The Southern Arizona Roadrunners has teamed up with Tucson Medical Center to offer a free Running Safety & Self-Defense Class on two upcoming Sundays, Feb. 22 and March 1.
The classes will run from 5:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. at The Core at La Encantada, which is operated by Tucson Medical Center, and offer the same content both times.
The sessions were inspired by the early morning rape of a woman who was running along the Santa Cruz River path earlier this month.
Tim Bentley, the manager of The Core and a runner himself, said the class came about at the request of members in the running community, who were suddenly feeling vulnerable in the wake of the attack.
"Our goal is to help people feel confident that they can get away and get to safety if they are confronted by someone, whether they’re out running or whether they’re leaving a mall parking lot," Bentley said.
"The Core is about helping people take control of their own health. Being empowered to have more control over your safety is no less important because unfortunately, this incident was a reminder that crime can happen to anyone."
The beginning part of the class will provide a brief overview of running safety tips, followed by an active, hands-on self-defense class taught by Bruce Montoya of CombatFit, a retired Marine and certified personal protection instructor.