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Greensboro running group prompted to help women after jogger killed in Tennessee

After hearing safety concerns from several people about running in the morning, an all mens running group wants you to know you're not alone.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A murder investigation from Tennessee has running groups in Greensboro on alert. 

The Memphis Police Department confirmed Tuesday, Sept. 6 that missing jogger Eliza Fletcher was found dead after being kidnapped. 

F3 Greensboro, a fitness group that stands for fitness, fellowship, and faith, is working to make sure all runners can exercise while feeling safe.

For some avid walkers and runners in Greensboro, safety is top of mind.

"I only come out during the daytime, if it's early, I am usually meeting her otherwise, I'm kind of middle of the day, I feel the most safe myself by myself," said walker, Liz Ballard.

"I've got a two-way headphone, I can speak into this if I need to dial 911, just tell Google to dial it," said Paul Hairston, a walker. 

"If I'm alone, I drop pins to my husband,  I'll always say that I'm going out and I just am making sure that, it's tempting to look down at your phone but I'm always just always looking over the more remote wooded areas," said Joanna Palmer, another walker in Greensboro. 

All three of these walkers said they are being extra attentive in the wake of the jogger killed in Memphis. 

"I wish I could be braver or about it but these days that would just be unwise," said Ballard. 

For some people, running in the dark can be the only time to get out and exercise and it's what is encouraging F3 Greensboro to be a safeguard for early morning runners. 

Corry Phillips is a group member of F3 and said they put out a post on social media, that shows their schedule, so all women and early morning runners can have a safe place to run. 

Credit: WFMY

"If people want to bring their group if people want to feel like they can exercise. Give us a wave will acknowledge Oh, we'll keep an eye out for you if that's what you need. It's just open communication," said Phillips.

Phillips said the group works out every morning from 5:30 am to 6:15 am. He wants people to know they are willing to keep an eye on all of the runners that are in the area, so everyone can get in a good, and safe, run.  

"We want to be a catalyst for good things to happen in our community. And it starts with us. And if we can put ourselves in a position where we can help others bigger, small, that's where we want to be," said Phillips. 

More information about the groups schedule can be found here.

If you're not able to join the group, there are other tips to stay safe while out and about. 

"I'll listen to podcasts and things but I'm always looking and keeping aware, you just don't know," said Liz Ballard.  

"If you are going to go alone, you have to be, in a place that is going to be secure and well-lit and something that you know that there's going to be cameras around or anything that could keep you safe," said Palmer. 

"If you need a companion of some sort, try to reach out to somebody that can walk with you talk with you, just kind of be that helping hand that you need in order to move forward," said Hairston. "I wouldn't suggest just standing stagnant and staying in that fear apprehension, I believe you should just try to get up and just do the best you can, you know, one step at a time."

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