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7378 Views 20 Replies Latest reply: Jan 7, 2011 6:54 PM by Skiplady 1 2 Previous Next
Kristy Burleyson Pro 62 posts since
Oct 18, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Dec 28, 2010 3:37 AM

Do you run with.....

any type of protection for safety?  I'm female, and will be running alone.  I was almost grabbed by a couple of guys while camping several years ago (they moved on to the next campground and kidnapped a woman)  so am just a little anxious about being out there on the road alone. I know this might be just a bit of a sensitive subject but I need some suggestions.  I do have a dog I could run with who looks a bit intimidating but is a big 'fraidy cat, but I can't take her every run....

  • MRosenstengel Amateur 17 posts since
    Nov 8, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Dec 28, 2010 5:52 AM (in response to Kristy Burleyson)
    Re: Do you run with.....

    I run in the wee hours so the odds of there being anyone around let alone someone with ill intentions is pretty low but I take my dog with me.  She is also a scaredy cat but most people can't tell an "I'm scared!" bark from an "I'm going to eat you!" bark.  Especially if you feign holding her back from "attacking" while saying "Easy girl" or "Please don't bite another one!"


    Meghan Rosenstengel

    (re)Started C25k 11/15/2010

    Portland (MI) Winter Run 1/15/2011 First 5k! 45:32

  • Lola67 Pro 69 posts since
    Oct 24, 2010
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    2. Dec 28, 2010 6:12 AM (in response to Kristy Burleyson)
    Re: Do you run with.....

    My friend walks and she bought a stun gun at, also maybe look into pepper spray. I run down a road that is pretty safe, but am looking at using of those for when I change my route. My dog comes with me as well, but he isn't very intimidating.

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  • flamomof3 Legend 1,928 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Dec 28, 2010 7:52 AM (in response to Lola67)
    Re: Do you run with.....

    I run in the morning after dropping off the kids at school and  I usually have a running buddy but if she can't make it, I always carry pepper spray.

  • racebug313 Amateur 25 posts since
    Oct 18, 2010
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    4. Dec 28, 2010 7:59 AM (in response to Kristy Burleyson)
    Re: Do you run with.....

    I run at night after work, and usually try to change my route so it's not easy to pick up on, but I also saw some pepper spray at a running store that is on a strap you can put around your chest or waist so you wouldn't have to hold it or carry it in something.  I think I'll be getting that and they should have it at most running stores.

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  • thedevotedrunner Legend 439 posts since
    Jul 7, 2009
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    5. Dec 28, 2010 8:31 AM (in response to Kristy Burleyson)
    Re: Do you run with.....

    All of these are great ideas. Running with a partner, running with a dog, mace or pepper spray, change up your running routes frequently  (and time of day you run).  Let someone know what route you will be taking and run in a well lit area if possible.

    Running the straight and narrow,


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  • RunningErika Expert 39 posts since
    Nov 4, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Dec 28, 2010 9:48 AM (in response to Kristy Burleyson)
    Re: Do you run with.....

    I have a whistle, and I always bring my phone. If I am trail running, I have a partner with me. Most of the time, I am in subdivsions that are safe.


  • sueinNC Pro 80 posts since
    Jan 31, 2010
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    7. Dec 28, 2010 11:35 AM (in response to Kristy Burleyson)
    Re: Do you run with.....

    Great queston Kristy!

      We have had a few "incidents" this fall in my town.  Not terribly serious but concering. I have a road ID on my shoe, more for if my blood sugar goes crazy. I run with mace on by belt. I have spibelt and in it is my albuterol for asthma, chapstick and cell phone. The mace is where it can be clearly seen. I run odd hours and almost always alone. I am too slow to have running partner.  Be safe I check out new routes with the car first. Found one good one today and one with to isolated of a section. Happy running!

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  • AZrunner7 Amateur 23 posts since
    Jun 16, 2010
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    9. Jan 2, 2011 9:38 PM (in response to Kristy Burleyson)
    Re: Do you run with.....

    Even if your dog isn't fierce, just being with a dog could be a great deterrent.  Criminals look for easy opportunities . . . a dog presents a potential risk and unknown. 


    I would also recommend talking to your local police department, asking their tips for running alone.  I'm sure they would love to give you advice, as well as indicate which areas are best avoided and when.


    You might also consider joining a local running group.  Google your city name and "running group" and see how many there are in your part of town.  I know there are several in my area, great support, great fun, and safety in numbers.

  • crl8686 Legend 1,313 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Jan 2, 2011 10:30 PM (in response to Kristy Burleyson)
    Re: Do you run with.....

    I grew up in New York City and learned at an early age that it's much better to avoid trouble spots and problem people than to encounter them and have to deal with them. Running in a safe neighborhood is one of the most important steps you can take. I'm female and almost always run alone. Fortunately I live in a safe suburban area where the crime rate is low. Nevertheless, I do always keep an eye out for anyone or anything that looks like it might be a potential problem. I always run during daylight hours - even at dawn is OK, but never in total darkness. I also know which streets have a reasonable concentration of other runners, walkers, dog walkers and/or people on their way to work, and favor those streets whenever possible. There are a number of running/hiking trails in the area, which I occasionally use, but only in daylight.


    If I'm in unfamilar area, such as when traveling, I always check out the neighborhood before I go running in it. If there's any doubt about the safety of the area, I run only on main streets that are well lit and well populated, and don't use my iPod under those conditions. If I have really significant concerns about my safety in a particular area (like some downtown areas), I'd much rather use the hotel gym treadmill than have to carry mace or a weapon and run under stress.

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  • Dreamstate Legend 278 posts since
    Dec 1, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Jan 3, 2011 6:10 AM (in response to MRosenstengel)
    Re: Do you run with.....

    MRosenstengel:  Around this time last year, I ran outside around 5:30 a.m. when it was still dark and hardly anyone outside at all. I did the same thing by running with my dog.  My dog is EXACTLY like yours, scared of her own shadow, but I think her presence is the intimidation factor.  It worked pretty well!


    Other than that, no, I don't run with anything, but I also stopped running so early in the morning when it's still dark out.  If I'm running in the evening and the sun starts to set, I try to stay in well populated areas with all of my reflective gear on.


    They sell easy to use mace and other protection items in a lot of running stores though. Maybe you can check them out.

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  • Marykb Legend 1,347 posts since
    Jan 16, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Jan 3, 2011 8:57 AM (in response to MRosenstengel)
    Re: Do you run with.....

    MRosenstengel wrote:

    I run in the wee hours so the odds of there being anyone around let alone someone with ill intentions is pretty low

    Actually the situation sounds the opposite of how you perceive it.  You run in the "wee hours" when no one else is around?  Hello?  The chances of someone accosting you are MUCH greater in the wee hours when there are no witnesses or no one to hear you call for help.  Keep in mind that people with "ill intentions" are looking for exactly the scenario you describe - a woman out alone in the wee hours.  The more people who are around the safer you are.


    Here are a few examples that have happened here in Georgia in the last few years:


    1.  2006 - Jennifer Ewing, 54, was dragged off her bicycle and brutally murdered while cycling alone on the popular Silver Comet Trail.


    2.  2008 - Meredith Emerson, 24, was hiking WITH HER DOG on a North Georgia mountain trail when she was abducted, held captive for four days, and then killed and decapitated.  Her faithful dog was later found wandering around a parking lot.


    3.  2009 - Kristi Cornwell, 38, was walking alone on an isolated road near her parents home when she was apparently abducted.  She has never been found, although some bones recently discovered in the area may possibly be hers. (UPDATE: I just wrote this a couple of hours ago and since then they have positively identified the remains as belonging to Kristi)


    Not to scare you, but your statement seems a little careless and naive.  None of these women would have perished if there had been lots of other people around when they were hiking/walking/cycling.  Please be careful....

  • Jesterface Rookie 1 posts since
    Jan 3, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Jan 3, 2011 5:43 PM (in response to Kristy Burleyson)
    Re: Do you run with.....

    I went to Costco and found some little, hand-held flashlights with a defense tip. On the lens and the back (where the button is) there are sharp points. Not too sharp to poke you or anything, but sharp enough to give someone a good wack and it startle them enough to get away or knock them out. It also has a low beam, high beam, and a strobe beam that helps to startle animals too. Found it really helpful. I don't run at night usually, but I do drive a bus and have to get on in the wee hours (especially during the winter b/c it takes an hour to heat up a bus) when  my husband isn't home and i am always afraid someone or an animal will be there. Hope that helps good luck!

  • MRosenstengel Amateur 17 posts since
    Nov 8, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Jan 4, 2011 3:38 AM (in response to Marykb)
    Re: Do you run with.....

    Thank you for your concern.


    There are four houses on our mile stretch of road and if we get a car an hour past the house, it's a busy day.  So the opportunity for a perp to find a victim out here are low and they are likely to go somewhere else - like a bike path or suburban neighborhood.   I would agree that highly populated areas in the wee hours are risky.  Crime always increases with population density.


    I run on an open stretch of road and can see for over a mile in most directions.  I know someone is coming long before they know I am there.  And based on the time of day, I can tell you who is coming.  Now that the corn is cut, there is nowhere for someone to hide along the road.  I also do not run with earphones and am very aware of my surroundings.


    There are always risks but I will take reasonable precautions and not live in fear.  My days are already numbered and I will enjoy every last one I have been given.


    Meghan Rosenstengel

    (re)Started C25k 11/15/2010

    Portland (MI) Winter Run 1/15/2011 First 5k! 45:32

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