January 14, 2012

Running Safety

January 14, 2012

If you live on the east coast you probably have not heard the News Story about Missing Montana teacher Sherry Arnold.  She went out on her morning run last Saturday morning and virtually vanished.  Yesterday, Sherry was found dead.  This story is devastating on so many levels and reminds me why it is so important to have safety in mind when going out on runs.

My favorite time to run is early in the mornings, however, I have always been wearing about running at that time alone.  Yes, an abductor could take two women, but it is less likely.  I actually will not run in an secluded area alone even if it is the middle of the day.

Here are some basic safety tips that I have compiled.

  1. Always make sure someone knows your running route.  I always tell Chris where I will be running, what type of route I plan to take, and an approximate time that I will be gone.
  2. Carry your cell phone.  This can be rather annoying especially considering most of us have media phones (blackberry, Iphone, etc…) – but it is still a good safety measure.  I tuck mine inside my running tank.  If you run on a college campus there are generally safety call boxes – be aware of their locations.
  3. Identification – carry some type of identification on you.  Road ID has become very popular.  They have bracelets, shoe ids, and even dog tags.
  4. Run against traffic.  If you are running on a road or side of the road be sure to run against traffic so you can see oncoming vehicles.
  5. Reflective material – you want to make sure that you are visible.  Did you know that most all motorcycle accidents happen because drivers of vehicles say they did not see the motorcycle?  I am sure this is the same for runners.  There are tons of reflective belts made for runners.
  6. Pepper Spray – this could be used not only for self defense with people, but also with animals.
  7. Intuition – I believe whole heartily in trusting my gut!  If something does not feel right, then it probably isn’t.  Here is a great article I came across on just that.
  8. Ear buds are a no no – Until recently I was never a fan of running with music.  There are a lot of races that actually ban headsets and for a good reason – your safety.  It is important to be able to hear your surroundings.  If you do “have to have” music be sure to only use one ear bud and keep the volume low.
  9. Running Partner – this is the best suggestion I could ever give…chances are you are less likely to be attacked if you are running with a partner.
  10. Changing up your route will not only help you from getting bored, but you will also detour anyone from knowing/learning your schedule.

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