Running group memberships spike after recent homicides along Indian Creek Trail

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  As concerns grow about the unsolved homicides along Indian Creek Trail, local running clubs say they've seen a spike in people joining the group for safety reasons.

The city increased the number of security cameras and added extra officers out on the trails, but running coaches say there are additional steps you can take to protect yourself.

"I am not seeing as many people running by themselves," runner Zita said. "There are more groups, more couples, more trios that are running. And then the police presence."

Zita and her brother, Joel, live near the trail and have walked it for more than 30 years. They say news of the recent unsolved homicides came as a shock to the family.

"Sympathy first and foremost for the victims and their families," Zita said. "I really felt bad about that. Number two, do I need to look at anything I am doing to try to stay a little bit safer."

Eladio Valdez is a running coach with the Runner's Edge Training Program. He says they've seen a spike in membership, in part because of recent safety concerns.

"I would make a point to see if you can find at least one other person, whether it is your neighbor, your coworker... somebody who is in your life in some form," Valdez said.

If your schedule requires you to run alone, Valdez says there are simple items you can bring with you for your protection. Tips such as wearing a bright color vest if you're out before the sun or carrying your cell phone on you at all times.

"I feel like because of the safety measures I can relax, otherwise I would be a little nervous," Valdez said.

Valdez says it starts with safety at every step.

Runners along Indian Creek Trail say they've noticed another big difference with more police on bikes. Something they rarely saw before this year.

The Runner's Edge Program says they even plan to attend a self defense course this summer, in light of the attacks.



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