Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's police reporter.

Women to 'reclaim the streets' for slain jogger Jo Pert

Nike NZ's Running Coordinator Lydia O'Donnell (left) organised the run in memory of Jo Pert (right). Photo / Supplied
Nike NZ's Running Coordinator Lydia O'Donnell (left) organised the run in memory of Jo Pert (right). Photo / Supplied

A group of Auckland women will join forces this weekend to "reclaim the streets" with a memorial run for slain jogger Jo Pert.

READ MORE: Slain mum Jo Pert farewelled

Ms Pert, a 41-year-old mother of two, died after she was allegedly attacked while on her morning run in Remuera a week ago.

A 24-year-old Mt Roskill man was charged with her murder after handing himself in to police.

Now, a group of young women have planned Run For Her, a 5km run on Saturday morning.

Organised by Nike NZ's Running Co-ordinator Lydia O'Donnell, 25, the event was designed to eliminate fears in the community following the attack on Ms Pert.

"I'm an elite marathon runner so do a lot of running and running around Auckland by myself," she said.

"I organise a lot of events through work and do coaching and after what happened in Auckland last week with the attack I have had quite a lot of girls who have been in touch with me freaking out about running in Auckland and running alone.

"I thought, 'screw that, that's not fair -- we should be able to get out and get running whenever we want'. And this is a way to honour Jo and her love of running."

Ms Pert, a 41-year-old mother of two, died after she was allegedly attacked while on her morning run in Remuera a week ago. Photo / Supplied
Ms Pert, a 41-year-old mother of two, died after she was allegedly attacked while on her morning run in Remuera a week ago. Photo / Supplied

Ms O'Donnell said she did not know Ms Pert, but was among a large number of avid joggers deeply shocked by her death.

"I don't know Jo at all but she's a runner so she must be a good person. A lot of girls have been in contact, they were freaking out about going running in the streets.

"I don't think it is fair for this community to have barriers to be able to get out and train and run."

Run For Her will start at Victoria Park at 11am on Saturday, and follow a course through the waterfront and Westhaven.

Runners of all ability were welcome, and did not have to run the full 5km if they did not feel up to it, said Ms O'Donnell.

The event has 73 people registered as attending, with a further 292 "interested".

Ms O'Donnell said everyone was welcome -- including men.

On the event's page, many have expressed their support for the initiative and spoken about their fears of running since Ms Pert's attack.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 29 Sep 2016 18:01:42 Processing Time: 596ms