2 min read

January 1st, 2013, seemed like the perfect day for a run at a popular and well-maintained park near my home. The park has paved trails lined with beautiful trees and greenery, and is full of deer willing to come near the trail. I returned home feeling energized and accomplished.

Later that day, I turned on the local news to discover that a brutal murder of a female runner had been committed just the day before in that very same park. I stood there frozen, watching the newscast as they reported that the murderer was still at large. The reality that I could’ve been his next victim was alarming, to say the least. Fortunately, he was soon arrested and eventually found guilty of this horrible crime.

running alone

While this experience was unsettling, I refuse to stop running and live in fear. We can’t stop every crime, but we can increase our awareness and reduce the chances of being a victim. Taking a self-defense course or running with pepper spray are excellent safety measures, but they are methods of getting away from an attacker. If you’re using pepper spray or physical violence, then you’re already a victim. I do run with pepper spray, but I hope I never have to use it because I make prevention a top priority.

This experience played a big part in the creation of RunPups. After my beloved miniature pincher passed away, I knew my next dog would also need to be a trusted companion and a similarly capable running partner.


Here are my recommendations on preventing crime and running safety:

1. Take your RunPup - Dogs are an excellent deterrent from criminals who are trying to attack without being noticed by their victim. Dogs may bark and draw attention or even bite when threatened. Running with your dog might be enough for a criminal to pick an easier target.

2. Get a running buddy - There are many ways to connect with other runners in your area. Join training groups from local running stores, attend organized races, or find running groups through places like MeetUp.com.

3. Trust your intuition - If something doesn’t feel right, listen to your gut and remove yourself from the area or situation. You have intuition for a reason—use it!

4. Be a hard target - It’s good to run in familiar areas, but avoid being too predictable. Running alone in the same place at the same time can aid criminals who are casing locations for potential victims.

5. Listen - Run without headphones, or use one earbud to allow adequate hearing from the other ear.

    You’ll never know how many attacks were avoided by using good crime prevention methods but this unknown statistic is far better than becoming a statistic. Running safety begins with prevention!


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