Don’t Think It Can’t Happen To You

by Joanne on January 31, 2012

It’s a sad day when running turns to fear. Stories like this scare me and it should. All runners and walkers have no right thinking it can’t happen to them because it can and it will if proper care isn’t taken.

On January 7th, a young teacher by the name of Sherry went for a run. A mile from her home in Sidney, Montana, she was abducted. Two men were arrested and one confessed to killing Sherry. Her body has not yet been found. Sherry leaves behind a husband, Gary and two children, Holly and Jason as well as a community that will miss her terribly.

Beth of Shut Up And Run and a relative of Sherry, is hosting a Virtual Run in her honor. If you can save the date and participate, please print out a bib HERE and go for a run Saturday, on February 11th.

· Print out the bib and pin it to your shirt

· Assemble a running group: friends, club members, your families.

· If the date and time (9AM MST) isn’t good for you, run for Sherry when you can

· Run as far and as long as you want. Walk or hike, ride a bike if you don’t run.

· Share this on your blog, Facebook and Twitter

· Just run with Sherry on your minds and in your hearts.

For complete details, see Beth’s post.


Ten Tips from eHow on Running Safely Alone:

  1. Let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
  2. Carry a nametag or ID with you, or put a business card in the small key pocket of your shorts.
  3. Don’t wear expensive jewelry or watches.
  4. Carry a whistle and/or pepper spray. Keep them handy-not shoved in the tiny pocket of your shorts. If you carry pepper spray, test it periodically before leaving home.
  5. If it’s dark outside, wear light-colored or reflective clothing. Make sure you’re visible.
  6. Run against traffic so you can easily see and avoid cars and bicycles. Don’t assume they see you.
  7. Stay in well-lit, populated areas. Avoid heavily wooded trails, tunnels or any place where an attacker could easily hide. If your neighborhood streets are not a safe option and there isn’t a safe running trail nearby, find a high school track that welcomes community runners.
  8. Leave your headphones at home. Headphones limit your hearing from vehicles, animals, and strangers on the road.
  9. Make eye contact with everyone and either wave or say hello.
  10. If you are running in the dark, buy a small LED light that attaches to your waistband, shirt. You can also wear a small headlamp.

My tip for running alone: Run with a dog that has the stamina and athletic ability to accompany you, not hinder you, on a run.

Dogs scare off people who have no good intentions. Dogs will act as your eyes and ears by alerting you to oncoming animals, people, possible danger. A dog will ALWAYS want to go whenever and where ever you want to run. It’s great exercise for that pooch as well.


Shane is a good German Shepherd who will run 12 or more miles with me. He is friendly but not when we’re running. He’s my protector. There has been a few instances when someone has approached me for directions, to ask a question, or even just to say hello and my partner Shane gives warning not to get any closer. NOTE: There is a safe and proper way to train your dog to run so you don’t hurt yourself or the dog. Runners World: Endurance training your dog. New York Times Running with Your Dog.

A Facebook page has been set up for this event HERE.  Get the love and energy going for Sherry.  Run for a good cause on February 11th.  We shouldn’t have to be afraid when we are trying to embrace fitness.

Please spread the word on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.

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  • At 2012.01.31 09:45, Shut Up and Run said:

    Thanks Joanne, for spreading the word about the virtual run and also for the great reminders about safety. You are so right: we shouldn’t be afraid when we are trying to be healthy in mind, body and spirit!

    • At 2012.01.31 10:54, Anna said:

      I think that dogs feel when we do not like them or have some fear form them. They are just like human being – if we are good, they will be good as well!

      • At 2012.01.31 12:12, Heather said:

        This still blows my mind.

        • At 2012.01.31 14:17, Nancy Jean said:

          I just today read this on MSN’s webpage … such a horrible thing. And no rhyme or reason to it. Thanks for spreading the word on the virtual run. It’s a great way to join together, feel stronger against evil, and do a nice thing for Sherry’s family and friends to be proud of.
          p.s. I’m so glad you have your Shane as a running partner. 🙂

          • At 2012.01.31 16:00, Edward Carson said:

            Unreal. As a male runner, I take being safe for granted; I tend to feel as though I cannot be touched. I am like this in traffic and when running alone.

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