Runner Details Life and New Fight After Surviving Bear Attack

A determined athlete 

Despite a painful recovery, Williams, a seasoned ultrarunner and IRONMAN triathlete, was determined to get back to running, biking and swimming. 

"Her attitude has been amazingly positive," her husband says. 

Just four days after the attack, she attempted a slow jog.  Her eyes were bruised from her fractured right eye socket. Her right eye was almost swollen shut and kept tearing.

"I went running on trails but it was more of a walk because I did not want to trip on a rock or twig that I couldn't see and break the rest of my head," she says. 

Even though the vibration of riding a bike aggravated her arm wounds, Williams completed the bike and run legs of the Bottomless Triathlon in Roswell, N.M., less than a month after the bear encounter. Her husband did the swim portion.

But her physical recovery wasn't her only challenge in the days after the attack.  She also had to deal with backlash from strangers online when her story gained national media attention.

Some people blamed her for the encounter—or the trail running community as a whole. 

"I saw Facebook messages saying I should have done this or that," she says. "I got hate Facebook messages saying, 'You should have died and the bear should have lived' and 'Go back to the city, you urban dweller.' Frankly, I think we both should have lived."

Because of that belief, Williams has become politically active.

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