Safety concerns for runners after two women joggers found dead

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Going on a run is a great way to stay fit, but you also want to make sure you’re staying safe. Some good things to bring with you is your cell phone and a set of keys.

“People are out running being fit, training for something, minding their own business. It gives you pause, it really makes you think about going out by yourself.”

Barbara Gillen has been an avid runner for decades.

“Not that anybody’s ever done anything like attacked like these other women, but I’ve been harassed. I’ve been cat called and yelled at.”

Gillen says there is a thin line between being harassed and being attacked.

“You never know. You don’t know who that person is, what their motivations are, or what their frame of mind is. You always have to be vigilant and alert.”

Women walking and jogging at the Crossings say they do so in groups and always make sure to have their phones with them.

“Bring your cell phone just in case something happens,” Elaine Best said. “You can call for help if you have to. It’s not hard to carry around and it’s crazy not to have something with you when you’re going, regardless of where you are.”

They also make sure to exercise during the day.

“I walk all over my neighborhood or the adjacent neighborhood and I don’t have any concern. If I go later in the evening, then that would be a concern.”

Sheriff Craig Apple says women, who are going to run outdoors, should consider taking the county’s rape aggression defense class.

“It’s more about building your confidence and being able to thwart that attacker by what you’re saying,” Sheriff Apple said.

Most of the time a predator will give up if you fight back.

“Most people don’t want a confrontation. They want to take advantage of you at your weakest moment.”

Gillen says the recent attacks on female runners are definitely concerning.

“It’s unnerving. It just makes you run faster.”

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