What a trail runner’s rattlesnake bite can teach Colorado adventurers | VailDaily.com

What a trail runner’s rattlesnake bite can teach Colorado adventurers

Don’t suck out the venom, do bring your phone.

John McEvoy
The Colorado Sun
The Western rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis) is found throughout Colorado at elevations below 9,000 feet and grows up to 3 feet in length. This one was photographed near the Natural Arch in the La Garita Wilderness north of Del Norte, Colorado.
John McEvoy, Special to The Colorado Sun

Each ink line on his orange and purple leg marked the progress of swelling advancing toward his torso from four fang marks near his ankle. At one point, his thigh measured 24 inches around. His waist size is 30 inches. “Pretty gnarly huh?” Tres Binkley asked, only half joking.

Binkley was bitten by a rattlesnake — twice in a fraction of a second — during a trail run on the northeast side of Lookout Mountain in Del Norte just before 5 p.m. on April 25. The first ink marks were made around 40 minutes later, by doctors in the emergency room at Rio Grande Hospital on the other side of the hill.

He had been running on a ridgeline to maximize his strength training regimen. Binkley occasionally enters races, anywhere from 20K to 50K, but mostly he just loves trail running.

“Moving through terrain efficiently on two feet, two wheels or skis holds my heart. And over the years pushing myself has been part of that,” Binkley said.

He had been watching out for cactus as he moved gingerly over rocks and vegetation going up and down the steep terrain. As Binkley was stepping down over a rock he felt a sharp pain. “At first I thought that’s what the pain was. It took me two or three strides before I could stop. I started to look for cactus spines and realized that it was definitely not cactus. That’s a snake bite.”

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