Always Be Aware on the Trail

The following was reported by a Gazelle running on the Trail May 11, 2018, mid-morning:

"On my way back [headed west, south side trail] just before getting to I-35, a guy walked up to me and I thought he was going to ask me a question but he just started running with me. I thought maybe it was a coincidence and maybe he just happened to turn around when I saw him.

But he continued running next to me, slowing down when I slowed down and speeding up when I did too. He wouldn’t let me pass him. I slowed way down and so did he. So I sprinted, suspecting he would be able to stay with me for a bit but not long. Then I heard him speak to his phone, in perfect English, “Siri, play All Summer Long”, and he sprinted with me then reached over and started to rub my stomach! I yelled STOP IT, and he turned around and ran the other way.

There was a cop at Auditorium Shores so I told him about it. The guy was white, about 5’6’’ maybe in his 30s and 155lbs. He was wearing a black cotton T with Batman emblem on the front and black cotton shorts. He seemed mentally disturbed.

At least I had a fast mile split :)"

The Gazelle blog team asked Dan Lewis, a former Gazelle who teaches self defense and provided a self defense session for Gazelles last year, for some input on this situation on what was done correctly and what else we should know.  

"Slowing down and speeding up was a good thing to test the waters. Sprinting was good too, as well as informing the officer. It’s also good that she kept moving.

Speak to the person. This can help determine their intentions and mental state. If you're uncomfortable, then ask or tell the person to leave you alone.

I’m glad to hear her forceful command did the trick. If it hadn’t, doing something to get attention like yelling FIRE!, FIRE!, then yelling for help would’ve been a good thing to do."  

Other things to consider, in different situations:

  • Run toward other people and public places

  • Call 911 if you run with a cell phone

  • When possible, run with others