That's Not Chelsea King

By Artie Ojeda
|  Thursday, May 20, 2010  |  Updated 1:47 PM PDT
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The Stories That Broke Our Hearts

Artie Ojeda

Encinitas resident Lauren Avenius running on Thursday.

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A chance encounter on a running trail evokes the recent tragedy in Rancho Bernardo.

Today on a late morning run on a beautiful San Diego day, I ran in to another runner who immediately reminded me of Chelsea King.

Take a look at her picture and you'll see why. What also struck me was something rather unfortunate: I made note that she was running alone.

On Monday, Sheriff Bill Gore made note at a news conference that the only thing Chelsea may have done differently was to not run alone.

I decided to stop the runner I passed on Thursday to ask her why, in light of everything that had happened, she was out on the trails alone.

"Its really about not letting that fear dictate the actions in my life," said Lauren Avenius, 27, from Encinitas.

Avenius was running while on a break from her job at Sony. She was about three miles from the area King was attacked. It turns outs Lauren is a sexual assault survivor, an astounding coincidence.

"I had run that same trail the day she was attacked," Avenius said. "It was definitely shocking to learn she had been abducted just a few hours earlier in that same park."

And yet, Avenius continues to run alone.

"Its about being aware and making sure who's around you and where you're going," Avenius said.

The Encinitas resident is also trained in self-defense and has taught self-defense to women and girls.

"Its not about knowing how to fight -- it's about knowing you are strong," Avenius said. "Its about reclaiming our spaces and reclaiming our bodies."   

A refreshing opinion from a runner who loves being on the open trails.
 

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