Running alone is safe until it isn’t: Tips for staying proactive

Love it or hate it, running or walking outdoors is a great way to stay healthy.

But in the wake of the high-profile kidnapping and brutal killing of Memphis mom and teacher Eliza Fletcher, you might be rethinking your exercise plans.

Nothing is ever 100% safe, but there are always things you can do to mitigate potential safety issues, said Northport Assistant Police Chief Keith Carpenter.

Consider the following:

  • Carry your phone with you, but keep it in a discrete location
  • Remain aware of your surroundings
  • Do not turn music up so loud that you can’t hear what’s going on around you
  • Exercise with at least one other person

Tuscaloosa native Fran Oneal has been running for more than 40 years, and her morning run begins bright and early.

She’s always kept safety in mind, she said.

“There have been incidents in the past, so that has made me change my game,” Oneal said. “And people who are aware that I am an early morning runner sent me a lot of messages about (the Memphis killing), so I have my guard up a little.”

A self-defense class is never a bad idea, and there are several places around West Alabama offering them for low or no cost.

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