Robbery Of Early Morning Jogger Serves As Safety Reminder For Runners

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - Madison Police are trying to find the person who robbed a jogger early Wednesday morning.  It happened about 5 a.m. on Hughes Road, just north of Eastview Drive.

Police say the runner was approached on foot by what appeared to be a young black male wearing dark clothing.  The person had a gun.

Police say the robber stole the person's cell phone, and then got in a dark pickup truck occupied by at least one other person.  The truck sped off, northbound on Hughes Road.

The jogger, fortunately, was not injured.

But the incident has served as a reminder to Huntsville's athletic community of the dangers of running after dark.

We Run Huntsville is a group dedicated to bringing people together for those early morning runs.

"We’re always talking, we're fairly loud. We have a run Tuesday morning with 8 to 10 runners. People are not going to mess with us," said runner Suzanne Erickson, who says the only time she can run is at 5 a.m.

While safety comes in numbers, founders of We Run Huntsville, Karen and Gregg Gelmis, advise that if you're working out in the morning or evening, you need to see and be seen.

"We have reflective running gear," said Karen. "It’s real bright so you can see it and it has lots of reflected pieces on it. I also have a flashing ankle bracelet."

Gregg advised wearing a headband light, to light the ground in front of the runner's path.

Other safety advice from the runners: don't run the same path every day at the same time, unless someone with intent to harm you notices the pattern; run against traffic; and if you run with headphones, keep them at a level where you can hear what is going on around you.

If you have any information, or witnessed suspicious activity Wednesday morning, please call Madison Police at either (256) 772-6243 or (256) 722-7190.

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