April 3 2018
Every runner likely has most of these items around their home–and all can be used to create the toolkit every runner should have.
Stories of women like Kelly Herron fending off attackers while out for a run bring to light an important issue: personal safety, especially for women runners. It’s not something that should ever be taken lightly, and more and more brands are popping up to help women return home from their runs. Here, we highlight four products that will give you and your family a little extra peace of mind.
Combine your favorite fitness app with all the safety features you could dream up, and you get RunRaegis. The free version of the app includes fitness tracking in addition to a “panic” button that alerts your loved ones when you activate it. If you pay for the premium features, your predetermined safety contacts can watch your GPS location in real time, will be automatically notified if you don’t return from your run by the time you should, and connect with your local 911, even from the other side of the globe. While you’re on the run, too, this app is the “Waze” of safety, allowing other runners to report potential dangers along your route.
When you think of safety tools for women, pepper spray is the first thing that comes to mind, but this lightweight device is more than just pepper spray—it also features tear gas for extra burning (!) and UV marking dye to help identify the person. Many women may worry about being able to protect themselves in the heat of the moment without spraying themselves, but the company provides free training videos, and you can also purchase a pepper irritant–free practice canister for an extra $5. The spray has an easy-to-adjust hand strap and is lightweight and easy to carry on runs. Note that pepper spray sales are restricted in several states.
This simple-looking wrist-worn device does much more than you’d expect—press the center button and not only does it emit a 120-decibel alarm (tuned specifically so it can travel as far as possible), but it also sends an SMS text and email with the time, date and location of the activation to loved ones via your smartphone’s Bluetooth. The made-in-the-UK device requires you to pair it with the Run Angel app, and within the app you can designate your “guardians” and enter their information. The lightweight device is rechargeable via a USB cord, and the charge can last up to two weeks (but it can be switched on and off to save battery between runs).
Drawing inspiration from retractable cat claws, Tiger Lady allows you to exercise your catlike reflexes in the event of an attack. A relatively discreet and lightweight handheld device with a wrist strap, it’s made of two pieces of high-impact plastic with foam in between, which are exposed between your knuckles when you squeeze your fingers together. Handmade in the U.S., it’s a relatively simple-to-use product, though you could run the risk of scraping yourself on the claws if it’s not well-aligned in your hand. Of the personal safety tools in this roundup, this is the only one that can actually collect your assailant’s DNA.