Safety tips for runners following assault on Hinkson Creek Trail
COLUMBIA - Kristin Filardo uses the MKT trail nearly every day to get to class.
She said she uses nearly all of the safety precautions that most cities recommend when it comes to using trails alone.
"I don't wear my headphones so that way I can listen," Filardo said. "If someone is behind me on a bike and not passing me, I'll probably notice that a bit quicker."
When Filardo learned about the assault that occurred on the Hinkson Creek Trail on Sunday she said she was surprised.
"I remember hearing stories about the MKT and how it was dangerous. But the stories kinda stopped, and I thought it was safe again for me to go on," Filardo said.
The victim was running near the Grindstone Nature Area when she noticed a man passing her multiple times on a bike.
At one point he stopped and grabbed her, but she got away.
Before exiting the trail the man passed her once again and exposed himself.
Daisy Weems, another runner who frequents the trails, said she runs alone but won't any longer.
"I might run with a friend during the day even now and maybe not even at night and try not to go as far in as I usually do on a run."
Gocolumbiamo.com also has some recommendations for running on the trail:
- Always be aware of your surroundings
- Walk/jog confidently
- Look people in the eye as you pass them
- Carry a charged cell phone
- Carry a whistle
- Walk or jog in a familiar area but do not take the same route every day
- let someone know when you're out running
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