Safe Running for women

I am a sporadic runner and need to get quite motivated to run regularly. My hormones are the main deciding factor but there are many others.   When I do I feel great and remember all the positives that running gives me, one of which being the opportunity to go on beautiful routes and see the seasons change.

I live in rural Brittany and sometimes don't see a car or another person the whole run. This morning just as I was running at a comfortable pace with sun shining through the frost and thinking how much I love this form of exercise I realised I was being tailed by two old farmers in a van. They passed me slowly and were having a good look and then did a three point turn up the road and came back just as slowly and laciviously.  I got my phone out and pretended to talk though my husband hadn't answered and made out I was reading the number plate.  They passed on and I ran faster up the hill than ever before but I feel really pissed off now and will think twice before my next run or I will go for my run somewhere less secluded.  Safer but lots of negatives.

How do other women make sure they feel safe without compromising their running experience?


  • Do you know who they are?  If so, go to the local police and ask them to have a word.

    If you don't know them, and it happens again, take the registration number and report them.

  • As Wilkie says. This is not acceptable.

    If they were old, just remember, you can probably run further and faster than they can. I think you did the best thing though. 

    I don't think all men realise how unpleasant it is to be ogled by them, or chatted up (badly). There are some stupid idiots out there who think it's harmless fun and don't appreciate how intimidating it is.

    I've never worried too much about my safety, my biggest fear is falling and hurting myself such that I need help. 

  • Sometimes its safer to find off road paths to run on, as most people you meet are either runners, or dog walkers. Of course i have no idea if this would be the case in rural Brittany.
    If you are on the road as you found out it just lets people tail you in vehicles.
    Is there anyone you know that you could run with?

  • hog-ma-ousay wrote (see)


    I've never worried too much about my safety, my biggest fear is falling and hurting myself such that I need help. 

    Same for me!  I've tripped and fallen four times this year image - fortunately not done any damage beyond grazes and bruises though image


  • It is unacceptable and that is why I was so annoyed.  Running is not that popular here in rural Brittany and I expect the sight of me and my Jack Russell was a bit of a novelty.

    I will find some less remote routes when I am alone it seems the most realistic thing. I always take my phone and tell someone exactly where I am going.image

  • You kind of hope they were having what they thought was harmless fun. It makes a mockery of the efforts to create equality of the sexes when women do not feel they can go out on their own to shop, run, walk home etc.

    Whether or not it is safe is almost irrelevant if a person does not feel safe. The fear of crime being a major problem.

    The question is, are you safer in a public place where there are more potential knob-heads around or where it is quiet and there are less knob-heads around?

    I often hear people screaming in towns and cities and assume it is 'kids' playing. If I heard someone screaming on the moor I would definitely investigate.

    Having to find a running partner or running in busy places just adds complexity.

    I do not have a solution; but please try not to let these idiots stop you doing something you enjoy.

  • Some guys are just assholes no matter what the country but you have a Jack Russell , nobody in their right mind would approach you with him/her and anyone who can keep pace with a Jack Russell has nothing to worry about image

  • Martin you make a fine point image
  • I run with my jack russell too and hope he's scare people off, ankle biter that he is.  I've been ogled and shouted at too.  Once I was even pushed into a wall by a couple of drunken students which was really unpleasant!

    Don't let it put you off though, just make sure people know your route and keep your phone with you.

  • you say you felt vulnerable.

     apart from ogling you what about their behaviour made you feel scared.....did you think they would run over you .or that they would get out and run after you and attack you...

  • As a dog owner who always with runs with her dogs, I never feel nervous even miles from home in the forest. I agree that your Jack Russell would likely be a good protector. My two are considerably larger than yours but it's likely the little 'un is tougher!

  • /members/images/6763/gallery/268.JPG

     That's my Nemo practicing attack work!

  • /members/images/6763/gallery/AA007_0.jpg

     And this is his sidekick Charly.

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