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Women who ‘didn’t feel safe’ in city find way to ‘take back their freedom’

ByReport2

Nov 19, 2023

Two women who 'didn't feel safe' running alone have created a 'girls-only club' to give them their freedom back in the darker winter evenings.

Liverpool Girls Running’ meet for a run around the city every week. Co-founders, Melissa Martin, 31, and Courtney Burrell, 26, started the group earlier this year after having unpleasant experiences while out running alone.

Melissa, from Maghull, said: Liverpool Girls Running invites girls from all different ages, all different jobs, everyone’s life is so different, so sometimes you’ll be excited to go for a run to see who you’ll meet." Courtney from Wavertree added: "The main reason for starting the club is to come and meet like-minded girls and to socialise”.

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The women who are both training for the London Marathon next year, said they were looking for “an inclusive running club to join for training in the winter months.”

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However, Melissa said with the winter months comes the darker nights and she had fears of running alone. She added: "I thought other people must have the same problem, so why not start our own club.

"There’s so much more admin to think about when you’re running on your own. You need to tell people where you are, put your location on so people can track you and tell people exactly where you are going.

"Sometimes you realise that there’s not enough streetlights and you have to change your route. When you’re on your own you’re quite vulnerable, it’s quite scary and you’re not going to confront anyone. But in a group, we can just run, so it makes it so much nicer. The group gives us a little bit more freedom. We can run in different places, obviously not in the parks, so we tend to keep to the waterfront for safety.”

Courtney said she has often been made to feel uncomfortable while running on her own but the problem does still exist even as a group. She added: "You get cat-called, cars beeping at you, shouting things at you that make you feel quite uncomfortable, but it’s happened to us even in a group and its quite intimidating."

Meanwhile Melissa said: "We’ve had people wolf whistle, we’ve had men try and run with us thinking it’s funny. But we take it better in a group, we’ll talk about it, and it will lead to more of a conversation."

‘Liverpool Girls Running’ meets every Wednesday at 18.30, and provides all information on their Instagram page: @liverpoolgirlsrunning

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