The three recent killings have put many women on edge and some no longer feel comfortable running alone. We asked the Tribe on Facebook if they’re changing their routes, time of day, or what they carry in terms of protection. There are handful of tracking and emergency devices mentioned below, as well as a new function from Strava. Based on user feedback, the company has released Beacon, which allows users share their real-time location during an activity with up to three safety contacts. See what your fellow mother runners are saying about running safety and add your own thoughts down below in our comments section.

After a series of attacks on female runners around Austin I started carrying pepper spray. I also run without headphones and try to stay aware of surroundings.

I run with a husky and a taser.

Honestly, I have started just going to the gym and using the treadmill. Which sucks. But it gets the job done. It is frustrating it is that, as a female, I have to constantly be looking over my shoulder and suspicious of just about any male I encounter, and my husband, as a male, can basically run anywhere he pleases (within reason), and enjoy that incredible freedom.

I always run in non secluded, populated areas. I also carry the Tiger Lady self defense claw.

I run during the day along common roadways, Road ID and use the RoadID app (such a great idea).

I’m running tonight, but with my husband and headlamps.


April’s running partner

I hate that this is something we have to worry about! I run with a dog (Great Dane mix and she’s huge and protective!) for the extra security. I don’t have anyone to run with here, so a dog is my best option. But I also often stick to major roads (especially in the dark), and am always aware of my surroundings.

I always run with pepper spray. It rests in the palm of my hand so I don’t feel like I am carrying anything. And my husband tracks me on his phone. I also usually just run roads if it is early in the morning when others won’t be on the trails.

I carry mace, my music is on but very low so I can hear cars and other runners etc. I have altered my route after being followed twice. The first scared me a lot and prompted hubby to get me the mace. I almost stopped running in my neighborhood. The second time I changed route while running and stared him down from a parking lot as he sat waiting for me to move. Maybe not the smartest move but someone told me not to show fear. And I kept running instead of going home to not show my house and he got bored and took off. Totally unnerving.


The Lady Tiger

After seeing the RW post last night and reading the comments I found the Tiger Lady from another poster.

I’ve stopped using my headphones on my run. I run early in the morning and it has made me aware that I may not be able to hear someone coming from behind. And this morning I brought the dog.

It’s not affecting my running, because it is THE REASON I won’t run alone. Ever. And my spouse and I have very different schedules, so I never run. I play soccer once a week, and I would love to consistently run, but this is why I don’t

Vanessa was killed in the town next to me–both are small farm town in the Wachusett District. It will absolutely change my routine—there’s monster on the loose in my neighborhood.

Most runs are with a friend already, but I will likely be carrying pepper spray in the future (and a knife in my SparkleSkirt pocket if my husband has his way).

Just talked about this last night at Track Club. We run the park trails in a very large group (a herd, really) in the summer. I tried by myself once. Had such a good run that I got turned around in a canyon and didn’t know where I was for a few minutes. Happened upon a guy on the same trail. No threat whatsoever, but it jarred me back to reality. I was in the middle of nowhere, didn’t know where I was and no one else around to hear anything. Am considering getting some pepper spray to carry, but will stick to group runs on trails.


Julia’s safety set-up

Reflective vest, Knuckle Lights, mace strapped to my hand, Road ID. NO headphones! Not only do I want to stay completely aware of what is going on around me, but wearing even just 1 earbud can make you look distracted (easy target). I try to meet someone to run with. If I have to run alone, stick to well-lit, well-populated roads (not trails). I have my cell phone with me, too.

I’ve had two close calls, in broad daylight. Some guy rode up next to me on his bike at a red light at the entrance to the park. He began saying very vile things to me. As I ran away from him, he followed me on his bike, cursing at me. I called the cops, and when he saw them, he rode away. The cops said they couldn’t do anything because he didn’t threaten me. Today, a white van pulled up next to me at the entrance of the park where I run. I got a bad feeling, so I ran like hell until I got in the park where more people were. I sat down on a park bench, because I was scared. As I was sitting, I saw the same exact van drive by again, but luckily the bench I was sitting on was hidden by a tree, so he couldn’t see me. Both incidences took place in broad daylight, in the park I run in all the time. I carry pepper spray. But I am seriously thinking about getting a gun. It’s a shame that we as women cannot even go out and run without being in fear.

These stories are so sad. We just had an attempted rape on a trail that I LOVE near my house (2nd this summer). I would be lying if I said it didn’t change the way I run. I do a lot more runs on the treadmill or run with friends. But I long for the peace that comes from my solo runs. I hate the assh*le(s) who have taken that away from me.

I usually have pepper spray and my lab/pit bull mix with me. He is a big sweetheart but has to wear a Gentle Leader to control the pulling. People often think it’s a muzzle and assume he’s mean.

Situational awareness is key…when I run, I run with both of my big dogs and my firearm (I have my Concealed Pistol License, and mean business when I run, and even more so if someone is going to hurt me or steal my dignity). And I don’t run with my earbuds anymore…I am “on” the entire time.


Don’t mess with Ali’s friend

This [above] is my precaution. I run with my German Shepherd Dog. About ten years ago, a man ran up behind me when I was running at night. My dog made him regret it.

In all probability, none of the things everyone is mentioning would have made a difference. Road IDs are important (I wear mine 24/7), but they’re just for identifying the body. Mace, piercing alarms, no music… none of it will help if we’re grabbed suddenly from behind. Our best bet is not to be chosen as a victim in the first place and that means my beloved solo, rural long runs are now accompanied by my husband.

While I’m all about taking sensible precautions, I can’t control my surroundings, and I won’t let THEM control ME.
I won’t allow fear of something that COULD happen, stop me from living and loving a healthy lifestyle.
I’m a busy mom.
I run when it’s dark, and early, before anyone needs me.
Most often, alone.
It doesn’t make me foolish. It doesn’t mean I’m asking for an assault or abduction, or worse.
I stay visible, I stay alert, keep my ears and eyes keen to my surroundings, I don’t share my running routes, I switch up my routine, and keep my phone handy to call for help should I need it.
Sensible precautions, just like wearing a seatbelt in a car, but not eliminating riding in one because of the potential for danger.
I mean, how many great things would we miss out on, living our lives in fear?

Tell us: Has your routine changed?