Teacher's disappearance is reminder to runners

2012-01-11T00:15:00Z 2012-01-11T13:20:04Z Teacher's disappearance is reminder to runnersBy CHELSEA KROTZER Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
January 11, 2012 12:15 am  • 

Runners are thinking more about their safety after the disappearance of a Sidney teacher Saturday morning.

Sherry Arnold, 43, never returned from her morning run, and searchers have only recovered one of her running shoes. The search for Arnold continues.

Daniel Hillman, president of the Yellowstone RimRunners, said there is always a concern when a runner goes missing. 

"I know this isn't the first running incident in Montana in the last couple of years," Hillman said. "One of the biggest things is when you run, you need to be aware of your surroundings."

Hillman said that means leaving the iPod at home and being more aware of traffic, wildlife and other potential dangers. 

Hillman said running in a group is always the best way to go. To help foster that kind of running style, the organization offers two group runs a week.

One is a 4.5-mile run at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays at Pioneer Park. The other run is at 8 a.m. on Saturday with different distances depending on the running groups. 

"All running speeds are accommodated," Hillman said. "We never leave anyone behind." 

Runner Sarah Graves lived in Sidney for six years and moved to Billings in the early 2000s. She's done her fair share of running, having qualified for the U.S. Olympic marathon trials this month. 

No matter where she runs, safety always is a priority. 

"I do take precautions by trying to run with a friend or in a group and carry my cellphone," Graves said. "It's hard to say though — anything can happen."

Cindy Thompson, owner of Time Out Sports off Grand Avenue, said the store carries a number of items geared toward runner safety. 

"Unfortunately, it is an issue," Thompson said. "We always encourage people to run with someone. We also encourage people to run in more populated areas."

The store carries reflective clothing and LED-lighted hats, and sells a can of pepper spray small enough to fit in a runner's hand.

It has a strap to ensure that runners won't drop it while working out. 

"It can be used mainly on if a dog tries to attack you or something, but it could also be used if somebody tried to apprehend you," Thompson said.

 

 

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