Runner pushed over in Banbury in what police believe was an attempted robbery

A 39-year-old woman was attacked by two men when running in Salt Way, Banbury, between 5.45 and 6pm in Banbury, a town in Oxfordshire, on Tuesday this week.

The two attackers stopped her near Bloxham Road as she was running to ask her for the time. After stopping, the two men pushed her backwards and tried to snatch her running belt. The victim told the police both men were talking in a foreign language.

Related: Police are appealing for witnesses after runner was pushed into the road

Luckily, the victim was quick to react, kicking the shorter attacker between his legs and running away, escaping with just grazing to her leg. It wasn’t until she had got away that she realised her headphones were missing.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Sam Bonner told The Banbury Guardian: “The victim stated that she did not know the intention of the men but, as a result of the offence, she was missing her headphones, which are black in colour.

“It is not known whether these were stolen by the offenders or whether they fell from the victim during the incident.”

The offenders were described as eastern European men – one in his mid-20s, with a slim build and shaved head, wearing a light grey hooded top. The second man was a similar age, between 5ft 6ins and 5ft 9ins tall, wearing a dark grey hooded top and red trainers.

The police have asked anyone with any information to call 1010 quoting reference ‘43180155009’, or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

5 self-defence tips for runners:  

We spoke to ex professional British Boxer and Sporting Performance Coach Cathy Brown about staying safe when running and she gave runners the following advice:

1. Think about changing your route during dark months so you don’t leave yourself at risk running through quiet or dark places. Predators are cowards and hide in dark places.

2. Don’t listen to music – it might keep you motivated, but you can’t hear anyone who may be behind you.

3. If you live alone, tell someone where you’re going and the approximate time you’ll be back and call them when you get in.

4. If you do come across someone that makes you uncomfortable, scream loud with confidence. Predators don’t want to attack anyone who is going to bring attention and call them problems, as they don’t want to get caught.

5. Although we don’t condone violence, if in the worst-case scenario you are grabbed when you’re running, Cathy says to grab your attackers head and push your thumbs into their eye sockets hard to loosen their grip. “It may seem a bit harsh but if you’re under attack, anything goes.”