Fat Fridays: Safety While Running – 26.03.2021
A few weeks ago I went for a power-walk/jog around 1000 in the morning. The roads were quiet and the sky was bright!
I started with a nice brisk walk, earphones in but playing tunes at a good volume so I could still hear the space around me. I was wearing bright red and black clothing and for an hour or so things had been going well.
On my way home I noticed a man walking at a distance behind me. I never thought much of it initially. However, I had an inkling that something wasn’t right and so I crossed the road. Walked faster and turned a corner.
At the point in the day the sun was shining a little and the moment I reached around the corner. I noticed two shadows on my right-hand side. I turned my head and this man was a few steps behind me.
I walked faster and made it look like I was going to continue straight as opposed to taking another turn into my apartment complex. His shadow passed mine and I took a sharp turn, entered the access code and went into my complex. I still felt anxious and once I passed a few apartments I turned around and this man was following me.
I walked quicker and managed to leave from another exit. He followed and I re-entered the complex and darted into the first communal entrance for a few apartments. He looked around and could not see me, then left.
I waited around 20 minutes before running home.
I was out for a short jog around 0700 on a Sunday morning.
A car stopped as I was about to cross the road and two men out of five exited the vehicle. They started commenting on my body and asking if I wanted to join them. I politely declined and turned to walk opposite the direction they were driving in.
The two that were on foot following started shouting abuse and I explained I have a boyfriend and I continued to walk away. They then started swearing and calling me disgusting names. They turned the car around and the two men got back in and the car followed me slowly, with the two men telling me to get in the car.
At this point I was afraid, and I pressed my headset for Siri and rang my mum. I gave her a description of the car, the reg number and the men in the car. I then ran as fast as I could in the opposite direction.
- I wore bright colours.
- I used only the main roads.
- I always checked/looked around me as I walked.
- I have the following items in my running pouch, beneath my running jacket and not visible; phone, keys, pack of tissue, lip balm, £5 note.
- My hair is always tied up and out of my face.
- I carry a small bottle of water.
- For longer walks, I use a small backpack and carry x2 bananas and a spare bottle of water.
When I’m approached by those kinds of men, I’m always polite and try to continue without any drama. However, despite everything I do or try to stay safe – I still experience situations like the above.
It leads me to stop jogging for a few weeks! I know I shouldn’t allow it to get to me, however, it’s difficult when things like this occur.
Remember, it does not matter how familiar you are with your route or how confident you feel when you go out running. I urge you all to remain vigilant and think smart!
At this stage, I should point out that not everyone you encounter will be a negative one. I’ve run by some nice people who smile or wish me a good day.
- If you run solo let someone know your route.
- Use a tracker such as Strava to log your route, the distance covered and time.
- Stay in well-lit areas if you choose to run at night.
- Wear visible clothing, most running clothing is designed with light reflective elements.
- Wear running lights! You can place them on your wrists/ankles or bag, etc.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
Live a healthy life.