Dearly beloved runners,
The following article on the BBC website highlights a common concern and certainly something we as runners should take heed of.
As those that follow Run Venture will know, we are avid trail runners here and this serves as more evidence of why you should all try it.
Certain members of society will always wolf whistle, hurl abuse, etc and make us feel uncomfortable, intimidated and perhaps even scared.
I myself have been spat at whilst running through a street on the outskirts of a city in the early hours. In hindsight going for a late night run at closing time on a Saturday night wasn't the best idea in the world and this just goes to enhance my point. I put myself in harm's way and increased my chance of being 'targeted' by individuals fuelled by pints of courage enhancer!
I certainly wouldn't have encountered such unwanted attention running across Dartmoor at that time of night!
Just google "attacks whilst running on the trails" and the top hits are regarding attacks by bears rather than attacks by humans. To my knowledge bears don't drink either and can't utter "go on darlin'" or my personal favourite "run forest run". Oh and there aren't any bears on UK trails either!
In contrast, if you google "attacks in gyms", they are far more prevalent. 24 hour unmanned gyms are again, in my opinion, a potential 'target-rich environment' for those with less than honourable intentions.
Having said that, there is a risk to us all while out running and no matter how small, the consequences of ignoring the warnings could be catastrophic and unthinkable.
To that end, take a few precautions to safeguard yourself:
Run in a recognised group if and where possible and appropriate.
If running alone, tell someone when and where you are running and your expected time back.
Carry a phone in case of injury or concerns you are being followed.
Resist the temptation to run with headphones. If you are zoned out with loud music and not aware of your surroundings, not only are you not reaping all the rewards that the natural environment can give you, but are also less likely to notice someone running up behind you.
Wear hi viz at night and a headtorch. If running on roads, a tail light is good practise too, so you can be seen.
Alter your running routes so as not to be too predictable
This list is not finite and I am sure more could be added but above all, trust your instincts and take care.
Running is a gift that is free, but it is important to take precautions to prevent anything that could deter its enjoyment.
Here endeth the sermon.
Mind how you run.
(This blog was first posted on the Run Venture Facebook page).