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I always try and run off road, it's one of the main things I like about running. Getting away from kids and traffic for an hour and running through the woods, trails or down the canal for an hour. Fresh air, peace and quiet. Also, I'm a bit self conscious about being overweight and running so slowly so prefer not to run on road where I'm subject to looks and beeps and abuse and people I know driving by! I also like running on my own, at my own pace, with my own thoughts.
However, I have so many people telling me not to run alone, telling me horror stories of how 'a woman got raped last year on these trails' and 'a strange man grabbed someone i know once'. I run in a club and hardly any of the women there run off road cos they're all too scared to run alone.
I feel like I do my best to reduce risk, I never run in the dark, I always tell someone my route and what time I'm coming back. I run with only 1 headphone on and if I see a lone man/group of men in front of me I turn my music off.
To be fair, most of the places I run have quite a lot of dog walkers/cyclists/horseriders but there are times when I don't see anyone for the whole hour.
So..my question is this?
Do I stop running alone to avoid the 'slight' risk of something happening OR do I carry on, it's my countryside too and aren't we letting the sickos win if all women are afraid to go out on there own?
Do other women feel like me?
Having said this...does any know if you can still get 'rape alarms'? I used to have one as a student but never seen them since.