Runner’s viral post hopes to promote safety

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — It’s been less than a week since an Arkansas woman was kidnapped and killed while out for a run. The Sydney Sutherland tragedy is sparking a conversation about safety among many Arkansas runners.

There is a photo of Kourtlind Johnson that has been shared hundreds of times, but it’s the message behind it that she hopes people will hear.

“I’m going to get emotional… it just really broke my heart,” said Kourtlind Johnson.

The tragedy of Sydney Sutherland striking a cord with a total stranger.

“It just of made me think what if it was one of them what if it was someone I personally know,” said Johnson.

Kourtlind Johnson quickly took to Facebook.

“How can I make someone aware of how they can protect themselves,” said Johnson.

Sharing an image of this a corset she wears that doubles as a gun holster.

“I guess my goal was just to put it out there and say hey this is how I protect myself,” said Johnson.

Kourtlind continuing on a conversation that has begun since the details about what happened to Sutherland begin to come out. Detectives say the Jackson County women were out for a run when she was kidnapped.

Running stores like Rock City Running stay stocked with different types of protections for those who hit the pavement.

“It’s frustrating that we have to carry those types of things but because of the way the world men and women both need to have something,” said Annette Blanton of Rock City Running.

For some, it might be mace or simply running in a big group, but for Kourtlind it’s her concealed carry and while it may not be a solution she hopes people will find a safety measure that works for them.

“It’s just education and making people aware, you have to talk about it,” said Johnson.

Kourtlind does have her concealed carry and practiced a lot to learn how to properly remove the gun from the corset and fire.

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