Running safely is something that all runners consider. I wear bright clothing that has as much reflective detail as possible so that the light can hit me and I am seen by cars, pedestrians and other road/path users.
I have always had consideration for my personal safety too and try to ensure that I run in well populated areas, don’t go off the beaten track during quieter times, and always carry my phone with me at all times (not that this will protect me!) but I do have an emergency panic button set up that if anything awful should happen I press the panic and 3 messages go to my husband that alert him there is a problem, send him a picture from the front and rear camera of my phone and also send him co-ordinates of where I am via Google Maps. This is set up on my Samsung and I have to say is a really great feature of the phone.
Along with this I also carry a Safehaus Mini Self Defense Spray, which is a very small aerosol can containing a permanent marking red gel spray. In the UK sadly pepper spray is not legal so this is the closest alternative that I could find after alot of research. I found mine on Amazon and went for it after reading some really great reviews:
The spray is designed to stun the assailant, delay them in their attack and give you valuable time to get away to safety and call for help, it will not (sadly) hurt them but i am sure that having any kind of liquid sprayed into your face would cause some confusion! Certainly enough to give you a head start on a get away.
I hope as does every runner that I will never have to use either device, but after reading a very unexpected post on Instagram yesterday from a fellow runner, who had gone out on her usual Sunday long run, needed to stop for a toilet break and found an attacker hidden in the toilet stalls, anything is possible. Thankfully she was able to fight, kick and scream and miraculously managed to trap him in one of the stalls and hold him there until police arrived! She was very brave and came away with injuries, but nothing in comparison to what could have happened!
The world is an amazing, beautiful and kind place 99% of the time, that 1% can be cruel, evil and down right vicious. We become complaisant with our runs and because we know the route like the back of our hand take for granted that it will always be the same, I for one will ensure that I am even more aware of my surroundings, and the people around me whilst running from now on.