Running Safe – Tribute to a Fallen Runner – Sherry Arnold

Every so often you hear about a runner that heads out for their run and never returns.  In most cases it’s a woman, and in most cases it’s an abduction and murder.  It’s upsetting, senseless and it hurts those of us who run.  We live in a free country where we’re able to put on our running shoes and run for miles and miles and should be able to run safe.  But it’s stories like this that brings reality into play.

Sherry Arnold, a teacher from Sidney, Montana, went out for her run on January 7, 2012, and never returned.  Sherry and her husband, Gary, had five children from previous marriages, two of which were still at home.  It appears Sherry was abducted and presumed murdered, for which two men are being held.  Stories like this really piss me off.  These animals are cowards.

Runners Edge of the Rockies Members "Remember"

The news of Sherry’s disappearance made national news, and there has since been an outpouring of support from not only Sidney, Montana, but across the entire country.  And though Sherry is gone, this outpouring has again placed awareness on the importance of running safety.

Fact is, we all want to head out alone to our favorite running spot or trail to run free, be at peace with ourselves, and clear our heads from the daily garbage.  However, as peaceful as it is to go it alone, it’s also very dangerous, and especially so for women.  Most seasoned runners know to carry a cell phone, identification and not drown out your surroundings with music or an audio book blaring through your headphones.  I very rarely run with an iPod since I like to listen to the natural sounds during my runs, and get into my own head — can’t do that with headphones blasting.  There are many tips to safe running, such as running with a partner, which obviously helps as a deterrent to danger.  The best tips I’ve found are on a list from the Road Runners Club of America.  Click here for a list of safety tips.

This past Saturday, our running group in Denver, Runners Edge of the Rockies, participated in the virtual run for Sherry Arnold.  Our running group is large and at least 80% of our runners proudly wore Sherry’s bib.  It’s so awesome when a large group of people participate, knowing that others around the country are also participating. The reason though, is very sad.

Click here to view nice video piece done on Sherry’s virtual run by the Bismark Journal.  Also Click Here to view a touching video tribute to Sherry that has pictures of runners from all over the country wearing their bibs for Sherry’s virtual run (held on Feb 11, 2012).  Thanks to Shut Up and Run for putting this together. You can also donate at Shut Up and Run to a fund for Sherry’s two children, Holly and Jason.

Please be aware of your surroundings, run safe everyone, and Sherry, rest in peace.

 

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