For years now, I’ve had a favorite running trail near my home in Maryland. The Baltimore and Annapolis Trail, or the B&A Trail as it is called locally, is part of the East Coast Greenway and runs from Annapolis to Glen Burnie. It’s 13.3 miles long, just a hair longer than a half marathon, and it’s the perfect place to do a long run.
It’s where you could find me most weekends, until September of 2018, when reports of a strange man following female runners on the trail began to surface in local online running groups. This was reportedly happening in the middle of the day, too, which is generally when most women probably feel the safest running alone.
I had never once felt unsafe on the trail before, as there were usually plenty of people around when I was running there. However, there are parts of the trail that are surrounded by the woods, and occasionally there were times when I was running without anyone else around. Even though I don’t wear headphones when I run outside, it would be easy for someone to sneak up behind me and potentially drag me off the path.
So I stopped running on the trail, but I really missed it.
But then a few months later, I started seeing other female runners post about the run angel on Instagram. I was intrigued. I loved that it makes an extremely loud noise when you press the button, loud enough to startle any attacker and alert others in the area. But I especially loved that you could select three “guardian angels,” who would get a text if my run angel alarm went off. It would alert them to my exact GPS location, and they could call for help.
My husband bought me my first run angel for Christmas that year, and I happily resumed running on the B&A Trail. I feel much safer knowing that I have it on my wrist, and it also gives him peace of mind! ! I also wear it if I am running around my neighborhood and it’s dark outside. This year, I also bought a second run angel, the limited edition Boston Marathon run angel. I ran the Boston Marathon last year and hope to run it again someday, and I’m reminded of that special race whenever I wear it.
I highly recommend this product for runners, walkers, cyclists and anyone else who wants to feel safe and empowered while they are doing what they love.
Allison Bourg Sauntry - run angel ambassador
Have a little spare time between your runs and interested in joining the run angel family?