Rochester runners honor murdered Tennessee jogger

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Hundreds of runners across the nation took part in “Finish Eliza’s Run” Friday morning, to honor a Tennessee teacher who was murdered while out jogging.

“At 5:20 a.m. which was concurrent with a lot of other groups around the nation that was the time unfortunately her run ended so the theme of the run was finishing her run,” Rochester Running Company owner, Jonathan Griffiths told News10NBC.

The company took strides with groups across the nation to remember Eliza Fletcher. Fletcher was kidnapped and murdered while out for an early morning run last Friday in Tennessee. The Rochester group ran in teams and had head lamps on. Griffiths says, his teams often talk about safety.

“You can have noise devices and things like that can also be deterrence that will alarm and hopefully scare a potential threat away.”

If you want to take safety a step further, you can go with self-defense. News10NBC’s Stephanie Duprey took a class at United Martial Arts Center in Victor, to learn some basic maneuvers.

Owner of the center, John Ingallina has been helping people across Monroe County protect themselves for years. He says it could be the difference between life and death. He says in these times, the buddy system is key.

“In the case of the jogger, this person could have been watching her previous to this. It was early in the morning she was by herself, the more you can go out with someone the less chance you’re going to be looked at as a target, that’s just the way it is,” Ingallina said.

United Martial Arts Center on School Road in Victor offers a wide range of classes including a women’s class. Some seminars are free. Ingallina says anyone is welcome. You can sign up on the centers website.