I love running but I hate the verbal abuse.
I cannot put on Lycra and run through London without some dip shit thinking he has the right to comment on my body.
On Sunday I left my house at 8.15am and I ran for a long, hard 17 miles.
Usually I avoid leaving the house this late and running for that long because London is no longer sleeping and as I run I’ll be guaranteed to hear at least one round of cat calls from straggling late night revellers or club goers or a lone wolf picking up his newspaper from the convenience store.
The club goers are more benign in nature. Generally they try to run along side me or they make inane Forest Gump references or they just jeer but the lone wolves are a little more unnerving…
On Sunday I was running up Brixton Hill and in the near distance I saw a man step out of a shop. He stopped and looked about and spotted me running towards him. And then he just waited there. He was clearly waiting for me to pass him. I was over 20 metres away and it was going to take some seconds; I was on a long run, I was not running fast. While he waited he looked me up an down in a lascivious manner.
As I drew level with him I braced myself against the barrage of offensive, sexist language that I was about to hear.
In the event it was nothing too sexualised, nothing too graphic. But goddamn I’m tired of it. On my 3 hour run I was verbally accosted twice and I was jeered at once.
That’s why I usually leave my house at 5.30am to run; I prefer the solitude and the lack of cat calls. But I’ve been socialised to believe that in winter that isn’t a safe choice. So I wait for daybreak, set out a bit later and suffer the abuse.
[I was fuelled by 3 bananas, 10 walnuts and 7 dates]