How to Stay Safe While Running Early in the Morning and Late at Night
The news of the woman that was attacked while jogging the bike trails near Cherry Rock Park early Wednesday morning is disturbing to any avid runner.
As a runner myself, I've seen a number of other runners, male and female, out running both early in the morning and late at night on the bike trails and in various neighborhoods throughout the city.
After Wednesday's attack, you have to wonder is that really a good idea? Is it safe to be out on the bike trails and city streets when they are less populated?
The Sioux Falls police department says cases like the one that happened on Wednesday are uncommon for a city like Sioux Falls and they want people to know that the bike trails are still safe.
But they also remind runners it's a good idea to take extra precautions to decrease your chances of being attacked.
You'll hear running enthusiasts always say, "Stay aware of your surroundings, especially, when running in new areas."
Officer Sam Clemens reminds people to trust your instincts. “If you see something that just doesn't seem quite right, maybe take a different route."
The man who attacked the woman on the trails on Wednesday morning jumped out from the trees, grabbed her face and knocked her to the ground. Fortunately she was able to scream and fight her way to safety. Which forced her attacker to flee the park on his BMX bike.
She got lucky and you can help ensure your safety by following a few of these tried and true running safety tips from police experts.
Do Not Run Alone. Two people are harder to control than one. Attackers are less likely to strike and if they do, you've just doubled your chance of survival. Another great deterrent is running with man's best friend. If you have a dog that's fit enough to join you on your run, bring he or she along.
Do Not Run With Earphones. When you have loud music blaring in your ears, you can't hear a potential attacker come up behind you and it also slows your reaction time. If you absolutely must listen to music while you run, only use one earpiece, and switch ears during your run.
Alter Your Running Route. This tip not only helps in the crazy ex-boyfriends and girlfriends department. But changing up your running routes everyday also helps eliminate the chance you could become an easy target for stalkers, and other would be creepers looking to possibly do you harm.
Carry Runner's Mace. This tip is conditional because mace and pepperspray are not legal in every state, but if it is legal for you to carry it, do. Runner's mace is a small can (3/4 oz) that has a velcro strap that fits easily around your hand or wrist. It is effective up to eight to 12 feet away, depending on your aim. One burst of mace is usually enough to stop a would be attacker. Just remember, if you're going to carry mace you need to know how to use it effectively. Because mace is considered a weapon.
Also, if never hurts to run with a phone if you're able. A phone can fast become your best friend should you happen to injure yourself while running or God forbid have someone try and attack you.