A running store in West Hartford provided runners with the skills needed to safe after a set of recent assaults.
Kat Zizzi-Meyers said she was attacked by a stranger outside her home five years ago. She found Wednesday night's program empowering.
“I think it's extremely important for people to be prepared and to have every resource available,” Zizzi-Meyers said.
Two-time Olympic distance runner Todd Williams, who just happens to be a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Back, hosted a self-defense workshop at Fleet Feet Sports in West Hartford. Williams owns a self-defense business called RunSafer.
“If I can buy someone 10 seconds of time if they were ever attacked that's the goal of the run safer program,” Williams said.
Fleet Feet invited Williams to teach a free class after a female runner was sexually assaulted in Avon earlier this summer. But Williams said the scare reality is you need to be prepared because it can happen anywhere.
“Every city that I go into, I can just google assault runner jogger and walker and it’s happened in that area,” Williams said. “My job is to prepare people just in case.”
Fleet Feet said it was proud to partner with ASICS for the workshop.
"As stewards of our local running and walking community, it is important for us to take the initiative to educate runners on how to protect themselves in a dangerous situation, especially in light of the recent assault on a runner in broad daylight on a public running path,” said Stephanie Blozy, owner of Fleet Feet Sports.
Williams said there is no reason to be paranoid, but knowing a few self-defense techniques can save your life.
In addition to the workshop, Fleet Feet said a Hartford-based technology startup called Wearsafe is developing wearable personal safety products. One is called the Wearsafe Tag, a small Bluetooth device that can pair with smartphones and instantly connect a runner with their network of family and friends.
Zizzi-Meyers said she believes programs such as RunSafer are a step in the right direction.
“I think with the resources that are happening now it's making it better,” Zizzi-Meyers said.
For more information on RunSafer, click here.
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