Runner Fights Off Attacker With Tactics from Self-Defense Class

My biggest running nightmare became reality- 4 miles into my long run Sunday afternoon, I stopped to use the restroom and was assaulted by a man hiding in a stall (that is my GPS in red lines). I fought for my life screaming(“Not today, M**F**er!”), clawing his face, punching back, and desperately trying to escape his grip- never giving up. I was able to lock him in the bathroom until police arrived. Thankfully I just took a self-defense class offered at my work and utilized all of it. My face is stitched, my body is bruised, but my spirit is intact. #fightingchanceseattle #ballard #runnersafety #marathontraining #womensselfdefense #myballard #fightlikeagirl #fightback #dontbeavictim #nottodaymotherfucker #youcantbreakme #instarunners #garmin #garminvivosmarthr

A post shared by Kelly Herron (@run_kiwi_run) on

Kelly Herron, 36, was out for a long run on Sunday in Seattle’s Golden Gardens park when every female jogger’s worst nightmare became her reality. When she stopped at a public restroom during mile four of her 10-mile run, a man followed her in and assaulted her, according to ABC News.

She realized something wasn’t right while she was drying her hands and turned around to find Gary Steiner, a 40-year-old registered sex offender, standing in the bathroom behind her.

He knocked her down and hit her knees and legs, but Herron wasn’t going to give up without a fight. When Steiner trapped her in a stall and hit her in the face, she was able to use tactics she learned in a self defense class to fend off her attacker and escape. She clawed his face and hit back, fighting for her life, according to an Instagram post she shared after the ordeal.

Herron’s GPS recorded her movements during the brutal attack, shown above in her Instagram post.

“All those little things that I learned in my life … how to punch and everything came back to me,” she told ABC News. “I started to feel like I was going to lose consciousness … but I got another surge of adrenaline, and I reached for the door and was able to get out.”

A passerby helped Herron lock her attacker in the restroom with a carabiner until police arrived. Steiner now faces charges of attempted rape in the second degree and second degree assault, according to court documents.

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