Runners Against Violence Everywhere hosts first annual 5K run in Ridge

August 30, 2016 Jaime DeJesus
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Running to stop the violence.

The first annual Runners against Violence Everywhere (RAVE) 5K Run in Brooklyn was held on Saturday, August 27 at Owl’s Head Park. The event was designed to raise awareness after recent attacks on female runners and discuss precautions all runners could take to remain safe while exercising outside.

Kathy Ioannou, chapter leader of Brooklyn She Runs This Town (SRTT) and Mothers Run This Town (MRTT), national chapters across the United State, said she came up with the event as a response to the recent murders of two female runners. “We put something together so we could raise awareness and get the message out,” Ioannou explained. “If you need to run alone, there are ways you can run safer. We also want to encourage women and men, when possible, to run in groups.”

The first annual run had a modest, but dedicated group showing their solidarity. “There were some races that conflicted the same day, so many people ran in honor of the effort in other places,” Ioannou said. “People sent photos of themselves running with their red shirts and said they dedicated it to the Rave Run, wishing they could’ve joined is. Everyone at our event wore red [the color of the stop the violence effort], which was very nice.”

For Ioannou, the day was a bittersweet one. “We wish we didn’t have to have this type of event,” she said. “But with the two women who lost their lives who were passionate about running, we wanted to have people continue their love of leading a healthy lifestyle.”

In addition to the run, there were also professionals on hand who discussed the importance of self-defense. “We had a representative from one of the local martial arts schools to speak to women,” Ioannou said. “He came and spoke to the women and men, and spoke to the group about possibly putting a class n self-defense together.”

In addition, Ioannou said she would like to see precautions taken by the local community. “I live in Dyker Heights and, while I run, there still too many areas for runners that are too dark,” she said. “We are trying to be smarter and run with partners and wear bright colored clothing and lights, but it would be a great help if we got the support of community leaders to improve conditions a bit so we’re not in a pitch black environment.”

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