What Do We Do?

Short answer: I don’t know.

As a New Yorker and a not-slow runner, I generally think it’s unlikely I’ll be attacked while running in my city. There are people everywhere. All the time. Central Park has its own dedicated police precinct. The paths are generally well-lit. Blah, blah, blah. Safe, right?

New York City has done a lot to make parks safer since Trisha Meili, the “Central Park Jogger,” was brutally attacked in Central Park in 1989.

I thought I was safe.

Sigh.

Wrong.

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I don’t know what to say. These tragedies both happened in the daylight. I don’t know if they were wearing headphones. I know they were running alone. I don’t know what they were wearing (running clothes, I’m guessing).

But no matter what they were or weren’t wearing, whether or not they had headphones on, whether or not it was broad daylight or the middle of the night, I know this: they didn’t ask for it. They didn’t deserve it.

Nothing, NOTHING justifies the horrific, violent deaths of these two young women.

But what do we do? What, as women, do we do to prevent this from happening to us? To our friends?

I don’t know.

I HATE the pretense that I must run with someone else in order to be able to run safely. Or with a weapon. Or only when I can be assured I won’t be the only one on the road. Or take a self-defense course so I don’t feel threatened by the footsteps behind me.

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Chicago Lakefront Trail last weekend. Hoards of runners in some sections, completely solo in others.

I like being the only one on the road. I like running with as little gear as possible. I like running by myself. But what can I do?

I don’t know. I just don’t know. Be safe friends. However you can do it, run safe.

Now go out and run.

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