-- A professional marathon runner claims he was forced to put his training to the test against two of nature's top predators.
Moninda Marube was about six miles into his morning run in Auburn, Maine, on Wednesday when two black bears emerged from the woods, he said.
According to The Sun Journal, a local Auburn paper, Marube heard rustling in the woods as he was running. He soon spotted two black bears about 20 yards away.
That's when the professional runner decided to make a run for it. "I had to think very fast," Marube said.
"I knew I could not climb up a tree because bears can climb a tree," he said. "The only solution I had at that time was to be able to run."
The marathon champion sprinted toward a vacant house he had passed, screaming as the bears chased him, the paper reported. Marube said he took refuge in a screened-in porch.
"They started sniffing the door," he said.
The bears eventually moved on, allowing Marube to make his getaway.
Animal trainer Doug Seus told ABC News that bears can reach running speeds up to 30 miles per hour.
"You never run. You never run from a bear," he said.
Officials nationwide say bear encounters are on the rise. Two people were mauled in very rare back-to-back attacks last month in Alaska and numerous other sightings have been reported from Alaska to California.