A string of incidents last year of women being raped and murdered on their jogs brought to light the pervasive danger that female runners face. In Seattle last week, one female runner was attacked when she was out training for a marathon — except her experience took a markedly different turn.
Four miles into her run, Kelly Herron reportedly stopped to use a public restroom, only to be assaulted by a man hiding in a stall who allegedly cornered her while she was drying her hands. She recalled the incident in an Instagram post:
I fought for my life screaming("Not today, M**F**er!"), clawing his face, punching back, and desperately trying to escape his grip- never giving up. I was able to lock him in the bathroom until police arrived.
Herron also told local ABC affiliate KIRO7 that she was determined not to let the man — whom she later found out was a 40-year-old level 3 sex offender who, according to The Seattle Times, had previously been convicted in Arizona of assaulting multiple women — overpower her. "[I was] being loud and not afraid. I mean you are afraid, but letting him know you are not taking me down today. You are not going to win this fight," she said. "That was the only thing that was motivating me ... I cannot be raped by this guy in this place."
Herron credited her success in fighting off the man to a self-defense class she had recently taken, writing that she "utilized all of it."
Many women, in particular, have taken self-defense training to better protect themselves from assault; after the election, faced with the imminent threat of rising hate crimes, women reportedly signed up for self-defense classes in droves.
Herron urged other companies to provide self-defense classes to their employees, too, according to KIRO7. In her Instagram post, she wrote, "My face is stitched, my body is bruised, but my spirit is intact."
Cover image via Shutterstock / lzf.