Kelly Herron does something that most of us cringe just thinking about. She runs. And not only does she run, but she’s currently a “marathoner-in-training.”
Of course, even Forrest Gump had to stop for the occasional bathroom break.
Four miles into her “long run,” on Sunday, the athlete from Seattle, Washington, stopped into the restroom facility at Golden Gardens Park. She never expected that her “biggest running nightmare” would become a reality.
Kelly shared the horrific experience on her Instagram along with photos:
According to an interview with ABC 7, while Kelly was drying her hands in the bathroom, she could instantly tell something was wrong. She was ambushed by a man who was hiding in a stall. He grabbed her tightly, but she was not going to have it.
“I fought for my life…clawing his face, punching back and desperately trying to escape his grip—never giving up.”
She successfully escaped, and even found a way to lock him in the bathroom until police arrived.
Kelly called the battle a “fight on the bathroom floor.” She explained to local news reporters that her drive to fight back was rooted in her deepest fear.
“That was the only thing that was motivating me…I cannot be raped by this guy in this place.”
The brave runner fueled her fight by staring that fear square in the eye and sprinting into action.
“Being loud and not afraid. I mean you are afraid, but letting him know, ‘You are not taking me down today. You are not going to win this fight.’”
The attacker has been identified as 40-year-old registered sex offender, Gary Steiner.
He was charged with attempted rape and second-degree assault.
Kelly credits a self-defense course she recently took at work with playing a role in helping her survive the attack.
“I learned to put your hard bones in soft fleshy places. So I just started beating the side of his head with the side of my hand.”
The 36-year-old hopes her terrifying experience, and the methods she used, helps to inspire other women to never give up and never stop fighting.
“My face is stitched, my body is bruised, but my spirit is intact.”
Remember ladies, we may be small—but we are MIGHTY. There’s a fighter in us all. 💛 💪🏼