Monday, January 30, 2012

Running for Sherry Arnold

Earlier this month, a lady in Montana (Sherry Arnold) went out for her normal morning run but never returned. Days later she was reported dead. She was abducted nearly one mile from her house by two men traveling through town. You can read the full report here.

I am a reader of her cousins blog Shut Up and Run and initially this was how I found out about this tragic incident. I will admit it disturbed me quite a bit and has definitely changed the way in which I run. It couldn't have come at a worse time in my training schedule (right in the beginning) but at the same time perhaps it was for my own safety because I am a much more aware runner than I used to be.

I now tell my husband the exact route I plan to run, how long it will take, and if I decide to run longer or another route I send him a text to let him know my change of plans. I no longer run with headphones on, something that I will admit is taking some getting used to. I make sure to always run with my phone which has a GPS tracking app allowing my husband to see exactly where I am. I run with pepper spray -- at first I questioned if I should or if it would just be used against me in the event of an attack. But after much thought I decided it would make me feel a little safer (plus it could come in useful against dogs chasing me too). And now I run with much more awareness of my surroundings. 

Unfortunately, bad things happen to innocent people all the time but that doesn't mean we have to live in fear. Instead, we have to protect ourselves as best as possible and be aware of the potential threats. I hope Sherry gave a good fight, without knowing her I'd assume she did.
A virtual run for Sherry Arnold has been scheduled for Saturday February 11th at 10:00am PST. The idea behind a virtual run is that fellow runners all run at the same time in whatever city, state, country, they live in. We will all run to remember and honor Sherry. I think it's a great way to feel connected to others. Although, we may not run together and we may not know one another, we all share the same passion and as SUAR said this incident rocked the running community. We are all changed because of this, in one way or another. So let's show some support and run for Sherry on 2/11/2012...I know I will.