Runners be aware!!

I went out just a little earlier this morning and went the opposite direction to my normal route to mix it up a little.

I chose to go nearer to the beach behind the sea wall as the tide was out and it was beautiful but completely deserted. I was running along with Laura in my ear and wasn't aware that a rather dishevelled man was right behind me on a bike, he passed me and then got off it and sat on a rock and seemed to be waiting. He was looking at me as I was running towards him and I just had a bad feeling...

I looked for the nearest exit away from the beach and pretended to see someone in the distance and waved and put up my thumb as though to say nearly with you. He looked in the direction of my wave and luckily I wasn't far from some steps up to the promenade so I ran up them with my heart beating and feeling that I needed to get home. He didn't follow me,I think it would have been difficult with a bike as the steps were steep and small.

I may have been wrong to have a bad feeling and had no reason to feel scared but it made me think a bit more about my personal safety. I shall certainly be more aware of my surroundings as I'm running and be careful in choosing my routes.

Just thought I'd share that...

18 Replies

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  • Unsettling experience. Really glad you are OK, and it does show you need to be really aware of your surroundings and not totally wrapped up in podcasts or music when running. Seems you had a couple of clever ideas to keep yourself safe there.

  • Thanks Duncan!

  • Oh dear that does sound very dodgy, you were right to get out of there pronto!

    I worry about my personal safety when I'm out early morning but so far the only other people I've met are other female runners and bin men. I think you have to keep your witts about you, I usually only have one headphone in and my music low so I can hear what's going on around me and make sure I stick to main streets. I read somewhere you should mix up your route in case someone notices you run at the same time/day every week. Not that I want to frighten you just stay safe :)

  • Yes I'll be doing that from now on! Thanks Rose!

  • How awful for you. Glad you are safe, you should always follow your intuition and you were right to do so. Going to make sure I am aware from now on, always caught in the moment and not always watching around me. Thank You xxx

  • Yes it's important isn't it? Stay safe xxx

  • That isn't a nice experience and I always think you're right to trust your instincts. Hope you are ok as it must have been rather unsettling for you. Well done for keeping your wits about you. He may have been completely innocent but you just can't take that chance.

    I run around my local area around the country paths and recently have had to divert my route due to a big gang of lads just 'hanging around' and the other day my dog started barking and ran into the bushes which freaked me out a bit.

    Hey ho!

    By the way, without wanting to look like a stalker, I was checking the map on this website on who was around my local area and I think you live near ish to me :-)

  • I'm ok thanks! It's not going to put me off, I've got the bug now!

    Just had a look and yes you are just up the coast from me!

  • Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Glad you're feeling ok now because episodes like this can really un nerve you.

    The idea to run along a deserted beach sounds awesome and I'm really sad that you had this experience instead of enjoying what should have been an amazing run :(

    But you did the right thing to get out of there pretty sharpish and I thought you were really clever about it. I think I may have panicked and not been so quick witted.

    Here are some ideas for us all to keep safe, and if anyone thinks of other things then please let us know!

    It is a good idea to always carry a mobile phone.

    If possible tell your partner or someone where you will be running, and what time you hope to be back.

    Run different routes/times so that there is no regularity for anyone to notice.

    Having a running partner is a good idea, or running with a club?

    I love running by myself but do get scared sometimes when I run through deserted woods. I often take my dog with me for company.

  • Great survival instincts there Gridlet! It's funny though isn't it that you feel bad for feeling suspicious of them because of their appearance, but that's what gut instincts are for. I'm glad you're ok. I'm also glad you've written this as I was a bit silly last night running around the park as it was getting dark & completely absorbed in my music. It wasn't too dark to me, as my eyes were adjusting to the light as the sun was setting but my hubby unsurprisingly went mad when I got home. It's not worth taking the chance is it, so I won't be doing it again.

  • Eeek, that is not nice. Even if there was no problem it is still unsettling. I try to run in a residential area all the time as I think that in the worst case scenario I would be able to knock on someone's door/scream - and I'm so pleased that the evenings are now longer for more daylight!

  • Very unsettling, but didn't you handle it well! Full marks for quick thinking! I sort of rely on my two dogs to keep me safe. My runs usually take me along deserted country lanes lined with hedges and the occasional gate, so I'm hoping the dogs will alert me to the presence of others before I get too close. Now that I'm on week 8, the longer runs make it easier to vary my route which hopefully will confuse anyone watching.

    One tip for anyone running with a dog: stick a plastic basket muzzle on it, the kind that still lets your dog pant (absolutely not the fabric type that clamps its jaws shut). However good-natured your dog is, the sight of a muzzle will often make people assume it is not and may make someone looking to cause trouble consider an easier target. One of my dogs wears a muzzle to stop him eating unmentionable stuff when we go for walks and runs, and everyone we meet assumes that he's nasty. He's actually as sweet and well-socialised as they come, but under the circumstances I don't mind strangers thinking otherwise.

  • Absolutely, you were quite right to trust your instincts. Sometimes you just know when something is not right.

    Quick thinking too!!

    I was out in the fields yesterday evening, not a soul around and also wondered if it was wise. I did wonder about carrying a personal alarm (bought my god-daughter one when she went to uni) just to keep handy in a pocket or attached to a key. Even though no-one might be close enough to hear it could act as a deterrent. They only cost a few pounds.

  • That does sound pretty scary, well done for thinking quickly and thanks for the very timely reminder. I definitely know that music makes me feel invulnerable (who could harm me? I'm RUNNING, therefore I'm AMAZING and so probably a SUPERHERO, right?) but of course this can be deceptive. Keep safe! That's even more important than running :) xxx

  • haha, thought i was the only one who felt like a superhero when I'm runnng!

  • Thankyou everybody! There are some really good tips here for staying safe. I'm going to adopt a few of them but I'm not going to let this spoil my pleasure of running!

  • Good for you. x

  • Glad you are OK, and full marks for quick thinking. But you really should also mention this to the police and/or community support officer team. Even though nothing happened you felt that it might so it should be taken seriously. A bit of police 'visibility' might be all that is needed to frighten him off and prevent the same or worse from happening again. I'm slightly surprised no-one else has mentioned this.

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