Whatever your plans are this coming Saturday, take some time to run, walk, bicycle, rollerblade, or whatever in memory of Sherry Arnold. A woman who went out for a morning run last January and did not return home alive.
Sherry’s murder touched the core of the running community, as many of us have done exactly what Sherry did that sad morning and returned home safe and sound. It is not unusual for me to run alone early in the morning at a local park. I appreciate the peaceful beauty of the forest and the quiet time before my hectic day begins. Honestly, there are many times when I run with no ID or cellphone on my person and don’t see another person the entire run. Truth is, I don’t think of the potential dangers until after the run. So, I’m advocating to all my running readers to think about your safety BEFORE your run.
When the news of Sherry’s murder broke last year, her cousin who also runs (very well) and blogs at Shut Up and Run (SUAR) organized a Run For Sherry in February 2012. I, along with my running friend Trish, donned ‘Run For Sherry’ bibs and ran like madwomen through the streets of Philly.
This year, we are running for Sherry along Kelly Drive. I invite everyone, wherever you are to take time on Saturday to remember the life of Sherry Arnold.
SUAR (Shut Up And Run) shared some important safety tips to minimize risk and go on running and living – unafraid.
Here are some other things to do to be safe – not just while running, but in general.
Always tell someone where you are going.
Stay on well traveled and well lit roads. Don’t take short cuts through woods, poorly lit areas, etc.
If possible, run with a dog, a group or at least one other person.
Ditch the headphones.
Bring your phone.
If someone looks shady to you, cross the street or go the other way.
Vary your routes. Don’t be predictable.
Know where you’re going. Looking confused and lost can make you a target.
Don’t be distracted. Perpetrators specifically look for people who aren’t 100% aware of their surroundings.
Consider taking a self defense class. You never know when you might need these skills.
Reconsider the pony tail. This is an easy thing to grab and pull.
Have an air of confidence. Walk or run tall with your head up.
Trust your gut. If something/someone doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
Bring pepper spray, but keep in mind it can be used against you too.
If attacked, do everything in your power to not be taken to another location.
Be Safe, Run On, Never Forget…