At the weekend I was talking with Calamity Jane, who has only recently moved to rural Cornwall. We discussed the wealth of urban wildlife in her old haunt of South East Essex. where we grew up together. There are loads of foxes that mill around the street in broad daylight near my parents home as bold as brass. They're not such a common sight in Devon towns.
Jane told a funny story. Her daughter was home from university, went for a run one dark winter's evening and nearly tripped over a badger! The animal interpreted this as an attack and pursued her, intent on revenge. She escaped but could not get away with a light jog. Full on sprinting was necessary. I've just read that, over a short distance badgers can move at 16-19mph. That's some pace.
The idea that a bulky animal with short little legs can move so fast heartens me in my own running endeavours. After all I hardly have the build of a racing snake!