I’ve always been curious as to why you never hear of any big cat attacks during the ultras? .
During ultra races: Cougars prefer to take isolated prey. Having runners going by every minute or so is not something they do well with. In fact, grouping closely together is your best deterrent to attack, something these bikers didn't seem to understand.
I can say this, if you are ever confronted by a cat: whatever you do DO NOT BREAK EYE CONTACT. I owe my life to this. This is essentially the opposite to a situation with a bear.
If attacked, fight back to the end. Again, counters the advice for grizzlies, but not black bears. This is why I carry a knife and/or pepper spray.
Yes, dog encounters are more likely, but being able to defend yourself is similar there, so no big difference in terms of being prepared. Staying alert and aware is major element in avoiding and deterring attacks.