As someone that’s not. A huge fan of treadmill running (unless I have to), being able to run outside is an absolute must. When I lived in San Diego, running at almost any time was pretty amazing, since the views (and sounds) of the ocean were plentiful. Then I moved back up to Northern California and started commuting 4 hours a day. That pretty much cut out being able to run in beautiful San Francisco before, during or after work, and in the winter, completely eliminated outdoor running.
I’ve been running sporadically on Saturday or Sunday early mornings or afternoons, depending on how blazing the sun is, around town, mainly in the surrounding neighborhoods. If listening to music, I always keep one earbud out and am constantly scanning my surroundings, trying to be as safe as possible.
At the end of July, a friend posted on Facebook that a man had been arrested on suspicion of felony battery and sexual assaults after two incidents that involved female joggers. Both of these incidents happened in the nicest, most expensive neighborhoods in our city. Even more scary? Turns out he worked at a gym in the next town over – in the kids play room!
One week later (just 2 days ago), a 16 year old girl in an unincorporated neighborhood of our city was jogging near her home (another nice area) and was attacked. He approached her from behind and asked for directions. He then attacked her> She was luckily able to get free and run away.
The ages of the attacked victims: 16, 36 and 45. The age of the man who attacked the first two women: 23. The approximate age of the man who attacked the young girl? About 18.
WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO?!
I haven’t run outside since hearing about these attacks and am honestly pretty scared. How do I run more safely? How do I attempt to not be the next victim?