being shot at

21 to 29 of 29 messages
02/08/2002 at 21:50
Sounds a nice area,

I can't claim to be shot at, but having just returned from Afghanistan, it is a different feeling to run past a group of people, some as young as 8 yrs old, all armed with Russian rifles. It tends to make you pick up your speed and almost side step for the next few yards!!

Be Safe

Robbo
03/08/2002 at 02:01
Err, I don't know whether to say thanks for all your replies or to be worried that this doesn't seem to be such a rare occurance. But I guess the countles numbers of runners who havn't had anything nasty happen to them won't be posting, so we should put it in perspective.

The wood and bottle-throwing incidents happend around christmas, when I was still living in northampton and running round a slightly dodgy (but by no means the worst) area of the town.
Now I've finished at university I'm back living in Boston, Lincolnshire (until I can get a job anywhere else). The odd thing is, up till thursday the worst I'd encountered here was a couple of 10 year olds hilariously trying to block the pavement in front of me, only to look sheepish when i simply ran onto the empty road for a couple of meteres to pass them.
The airgun (or whatever it was) incident was actually on what must be the busiest road in town, at about 6.30pm, so its not like it was South Central LA. from what I remember of the car that went past, it looked like it was a family coming back form holiday. Skegness is only 20-odd miles away, and this would be the road to go anyway south from there. My guess is that it was a family going back to wherever because the weathers turned crappy these last few days, and the kid had probably won this thing on hook-a-duck or whatever.
I really don't think that the town has too bad a problem with this kind of thing, at least in the daylight hours. Boston has plenty of herion addicts and skinhead neo-fascist nutters like any other provincial town, but if you kep away from where they hang out you're generally OK.
I think the number of mindless attacks of all sorts on runners is indicative of the rising levels of crime and violence in society as a whole. I think we all know of places we really shouldn't be running. Boston has a population of 30-40 thousand and theres a couple of areas that I wouldn't want much to run round. And no, Snicks, I don't think you should really be running alone at night. We all (or most of us) run round, just like Shattered Shins say, relying on luck and the thought that stories like Dangly Spice's "won't happen to us". But we'll be out there again on sunday, and next week, and the week after that (unless my knees totally go AWOL on me), because we're runners (or want to be) and we won't let the b*stards grind us down. rain or shine, bricks or burning cars (how I miss northampton!) we'll still be pounding the roads.
ooh, thats almost made me want to go for a run right now. But its 2 in the morning, so probably not a good idea. ;)
03/08/2002 at 14:47
Hi Pilgrim.
Sounds like you have the same problem as me. I live in a tough area of Leeds, full of junkies and gangs of kids looking for trouble after dark. I have resorted to doing my running early in the morning, in the local park,before these scumbags get out of bed. Sometimes i drive up to the country to get some fresh air and hassle free jogging.
I never go out in the evening when it is busy around my area because of all the idiots hanging around. It is strangely comforting to know that i am not the only one with this problem.
Congrats for not letting them grind you down but take care,bye for now,Baldi
Iron SwissBobby    pirate
05/08/2002 at 08:00
I am shocked and horrified by all this. I would just like to say that all these incidents should be reported to the police and their statistic should be bumped up. There is no way on God's Earth that any of us should have to put up with this.

I am glad to say that I have never had to suffer this sort of behaviour, and for that I am very lucky, and greatful.

I agree with what Dan Grey said about self defence classes, but should we really have to go to these lengths. How about Runners World doing an article on this problem. It unfortunately seems to be all too common.
05/08/2002 at 13:46
I had a similar shooting experience, but with a ball-bearing fired from a catapult. It thwacked into a garage door really hard and would have done me a lot of damage.
About a month ago I saw two much younger kids loading up a catapult ready to fire at me. I verbally confronted them, if you know what I mean, and it was quite a laugh to see their macho posturing crumble. They were all of about 12! Even so, the rock they planned to fire would have hurt a lot. I don't know why parents let their children buy these things - what possible legitimate use do they have?

All this is in Tunbridge Wells, by the way.

Neil
Ian
05/08/2002 at 15:43
An egg is the worst projectile thrown at me. But I have known club mates have stones and bottles thrown. I have no idea why runners are subject to this apart from the fact that unlike soccer players they tend to be alone at the time. My only other thought is that 'jogging' tends to be seen as middle class and the abuse is an incoate expression of resentment. I understand that cyclists in Oxford/Cambridge have a similar problem with vandalism to bikes.
05/08/2002 at 17:06
Speaking of bike vandalism in Oxford/Cambridge - I live in Oxford and you wouldn't believe the amount of A) theft and B) stupid vandalism that goes on. People stamping on bike tyres probably becuase they can't steal them, and the like. Personally, I've had my lights ripped off my bike (not even stolen, just destroyed), as well as an extra cable-lock extention thingy taken. It's bloody pathetic. Never had any verbal abuse / missles though - but then again, I've recently moved to a nicer bit of town.

Anyway, don't want to rant too much, but I completely agree about reporting these incidents.

Hild
05/08/2002 at 22:15
The worst I've had thrown at me was some verbal from some kids showing off to their girlfriends, sad to say that thinking of giving them a good kicking on the return leg of my run kept me going and pretty much "pumped" up, this anger turned to another feeling when I argued with myself that 18 year old girls would be much more interested in a sweaty 30 odd year old runner without his specs on... but i digress
06/08/2002 at 10:30
I had a huge Turkey Leg thrown at me from a passing group of lads in an XR2. This leg must have been from a giant Turkey. Luckily I just ducked in time, and it put a huge dent in the side of a parked van. It would have knocked me out cold if it had hit me. It sounds funny now, but not at the time.

More recently (last Saturday), my training group (I train a group of female beginners looking to run a 5k in 3 weeks time), were threatened in our local park by a gang of teenagers on bikes. They first blocked our path, then as we went around them they threw bottles etc at us, as well as hurling abuse. They then followed us for about 50 meters riding their bikes 2 inches from out legs, to get us to run faster. I dropped back to try and protect the girls, but still felt vunrable. I would quite happily of punched them, but then as they know they're minors and it would be me who got into trouble. I just hope it hasn't put my group of runners off. Most of them haven't run since they left school, and taking part in this 5k in a few weeks is their equivilant of the olympics. I just don't understand why there isn't any respect anymore...

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