After the death of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts, police and local running clubs are urging you to take the necessary steps to prevent becoming a victim.
20-year-old Tibbetts disappeared last month after going for a jog in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa. Her body was discovered Tuesday in a cornfield near her home. A 24-year old has now been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection to this case.
Quincy resident Alyssa Hummel has been an avid runner for about ten years.
"What we really love about running, it’s become a community," said Hummel. "It’s really a second family for us."
Hummel says she rarely goes out alone. She typically runs with her husband.
"The more that we can run together we do," said Hummel. "It’s safer and it’s more fun. It’s no fun to run by yourself."
The recent death of Tibbetts has been weighing heavy on Hummel’s mind, especially being an Iowa native herself.
"It definitely strikes a chord with you, especially being a female," said Hummel. "Even though we think that Quincy and the Tri-States are relatively small and rural areas, scary things like that still happen."
Hummel isn’t the only one feeling uneasy.
"You just want to go out and run and enjoy yourself and have a good workout but when you see stuff like that happening in the news it’s kind of emotional." said Sara Kobliska, manager of Running Wild.
Kobliska says she grew up running by herself on rural roads. She now knows the right steps to take to protect herself.
"Letting someone know when you’re going to be out and when you plan on coming back," said Kobliska. "If you can run as a group, safety in numbers is good."
Another tip for runners, Hummel says to leave the ear buds at home.
"If there’s a vehicle that’s been tracking me, I can hear it because I don’t have music playing in my ears," said Hummel.
It’s also suggested runners carry pepper spray for self-defense.
In Illinois and Iowa you have to be over the age of 18 to buy and use pepper spray. There is no age restriction in Missouri.
Here are some running clubs in the Tri-States: