It is such a shame that women have to be fearful of running outside alone. It makes me so angry that there are such horrible people out there preying on others. I try not to be afraid of doing something I love, but how can I not be after hearing horrible stories like this one. The one thing that helps a teeny-tiny bit is that maybe there is something we women runners can learn from what happened to Chelsea King. I am very curious how the predator who did this to her operated so we can avoid something similar happening to us.
In the meantime, we can try to practice the usual safety precautions when we're out there alone:
- switching up our routes
- switching up the times we run
- running when others we know are also running at the same park
- running during times when the park is heavily populated
- not wearing headphones and otherwise staying alert
- trusting our instincts
- running on trails where we know how to quickly get out into the open if we need to
- notifying others where we'll be and how long we expect to be gone
- carrying a charged cell phone
- carrying a whistle or pepper spray
But if someone is a real predator and really wants to take out a female runner, is there anything we can do to protect ourselves short of not running alone outside at all?