A number of Sioux Falls women runners are spooked about using the Sioux Falls bike trails as a place to run in the wake of the attempted kidnapping that took place on Sunday night (August 1) in the area of Dunham Park.

What is really scary about Sunday's event involving the 18-year old female runner is the incident occurred around 8:30 that evening when there was still daylight.

Safety should always be paramount while running...

Especially for a female runner. Let's be honest I am beginning to wonder if there are any safe spots left in the city?

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Officer Sam Clemens with the Sioux Falls Police Department recently offered up a few safety suggestions for female runners to our news gathering partners at Dakota News Now. His first tip, if someone should try to grab you while out on a run, fight back, and make a lot of noise. That tactic has helped to thwart similar situations like the near kidnapping that took place on Sunday in Sioux Falls.

Another excellent suggestion Clemens had, is running with a buddy or in groups. There is always safety in numbers.

One of the smartest things a runner can do...

Regardless of their sex is to pay attention to your surroundings. As a runner myself, I can't begin to tell you how many near misses I have had with cars in the past while attempting to jog through intersections. Never assume a motorist is going to yield the right away to you.

Being keenly aware of what is happening around you on your running route is vitally important for a number of different reasons. Should you ever spot something that looks out of the ordinary, Clemens recommends that you alter your route immediately and try to get to a more populated area as fast as you can.

My wife is also a runner. She typically runs with friends most of the time. But, when she does run alone, she always carries a can of runners mace and something called a "sting ring." It's a personal defense device that is worn on your hand like a ring. This little gizmo disrupts messages the brain sends to the voluntary muscles. All I know, I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that dude!

Sioux Falls also has a Facebook group called "Sioux Falls Women Run."

The group was created with the express intent of providing support to female runners while also giving them a place to share running tips and find other women to run with.

According to Dakota News Now, the Sioux Falls Women Run group has already reached out to Sunday's near kidnapping victim to invite her to start running with other female runners once she feels comfortable in starting to run again.

Bike Trail
Beth Warden, Results Radio

Despite Sunday's scary incident, Clemens told Dakota News Now the type of incident that happened on Sunday on the bike trails here in Sioux Falls is still uncommon.

Clemens said, “We rarely hear of any crimes that happen in the parks system. We have park officers that are assigned to the parks and they travel the bike trails, they are the ones people see on the motorcycles, just patrolling the parks and making sure there are no problems and that it’s safe for everybody."

Source: Dakota News Now

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