Sherry A. Phillips

Suspense Author

Should You Run With Headphones?

Yesterday, Runner’s World placed the above on their Facebook page and it garnered quite a lot of angry posts on both sides.

For me, when I ran alone, I almost always wore headphones. I enjoyed listening to my music while running. It seemed to help the time pass faster.

Of course, there were a couple of times I was startled by a runner coming up behind me, because I never heard them approaching. Some runner’s are what I refer to as “heavy footed” and you can hear them approach long before they get close to you. However, there are others, who are whisper quiet and unless you see them, you can’t really hear them.

When I read the comments, there was clearly polarizing views, with the pro-running with headphones group saying, “Who cares how I run?” and the anti-running with headphones crying, “Safety!”

While I agree everyone should do what they feel comfortable doing, I can’t help but remember the story of slain Montana teacher, Sherry Arnold, who was murdered while on a pre-dawn run by two men. One comment I saw regarding her murder sums up what I think most of us feel regarding the headphones issue:

Because of Sherry, I now run with pepper spray. Because of Sherry, I don’t wear my headphones when I’m running alone. Because of Sherry, I look at everyone on the trail and say good morning, hello, or have a good day. I remember each one. Because of Sherry, I’m more careful. And because of your reminder, I’ll try never to take my runs forgranted. Thank you.

If you choose to wear headphones while running, make sure the volume is turned down low enough that you can hear what is going on around you. Be aware.

Stay safe.

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