I think it’s important to address runner safety periodically, just to remind us all to consider it, at least on occasion. Runners should be mindful of their surroundings day or night, road or trail. Bad and unexpected things can happen to anyone, anywhere. The number one threat, in my book, to runners is other people.
I know out on the trail there is the possibility of getting lost, falling and having a serious injury, or animal attacks, however, these are less frequent than attacks by other people.
It’s also my opinion that road runners are at higher risk, just because there are more people around them. The approaching winter always makes me think about these things because I’ll be on the roads almost exclusively since the mountains are covered with snow and ice to the point where both running and driving in the canyons become an issue, unless you snowshoe or ski/snow board, which I don’t.
Here are my tips for staying safe out there:
- Run with a friend
- Make sure people know where you’re going and when you expect to be back
- Carry your phone
- Run against traffic
- Wear lights (red flashing rear/front and a headlamp) and reflective gear
- Wear bright colors
- Carry runners mace: buy here
- SING: solar plexis, instep, nose, and groin. These are the places to hit in order to disable your attacker quickly and effectively.
- Change your routes and/or time of day that you run.
- Keep at least one earbud out at all times
- Have identification on your person. Road ID is great for this, you can find it here.
- Pretend you’re invisible, in other words assume drivers and others don’t see you and act accordingly. If a driver doesn’t make eye contact and waive you through, stop and wait for them to go.
- Be cautions around blind turns and hills.
- Use extra caution during the early morning at dusk. Lighting is strange and the sun can be directly in the face of drivers.
- Make eye contact with other people as you pass them.
- Call out when you approach others from behind (you don’t want to scare the shit out of them).
There are safety apps out there for both the iphone and android. Not only can you use them for running but put them on your kids phones and tell other people about them.
- Bsafe has an alarm you can sound with a touch on your phone. It activates your camera and starts recording a video, and broadcasting your location to your friends. The video, voice, location and time are stored on bsafe servers. You can set up a timer that will alert friends/family if you don’t check in by that time (you can update this as you move). Best of all this app is free! Android and apple.
- Glympse allows others to track you while you run. They don’t have to have the app on their phone to do it. Android and apple.
- RunSafe allows you to track your activites like any running app. It has a panic button feature which alerts your contacts and sounds an alarm, activates your flashlight and records sounds. This is free and has upgrade options for a $4.99 monthly subscription. Android and Apple
- RoadID has an app as well. It lets your friends and family actively follow your digital trail, sends an SOS message with your location if you stop moving for five minutes and don’t respond to the app’s alert within 60 seconds. This is free. Only for apple.
- Reactmobile alerts 911 or sends your GPS coordinates to your emergency contacts with a touch of a button. It’s similar to bsafe. Friends and family can also track you real time. Free. Android and apple.
- Kitestring is an app you activate when you enter a potentially unsafe situation. It checks up on you after a period of time and if you don’t respond or post pone the check in, it sends a customized emergency message to your pre-selected contacts. It’s free.
Be Safe out there and if you have other ideas please share them, we have to stick together.