Running Without Fear

This morning I ran 6 miles around Reid Park here in Tucson. I was a day or so late in putting in my miles in honor of Sherry Arnold, but I figured the thought counted more than doing the miles on a certain day. For those who don’t know, Sherry was a math teacher in Sidney, Montana who went out running on Jan. 7 and never came home. What happened next is unclear, but the only publicly released details about her case are that a shoe of hers was found along her path, and two men have been arrested on kidnapping charges in connection with her disappearance.

What happened to Sherry makes me mad, and it ties in with the point I made in my previous post about how we live in a society where women have to face the constant burden to protect themselves. I know I’m jumping to some conclusions here, but it seems like a pretty safe guess that if Sherry had been a man running alone in a rural area, she wouldn’t have been targeted. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve seen enough creepers out on my runs to believe that’s a fact. I’ve never seen anyone, male or female, drive up slow beside a male runner and follow along staring at them, or shout out the window, or lean on the horn to get their attention (unless the guy ran out into traffic or something). But these things happen to me all the damn time. Why does society turn a blind eye to this intimidating behavior and expect women to just deal with it? Yet when someone crosses the line and physically attacks a runner, we are aghast and don’t understand how it could have happened.

Thousands of people across the country ran in honor of Sherry this weekend. I ran in her honor, but also because I believe women shouldn’t be afraid to run. If you agree, I hope you will “like” this post, then get up and run today if you haven’t already.

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