The following is an account of an incident shown on CrimeWatch during July 2011.
A young lady set out on her usual daytime training run wearing her I-Pod for company, listening to the music to help the miles pass by. After a while she sensed someone running alongside her, looking across she noticed a male person (not dressed in running clothing) indicating to her to remove her i-pod. Thinking he wanted directions she slowed down and removed her ear plugs to carry out a conversation, but for some reason the person then dropped behind her quite quickly and, after looking behind several times, she was convinced he had either turned off or stopped running altogether.
The young lady replaced her ear plugs, picked up her pace and continued her run. After a short period she entered an area less populated and continued into a public park. Suddenly she was attacked from behind, a hand was placed over her mouth and the attacker tried to overpower her and force her to the ground. Fortunately, she had the presence of mind to bite the hand covering her face so the attacker let go and then seeing a cyclist approaching ran off.
Although extremely traumatised the lady runner was able to give the police a good description of her attacker, who unfortunately up-to the time the programme was aired had not been apprehended.
It is pleasing to note that the victim is out running again, but now with a training partner and not her i-pod which has been left at home.
Not being able to hear someone approaching you from behind must be extremely worrying, and equally worrying is not being able to hear traffic noise either, which could be another problem if venturing off the pavement or running in rural areas.
We all run, or jog, for the pleasure and wellbeing this sport gives us but would it not be sensible to take this young lady’s advice, find a training partner and leave your music player indoors, to listen to when you are safely at home and relaxed? Think before you run alone. Tell someone your planned running route. Be seen. Be safe. Please leave the music at home.