Stranger Danger

I have recently met an experienced Marathon runner through work. A new employee, part of the team I manage, I have now met this man three or four times. Although our conversations always begin about work, they always end about running.

It has been great to chat about all things running, although we are in very different leagues. More than once, this man has invited me to go running together.

At first, I was excited. Another runner! Someone to run with, get help from and share my interest with. At one point I even began a text message to organise such a meet up.

However, I never sent it. It suddenly hit me that in my enthusiasm, and his, I forgot something vital,  that this man is a virtual stranger to me. Yes, I have seen him at work and read his CV, but I don’t know if the things written there are actually true.

I was about to meet a strange man, run until I was tired, in a rural location. When you look at it like that, it seems a pretty daft thing to do.

Now, I am perfectly aware this guy may be totally genuine and I really hope he is. I have other reasons for being reluctant to run with him, such as being his boss, but when I get to know him better I hope we can go for a run. My point is, how easy it was to get swept up in my enthusiasm and ignore the obvious safety risk. As runners we often put ourselves in dangerous situations, out running alone over long distances, often in the dark, very early without letting others know where we are going.

What do you do to stay safe? Does it even occur to you? Do you think I am over reacting, being paranoid even?


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4 thoughts on “Stranger Danger

  1. The fact that he’s a keen runner means he’s already a bit mad 😉 But probably safe enough. Certainly ladies have it trickier than men. I was out late last night in the woods for a run, and it’s a beautiful spot but my wife won’t run there on her own. Damn shame to have this fear about jogging in your local park, but I get it. The only thing that will attack me if I’m out jogging is horseflies, cramps, or a sudden urge to jump in a river to cool down. If there was one word of advice I would offer anyone, it would be not to run with headphones in if you’re in any way unsure of your surroundings.

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  2. I certainly don’t think you’re overreacting or being paranoid. Where I live it’s much too hot to run any time between dawn and dusk but a lot of my female friends won’t run any other time (alone, at least) because they don’t feel safe. The chances of something actually happening to them are slim but it’s a legit worry. While I don’t have to deal with that, personally, it grieves me every single day that it’s a concern for my close friends. They shouldn’t have to worry about that – they shouldn’t have to worry about getting attacked in the dark or getting cat-called on the sidewalk, or in your case being alone in a rural area with someone you don’t know well – and it’s pathetic that women have to prepare themselves for it or take steps to avoid those situations when they’re just wanting to run for the same reasons I’m wanting to, you know?

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    1. thank you for your understanding, it is frustrating, although I don’t think male runners should take their safety for granted either. To be honest, I think my own impulsiveness is a part of my predicament, wanting to leap head first into running with someone else.

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