What happened to two female joggers on a Rotorua track over the past week is equal parts scary and infuriating.

On both occasions the women were running alone along a walking track between Sulphur Point and the Lakefront when a man appeared and grabbed them on their body in an inappropriate manner. Police say the incidents were of a sexual nature.

One can only imagine how terrifying it was for the women. Luckily they were able to run away before the incidents escalated.

The women were able to give a good description - Maori, solid build, about 165cm tall, wearing black pants that change colour below the knee to a cream colour, and a light-grey hoodie. Both also noticed he had gaps in his teeth or teeth in a poor condition.


The good news is police say they have positive leads they hope will help identify the man.

But women should still be extra cautious about where and when they run or walk, especially if heading out alone.

Which is just infuriating to write. Women should never have to feel vulnerable when going for a jog in a public place in the middle of the afternoon. In a perfect world - they should never have to feel vulnerable at all.

But as we know all too well, we don't live in a perfect world. It makes sense to take precautions, at least until this man is caught.

Hundreds of our Facebook readers felt the same when we posted this story on Monday - many tagging in friends who use the track to warn them. While some suggested running with a weapon, why not just exercise with a friend or two for a while. Or change up your regular route and pound the streets instead.

When it comes down to it, your safety is the most important thing, so please, do what you can to stay safe.