The Saltiest Safety Tips for Springtime Running

Originally posted by Caraway in March 2017

safety tips for female runnersIt’s that time of year again! After a long winter of slogging out miles on the treadmill, the ladies are again venturing outdoors. It won’t be long until we’re flooded with articles reminding us of the many ways these ladies are asking to be attacked by creeps every time they leave the house. You know the ones telling women they should never run without varying their routes, or bringing mace, a phone, that plastic claw-thing that turns them into Cat Woman, their barbed … uh … inserts, and their Rottweilers?

But the research suggests there are more sure-fire ways for women to run safely and here they are.

Always take your phone with you when you go out. This way, you can always call a friend or family member if you are thinking about attacking a female runner.

There’s safety in numbers, so if you think you might not be able to leave the house without attacking a woman runner, don’t go out alone. Take your friend or family member with you to keep you from attacking anyone.

Use common sense: Always vary your routes so you don’t get to know the daily running habits of women runners.

Don’t listen to headphones. Use the speaker on your phone for your favorite podcasts or music, so women runners can hear you coming.

Use social media wisely. If you think you might attack a woman runner, post about it on all your social media accounts. Make sure all your accounts are public.

Never leave the house without mace. If you find you are about to rape someone, take out your can of mace and spray it in your eyes until the urge passes.

Take a self-defense class to learn how to defend others against yourself. The most vulnerable spots to attack yourself are your eyes and nose. Practice punching yourself in the face until it becomes an automatic response to any attempt to molest a woman runner.

self defense for female runnersBe visible. Always wear bright colors and make sure you can be seen. Daylight and street lamps are your friends – nobody can miss you then. Wear a neon-colored sweatshirt with the word RAPIST on it in bright pink letters, front and the back, for maximum visibility.

Body language: Fake it ’til you make it. Still unsure how to not rape, molest, or harass a woman runner? Just act like someone who doesn’t molest women runners. If you encounter a woman running by herself, ask yourself, “What would a person who does not molest women runners do in this situation?” Is the answer, “That person would not molest this woman runner”? Of course it is. Voila! Problem solved!

If you’re in the park, and it’s dark, and a woman runs by, keep your hands to yourself.

If you’re in the park and it’s daylight and a woman runs by, remember not to yell things at her.

If you see a woman running by herself, leave her alone. Do not rape her.

What’s your top tip for safe running?

A big thank you to, whose 2011 post “Rape prevention tips” inspired this list!

Sal is a 4 year old 77 hour trail marathoner looking to whittle a few minutes off next time. Being a gastropod, Sal is neither male nor female but will accept either set of pronouns. Sal's spirit animal is the cheetah and Sal's mantra is, "What's slow to some is fast for others." Sal writes about Salty Running news.

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  1. As a male who has been running for 30 years (started for weight loss after college), and only started running races ~6 or so years ago and engaging other runners online even more recently … I was amazed at how clueless I was about what women have to endure as runners. I mean, jeez, all people want to do is go for a run – why should it be such a problem, right?

    Of course, now that I am more active in my local community and will ask more direct questions both online and offline, it is simply appalling what happens and what people have to endure. I can (and do) literally just ‘go out and run’ – in a city, in the country, wherever I travel for work, whatever … I really just worry about being visible for cars and wildlife. It is an entirely different mindset.

    But as a result, when a female colleague is traveling to a work location or conference I have been to and asking about running routes, I am *very* mindful of the things you mention above and on other safety tip lists.

  2. This is great–the onus should not be on us to change when, where or with(out) whom we run, but on other people to keep their hands to themselves. It’s not that difficult! And, I always appreciate a good satire that makes a point ๐Ÿ™‚