Raise of hands, how many of you feel completely safe while running? Please put your hand down if you are of male gender. Females, we have too many horror stories to count, it’s just not fair. Recently it seems that there has been an exorbitant amount of females going missing during there runs and it led me to thinking how safe are we really? In general if you are a solo runner, like myself, we are not that safe. I’m not just talking about the threat of being over come by a male, we also have cars, heat, and hell sometimes bears to worry about.
I believe I am a lucky one. I never have felt threatened by a person specifically while running, especially in my hometown where I do most of my marathon training. Occasionally I’ll get a car horn, or someone shouting something; but I’ve always felt more or less “safe”.
Once I was chased by a turkey, ironically enough it was on thanksgiving, but I do have bears in my area that I have to worry about every now and then.
The point of this post isn’t to tell female runners not to run, it’s to point out to run safely. How do you do this?
1. Run in packs- okay not everyone runs your speed and when you are marathon training this can be hard. In general, join a run club, maybe you’ll find someone who is around your speed.
2. Run with a RoadID (www.roadid.com). I got mine several years ago and I wear it everyday no matter what I’m doing. If something ever goes wrong my emergency contact information is on me, even if my card ID is not.3. Map out your running routes and tell someone before where you are going before you leave. Additionally for you have an IPhone, turn on find my friends and have one friend or parent in charge of keeping track of you (my mom made me do this).
4. Take a self defense class. I took Jiu Jitsu for a couple months last winter after the Chicago marathon and it’s amazing how much safer and confident I feel in myself.
5. Pepper spray. I’m guilty, I don’t carry this, but this will help for more than just people. Dogs, bears, wild cats…. Pepper spray will stop the weirdest mix of animals away from you.
As women we want to empower other people, but when we are not safe it’s hard. Take the right precautions and go for it!