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The results of my running safety survey

By May 9, 2024No Comments

A few weeks ago, I sent out a survey about running safety.

I was curious if you had ever felt unsafe or had been harassed while out running.

It’s worth noting that I have a women’s running group (Run with Turia). So the issue of running – and not feeling safe – is really important to me.

If I reflect on my lifetime, I can think of numerous times when I felt unsafe running. There was that time when I was 14 running along the beach near my house and a guy started chasing me. I sped up, ran off, and avoided running there for the next few months.

There was that time at the gym when I was on a treadmill, and that guy followed me outside and asked for a lift home, and when I said no screamed “YOU B*TCH”.

There was that time when I returned to running after being burned to 65% of my body, and that car honked, and the guy said “F*CKING HURRY UP”.

There was that time when I was training for Ironman and I thought a car was following me so I hid in some bushes, waited for the car to drive off, and quickly ran home.

There was that time when I was training for a mountain run, and there was this guy who stood in the middle of the path and looked at me. And so I quickly turned around, and I did not finish my run that day.

I feel “lucky” in that none of these events resulted in me being raped, injured, or killed.

Aren’t we all so “lucky”?

If I tell people (friends, family) about the harassment I have received, I know they would say in a loving tone that I need to be more careful. Y’know, avoid dark areas. Avoid running in the late evening. Share your location. Don’t run with music. Could you run with someone? Could you just do a group class at the gym instead?

I am not the problem.

I should be able to go for a run without needing to be “careful”.

And you should be able to as well.

So, I released this survey – and close to 2,000 people answered it.
And over the past few weeks, I collated the responses.

I’ve turned the results into a report, which you can read here.

A warning:
Some of the responses we got were confronting.
So if you’re at your capacity hearing about gendered violence, please don’t feel like you have to read this report.

And if reading the report does bring up any feelings for you, please reach out to someone. 1800RESPECT is an amazing service, and you can contact them by calling 1800RESPECT or texting 0458 737 732.

Aroha nui (big love),
Turia xx