Women- do you run alone?

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  • RunsWithBees
    RunsWithBees Posts: 1,508 Member
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    Realistically, the most dangerous part of running/hiking (alone or not) is the time you spend in a car driving out to the trail (or driving anywhere) yet few people freak-out about getting into a vehicle where they are most likely to get injured or killed. Usually we just accept that the benefits of driving outweigh the risks and so I use that same reasoning when going outside to exercise. As long as the benefits outweigh the risks for me personally, I'll go run whenever the hell I want! :#
  • kenyonhaff
    kenyonhaff Posts: 1,377 Member
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    If I run or walk, it's generally alone. I figure I'm statistically more likely to die from being overweight from lack of exercise than a physical attack.

    Well, and I've had some martial arts training, too.
  • leanjogreen18
    leanjogreen18 Posts: 2,492 Member
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    My daughter runs alone and she carries pepper spray. Perhaps take a defensive class?
  • CindyFooWho
    CindyFooWho Posts: 179 Member
    edited November 2016
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    Briantime wrote: »
    My wife runs with her friends: Smith and Wesson.

    I have seriously considered this. I desperately don't want to give up my woods runs. I'm willing to run in the woods in the daylight, with my dog, with no headphones. But it's quiet and lonely out there. While that's a good thing (hello no traffic!), it's also a good opportunity for the wrong person. Or a bear.

    I know nothing about guns at the moment. I could learn but, then again, I might just stick with my pepper spray.
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,488 Member
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    I live in a semi rural area ..I do not do night runs but I do very early when its still dark in the mornings.

    I never leave without my phone and fully charged, I do run with pepper spray when running outside of our little quaint neighborhood on longer runs. I never really gave much thought to anyone wanting to kidnap me or kill me for that matter.

    I always thought I could out run someone chasing me... I don;t like to think that running is going to be harmful in this manner, let alone be scared to continue doing something I love doing..
  • mccraee
    mccraee Posts: 199 Member
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    I have run alone for years. Often in the dark in the mornings. I make sure that my husband knows generally where I'm going - and I have had a dog for most of those years. She's not really protective but no knows that unless they know our family.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,443 Member
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    Briantime wrote: »
    My wife runs with her friends: Smith and Wesson.

    I must honestly say: If I lived in a place where people could just wear weapons then I'd probably not go out and run. I really don't want to be nearby if someone gets a scare for nothing and pulls that gun.
  • Bluepegasus
    Bluepegasus Posts: 333 Member
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    I have always run alone in the dark, though now my daughter runs with me. I don't tend to worry too much as anything could happen to you at any time, I won't let it stop me. However I take precautions, when I ran alone I planned my route so my husband knew where I was. I had my phone close to hand so I could ring the emergency services should I have needed to. Here in the U.K. it is illegal to carry anything to use in self defence, so couldn't do that. There was a time when a gang came after me, but I was able to outrun them, and a car came along and the driver saw what was happening and drove alongside me until I was safe. It's just one of those things, I would let anyone stop me doing something I want to do.
  • dwatkins23
    dwatkins23 Posts: 21 Member
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    I walk/run alone at a local park that has a wooded trail - usually during the day but there aren't many other people around... I might see 3 or 4 others. I keep my .380 under my fitbelt at all times. Maybe not so much for would-be attackers, but there have been reports of bear sightings & such. Gives me peace of mind.
  • thelovelyLIZ
    thelovelyLIZ Posts: 1,227 Member
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    I live in LA and I run alone, mostly on bike paths through my neighborhood. I have never once felt unsafe, though I have gotten my fair share of cat calls. Be alert and vigilant and that's the best you can do.
  • robininfl
    robininfl Posts: 1,137 Member
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    yesimpson wrote: »
    I run alone, in the dark. I tell someone where I'm going and how long I expect to be out for, remove my earphones when it feels wise to, stay in better-lit/better-surfaced areas, make sure I'm wearing something bright or reflective, and take my phone with me.

    This is me, too. I run before the sun, in the 'hood, and haven't had issues. We do have streetlights and I see other runners out, even at 5am. Occasionally I'll take the dog, and used to take the kids when we were training for 5k, but mostly it's just me.

    You can't make the world safer by being more afraid. More people out and about = safer outside. More of us hiding inside = less safe outside. I have not ever been afraid. Did get stopped by the police once when I was wearing a hoodie, LOL.

    There HAS been street crime everywhere I have lived but the most likely outcome of an early morning run, by overwhelming odds, is getting home safe. Much more likely to die from heart disease from not exercising, or be hit in the car on the way to work.
  • fattothinmum
    fattothinmum Posts: 218 Member
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    I run alone. In daylight, I go where I'd go alone on a walk. Always loads of other people going about. In the dark, I loop our village, avoiding wooded areas and sticking to streets and early evening when other joggers and walkers are out too. If it's later, I take along a teen on his bike. He's over 6' and a good deterrant. Most trouble I ever have, are dogs off leads and teens cat calling.
  • ShammersPink
    ShammersPink Posts: 215 Member
    edited November 2016
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    I run alone, walk alone, and cycle alone.

    I did when I lived in London, both in central London and in down-at-heel suburbs. I did when I lived in smaller towns and cities in the UK and Germany. I do now that I live in a small rural village where most of my walking and running is on offroad trails. I have cycled alone in the US (Cape Cod), and from Southern England to Prague, camping on the way.

    I cycle or walk on lit roads at any time. I don't use my local offroad trails after it is properly dark, mostly because of the trip hazard. At this time of year, I'm often still out at dusk. I have light-coloured or reflective clothing and a headtorch for visibility if I'm on foot - the last part of my return journey is on a country lane. On a bike, obviously I have proper lighting.

    I've rarely encountered a problem. I have been knocked off my bike by a car, but that has nothing to do with being a lone female.
  • BeeerRunner
    BeeerRunner Posts: 728 Member
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    I run alone all the time. It's what I prefer. I can go my own pace and get lost in my thoughts, sing, solve world problems, think about what kind of donuts I'll eat after my next big race, etc...

    I don't typically listen to music when trail running. I miss seeing all the animals if I can't hear them. However, I do when on paved trails or running through my local neighborhoods. I do not have my music up super loud though, so I can hear my surroundings. I wish more walkers did this and that they would understand when I'm shouting "On your left," it doesn't mean to move to the left. But that's another thread... lol! I also run with a handheld pepper spray that straps to my hand.

    Before I had the pepper spray, I did have one incident running on some trails that are in a not so nice area of town. It was early, and I only saw 1 couple on the trails so there was no one around. I figured bad people would sleep in. Anyway, I was working on hills and had come up near where the bathrooms were. There was 1 young male homeless looking guy and I ran past him. About 20 feet away, there was another, and I saw that guy nod to the other as I ran by. It gave me a really bad feeling and there was no one else around. So, I ran back down as fast as I could on terrain that was very rocky and steep. I even had to run through mud in my brand new trail shoes because I was not stopping for anything. After I got through a wooded area, I saw the 2nd homeless guy walking around at the bottom. His back was to me so he didn't see me. I stopped, which I hate to do, and hid to make sure he got out of sight. That gave me an even worse feeling because it doesn't seem normal for homeless people to go hiking around some pretty technical trails. Anyway, I was able to make it back up and got to my car, and all the mountain bikers finally started showing up. Haven't been back, but I would if I was with a group.

    It scared the crap out of me so that's when I bought some pepper spray.

    I've also run outdoors in Afghanistan, but it was on a track on a military base. Heard outgoing bombs being dropped while running was a very unique experience!! People always think I'm crazy that I went to Afghanistan, and they think I'm crazier for running there.

    Anyway, with all the females that run alone all over the US and the world, driving is probably riskier to us all.
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,681 Member
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    I live outside a small town, so my runs are either through the country to town, in town through neighborhoods both rich and poor, or just in the country. I've never had any problems with anybody. I do worry about getting hit by a car, thanks to lots of blind corners and hills, but I do listen for oncoming cars. I used to backpack solo and never had any problems then either.

    After getting bitten, I started carrying pepper spray, but I only take it out of my fanny pack when I'm facing loose dogs. I do let my husband know approximately where I'm running and when to expect me back. If I'm late, I'll call to let him know why. I carry a phone on any run longer than 30 minutes or so.

    Many years ago, I got cornered by two men in a 7-11 parking lot. I realized then how easily I could be kidnapped or killed, just buying a soda. A short time before, a woman was shot while riding her bike and another disappeared while walking in her neighborhood. Fortunately, all the men wanted was my spare change, but it made me aware that no place is safe. So I just stopped worrying about it.
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,988 Member
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    yesimpson wrote: »
    At the end of the day, women and girls are more at risk of harm from their male partners, friends and family members than they are from a random on the street. I am stubborn (and possibly quite naive), but I won't give up things I enjoy in response to a threat.

    And even the risk from strangers is no greater (and probably less) when I'm out running. I live in the suburbs of a major metropolitan area, and I can only remember three cases of attacks on women who were out running--it happened about 15 years ago, and all three were tied to the same suspect. That's a drop in the bucket compared to the number of media-reported attacks that have occurred on women at parties, leaving restaurants or bars in the evening, or even walking in parking lots or to public transit in broad daylight. I hear of many more assaults by strangers on women in their own homes (break-ins or forced entries) than stranger assaults on women out running on their own. I don't curl up in fear when I'm home alone, or leave the house because I can't be there alone.

    There have been some recent attacks (robberies or just random beatings) on cyclists on a commuter trail along a train track that has limited access--that is, once you enter the trail, you can't leave it until you come to another break in the fence, so it's easy for several people to lie in wait around a curve for a lone cyclist to come. My impression is that it's been predominantly men who have been victimized in this way, maybe because they're more likely to be out on the trail at times when there aren't a lot of other cyclists around--maybe women have been scared away.

    I've run alone in light and dark, usually on residential roads, for years. I try to wear light-colored clothes at night, and I don't listen to music anymore (in college I would when running on the track around the football field--but that was a long time ago -- I was listening to a Walkman!). I can't think of a single time when I felt threatened, other than by dogs. Compare that to several times walking to and from the school bus as a child when adult males exposed themselves or tried me to get into their vehicles, an attempted mugging walking from work to the subway, being assaulted in the community swimming pool by a friend's older brother, and a home break-in. I haven't heard "Good Morning America" warning against walking to school or public transit alone, going swimming surrounded by scores of other people, or returning to one's home after an evening out.
  • zilkah
    zilkah Posts: 207 Member
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    I run with my German shepherds, usually at night
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
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    I run alone (in Chicago), and am not nervous about it -- I do think the risks are exaggerated by the media and it's more safe than many other things I do without thinking of as a risk, like driving or riding my bike in the bike lane where cars and people opening doors can always be unpredictable.

    I wouldn't run a truly rural or isolated trail alone -- I have done suburban trails on my own. I also only do dark either in the early morning (when it's pretty busy already around my neighborhood with people going to work, bringing kids to school) or on the way home from work/in my neighborhood on the most safe and well-lit and busy streets. When visiting my parents over Thanksgiving in a suburb in WA I don't know so well, and much less busy or well-lit I certainly did not run in the dark, though, so it depends (I ran alone, though, in a neighborhood I was comfortable with). So long as there's nothing making me extra nervous I do wear headphones, although usually listen to podcasts and not so loud I can't also be aware of what's around me.
  • crackpotbaby
    crackpotbaby Posts: 1,297 Member
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    If I run alone I don't listen to music and ensure I'm aware of my surroundings. No fear, but common sense in regard to personal safety.

    I would expect my partner and sons to exercise the same awareness when alone.