A MARATHON runner who was heckled by men in a van says she will not be put off by sexual harassment.

Cathy Beresford, 28, from Brighton, was nearing the end of a training run for the Manchester Marathon when she was cat-called by builders.

After she took to social media to expose the company, she got an apology, an invitation to appear on local radio – and a groundswell of support from other runners

“I refuse to be intimidated by other people’s behaviour,” she told The Argus.

“I’m not the one who needs to change what I’m doing, it’s them.

“I’ve had people driving really slowly next to me and just staring at me. Honking is quite common, and some runners have had things thrown at them.”

She said women were often blamed for inviting unwanted attention.

“On Twitter it’s a bit like shouting into a void because everyone agrees with you,” she said.

“But it makes me so angry when we are given advice like ‘Only run in lit places’.

“Apparently someone even rang in on the radio saying it’s what we wear.

“But I think society needs to change the way it treats women in public spaces generally. Some people get abuse just waiting at bus stops.

“It seems really unfair that women aren’t allowed to walk around freely in what’s supposed to be an equal society.”

She said novice runners might not be able to shrug off lewd comments.

“I do feel for people who are just getting started in running, because it’s just really demoralising and off-putting,” she said.

“I wish people in cars would just keep themselves to themselves.”

A Runner’s World survey published in the USA in 2016 found that 43 per cent of female runners, and four per cent of men, were subjected to verbal abuse while running. The same study revealed 54 per cent of women feared physical assault and started a #HarassedMidrun hashtag in an attempt to expose so-called mid-run harassment.