An important initiative within the RunTogether project which launched in 2016 is to get women running in a safe and supportive environment.
The new initiative is in response to statistics showing that over a third of women had been harassed whilst out running on their own. In addition, a poll of 2,000 members of the This Girl Can Run community revealed that 60% of women were concerned about their personal safety, citing aggressive behaviour from motorists, e.g. verbal abuse as one of the most common forms of harassment.
RunTogether evolved from the former Run England programme with the target of a million more people running by 2021. This includes people who have never run before, lapsed runners wishing to return and those who already run but want to increase the frequency and mileage.
RunTogether provides opportunities for men and children aged 12 and upwards as well as women. There are over 700 groups led by qualified Run Leaders that provide structured, enjoyable sessions, delivering a range of mental and physical benefits.
Research by England Athletics showed that women who run with others are more likely to continue especially if they feel safe and secure. A view endorsed by the current face of the This Girl Can Run campaign, Sam Mollaghan who said: “I completely empathise with how many runners who feel anxious when running alone. Now I’m a Run Leader I am able to help others to enjoy the benefits that regular running in a group has to offer.”