Her Biggest Running Nightmare Became A Reality, But She Fought Back And Won

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Her Biggest Running Nightmare Became A Reality, But She Fought Back And Won

Three weeks before she went for a run that would change her life, Kelly Herron had taken a self-defence workshop. Little did she know, every move she learned would save her life.

The 36-year-old was just four miles into her run when she stopped to use a public washroom in Seattle's Golden Gardens Park. That's when registered sex offender, Gary Steiner attacked.

The 40-year-old man was hiding in the bathroom when he approached Herron. As he pinned her down, she began battling for her life. She clawed his face, punched him and screaming "not today, M**F**er!"

Although he tried to beat her down, Herron fought back with everything she had and managed to escape his grasp. She and a passer-by locked him inside the restrooms and called police.

The images from her fitness tracker show the terrifying struggle to get away from Steiner:

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

Herron told ABC News that being attacked while training was "her biggest running nightmare," and she's not the only one. A Runner's World survey reports that 43 percent of women experience harassment while running, compared to just four percent of men.

Thankfully, Herron was able to keep her wits about her and fight back. She says the workshop taught her how to "put hard bones in soft, fleshy areas," which likely saved her life.

As for her attacker, Steiner has been charged with attempted second-degree rape and second-degree assault with sexual motivation.

Watch her interview here: