Do you feel safe when you run?

By Rachel Rowney on 14th Oct 2019

Running is a vital part of many people’s exercise routine, as well as a great tool for positive mental health. As fall approaches and the evenings start to draw in, those who enjoy jogging are often faced with a difficult decision: is it still safe to workout outside?

In particular, this is a concern for female joggers. In fact, a recent Runner’s World survey, 84 percent of women said: “they have experienced some kind of harassment while running that left them feeling unsafe.” This harassment included “physical actions like groping, or being followed or flashed, as well as subtler forms like catcalls, honks, and lewd comments.” An even further statistic found that 16 percent said that they have felt “threatened enough while running that they feared for their lives.”

The article also cites a study from the University of California, San Diego Center on Gender Equity and Health, which found that 68 percent of women reported being harassed in public spaces like streets, trails, and parks. It is common knowledge that women are often raised with an innate sense of danger in the world around them, that – luckily – men often don’t comprehend.

If you gather any women together, there will often be stories similar to those reported in the Runner’s World article. Luckily, many groups in Nashville facilitate group runs throughout the year. This means that women can feel safe and secure, and not miss a workout. East Nasty running group is one of the best known in the area, which meets on Wednesdays and welcomes all levels of runners. Green Hills Run Club occurs on Mondays (and often includes beer at the finish line), and Germantown Running Club takes place each Tuesday.

It is unfortunate that women still have to navigate situations like this, at times choosing between safety and their passions. As a result of its survey, Runner’s World has launched the Runners Alliance, an educational platform to offer practical advice and support to female runners throughout the world. As well as providing safety tips for female runners, it also advises men how they can be supportive, and foster a positive atmosphere for their fellow running enthusiasts.

Looking for a new route to run? Check out Fitt’s best routes in Nashville.

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