As sunlight fades and attacks mount, Puget Sound runners take precautions

SEATTLE -- Daylight Savings Time is just a couple of weeks away, which means our days will be shorter and people running outdoors will have less daylight to run in.

Runners throughout the Puget Sound have expressed concerns about safety after three recent assaults happened near running trails.

Some runners across the Puget Sound say they’re taking extra precautions to stay safe after a series of attacks in the area. Maria Ball was groped three weeks ago and is a member of the Seattle Green Lake Running Group.

“Everyone that runs during the week, they’ve been running in packs vs running individually. Unfortunately, there are still runners that run without head lamps or safety vests, so they could still be at risk,” Ball said.

On Oct. 17, a woman was sexually assaulted in Edmonds near a trail at Meadowdale Beach Park. Police say the park was busy at the time, but no one reported witnessing the attack. The victim told police the man had a knife when she was attacked. Another attack also happened at Green Lake putting some runners on edge.

“I no longer feel safe running in the dark even with a head lamp, even with a safety vest. My attack was only three weeks ago, so I still get scared even just walking to a trash can, even in our back yard,” Ball said.

We reached out to the Seattle Parks and Recreation, which says it has been asked on occasion to put more lighting near the Green Lake path. It says some residents have pushed back against it and the city would have to approve a large amount of money in its budget to make it happen.

Ball is currently training for the New York City Marathon and says if she doesn’t have a partner to run outdoors with, she’ll run indoors on a treadmill.

Police say people should remember to run with at least one other person and to tell someone when you’ll start and finish your run.