It’s something, certainly as a female who runs on her own in the dark, I’ve acknowledged but always tried to not think about. You hear warnings and horror stories but you don’t ever expect anything bad to happen to you. And certainly not when you feel like such a super hero, running machine!
Running along my usual local loop one dark evening though, I felt a presence. Something or someone was following me. I picked up the pace but so did they. Turning around, I couldn’t see anyone but I didn’t want to look too hard and make them think they were bothering me, predators can smell fear…I think, I’d not met any before now.
I was tired, so I brought music for motivation. It was turned down low, allowing me to hear the traffic but I took both ear buds out, so I couldn’t be pounced upon. A few hundred metres on and I’m still being followed. I slow down to a walking pace, I think they’ve stopped. I can’t hear their rustling any more.
Looking back confirms they’ve either gone or they’re hiding. Now’s my chance to lose them. I sprint off but they catch up again. The only option is to head home. My husband’s there and he’s reliably left all his baseball kit from the weekend in the hallway…
I call ahead, he’s poised to scoop me inside and fight off anyone, anything, that attempts to follow me in. But when I get just a few feet from our drive, he bursts into laughter. It’s not funny! I’m still being followed!
As I rush into the house, he pulls on my flyaway, rustling jacket hood…Not so much a predator, more a costume malfunction and an overactive mind.
I felt silly and it took a couple of hours for my husband to stop laughing at my overreaction but it was a valuable lesson in night time running safety. I was glad that someone knew where I was and I had a charged phone to call for help, I was light up like a Christmas tree so I was easy to spot and I knew exactly where I was.
Stay safe everyone…and tie down your loose jacket hoods!