I ran the Wildwood 20K Trail Race Sunday morning. Had a great time that was marred by one pretty inappropriate event. A stranger running the race felt/caressed my ass as he passed me. At first I thought it might have been incidental contact or an accident as the trail was pretty muddy , slick and narrow. It was one of those "Did that really just happen?" moments and by the time my brain caught up, he was long gone. But the woman who I ended up running with for the rest of the way caught up with me shortly after the groping incident and told me that it didn't look like an accident to her. Her words were "It looked like he was trying to feel you up."
I email the race organizers yesterday with a description of the incident and a physical description of the man and here was their response:
"We're so sorry to hear what happened to you yesterday. We regret that we don't know who the runner is. So sorry."
That was it. I'm pretty disappointed. And very angry.
My friend Angie is pretty much the smartest person I know (check out her blog: www.insideowl.com). I few weeks ago she wrote a disturbing post about being sexually harassed by a telemarketer and the feeling of vulnerability, frustration and violation that occurred post-incident. I hear ya, sista. I was basically, and I loathe using this phrase for some reason, sexually assaulted during an organized race, with a witness and a pretty accurate description of the jackass. And, unless I decide to throw down the lawyer card on these folks, nothing will be done about it.
I am pretty careful about what I do and where I do it. No headphones or running alone at night, telling someone my route and ETA if I want to ride alone, etc etc. Since I have started training consistently, this is the first incident where I've felt threatened not because I was a cyclist, but because I am a woman. And it pretty much sucks.
Be careful out there, ladies.