might leave them in desperate trouble with only West Ham’s visit to St James’ Park next weekend to come. Carver’s men at least stopped the rot last Saturday, when a 1-1 draw with West Brom on Tyneside ended a run of eight successive defeats – a sequence of results which has proved hugely testing for all concerned. Newcastle head coach John Carver has challenged his players to embrace the pressure of having to dig themselves out of a hole. Asked what he had learned in recent weeks, the 50-year-old said: “The last four or five months, I’ve learned an awful lot, and that’s what it’s all about. The fact I’ve been given the time to learn from different situations, I think it’s very important . “The one thing is, I’m looking forward to this weekend because there’s a huge challenge in front of us, there’s a bit of pressure on us and we have to be able to embrace that pressure and deal with the challenge ahead of us. “When we come out the other end of it – and hopefully we’ll be at the right end of it – then I will definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, be a stronger and better person for it.” Such is the delicacy of the situation at St James’ that the club have cancelled next week’s end-of-season awards dinner, feeling it was inappropriate to hold a celebration with Premier League status still unsecured. However, on the pitch, there has been a lift in the collective mood on the back of a better result and, perhaps more importantly, a much improved performance against the Baggies. Carver said: “The spirit has been good – it’s been upbeat. But we are not taking our eye off the ball because we haven’t done a job yet. There’s a huge job in front of us, starting with Saturday and then the following Sunday, so we need to stay focused.” Full-back Daryl Janmaat returns to the squad after serving a one-match ban, while striker Papiss Cisse and midfielder Rolando Aarons are also available after stepping up their respective bids for full match fitness during the past week. Press Association