In an interview with ABC News, Kelly recalls the moment she knew she was in danger, saying, “As I was drying my hands, I became aware that something was wrong.”
That’s when police allege Gary Steiner, a 40-year-old registered sex offender in Arizona, emerged from a stall and pushed Kelly to the bathroom floor and attacked her – hitting her knees and legs, and badly bruising her arms.
Kelly responded by repeatedly screaming, “Not today m***er f***er,” which she said became her “battle cry” throughout the attack.
When she realised “this doesn’t have to be a fair fight,” Kelly used tactics she learnt in a self-defence class just three weeks earlier – clawing his face and punching him back.
“I learned to put hard bones in soft, fleshy places, so I just started beating his head with the side of my hand,” she said.
The alleged attacker has been charged with second-degree attempted rape, reports People.
In an Instagram post following the brutal attack, she wrote, “My face is stitched, my body is bruised, but my spirit is intact.” She is still training to run the Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon in June.
Kelly chose to share her story in the hope of encouraging women to “never stop fighting and never stop running.”
Article first published at marie claire.