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  • Writer's pictureMiriam Verbeek

Of herbicides and running

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

I decided, a couple of weeks ago, to go for my weekly run on a weekday rather than a weekend. This probably wasn't the smartest decision, especially since previous times I’ve made this rash resolve, I've been nearly run down by logging trucks and met with far more people traffic than is comfortable

Well, not taking note of previous experiences, I set off early in the morning, thinking that, given the early hour, I would beat others.

Not so. I’d run about six kms and been wending my way through beautiful forests for close-on three-quarters of an hour when I started getting a funny taste in my mouth. “Hmmm,” I thought, looking around for some plant that may have started flowering or rotting. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

A helicopter sounded in the distance. I expected it to fly out of range. It didn’t.

There’s a section of the trail that goes through a clear-felled area – I run out of enclosed forest into openness and I see the helicopter …

I also see the helicopter’s got long silver arms sticking out from the sides … and then I realise that the funny taste in my mouth is herbicide drift from the helicopter's spray arms.

I got out of the area as quickly as I could.

I mentioned the incident in a FB comment on a friend's site and – well – it seems to have caused quite a stir, ending up with a lengthy interview that’s now been broadcast a number of times on a number of local radios (see the link below) – as well the EPA has launched an enquiry.

Well, I thought I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but, apparently, there’s more to it than that. Listen to the interview

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