Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Running Safely

When I started running in 2011 I never thought of running as a dangerous sport.  I mean you just run, right?  My biggest concern was tripping over something or more likely nothing.  Well I have learned that that is not true in anyway!  There are so many factors I never thought about.  The more I would learn the more I wondered how in the world did I never think of all of the safety concerns of runners and especially women who run alone.  Once you get into the whole online running family through blogs, Facebook and all social media you hear too many horror stories that may keep people on the treadmill.  But what fun is that?  If you stay inside to avoid the asshole drivers, the careless drivers and the vicious attackers you will miss all the good stuff too......

 I prefer this view above to the view below ANY DAY!

So anyway one of the worst stories is about Sherry Arnold.  Her story is an extreme one but it can happen to any of us!  I have read stories of people getting attacked in broad daylight!!  There are also the stories of people just running along and a driver is texting or reaching for a fallen water bottles and they swerve off the road and KILL people.

I am sure if my mother reads this post she will probably get my husband to tie me to my treadmill and keep me off the roads forever but that is not an option.  Once the weather gets better my ass is back out there!!  But there are things to do to keep you safe.  Some are common sense but sometimes those are the first we forget about so it is good for a refresher.  For me, I have a Road ID, reflective gear and knuckle lights for evening and night running and I do not go out running if my husband is not home or at least somewhere with a phone and knows I am out running.  I also have thought about getting a wrist worn pepper spray, not just for people but a loose dog can do a lot of harm too.....I am honestly afraid I will hurt myself more with it.

Here are some other things to do to be safe – not just while running, but in general.
(Thank you SUAR for this list)
  1. Always tell someone where you are going.
  2. Stay on well travelled and well lit roads. Don’t take short cuts through woods, poorly lit areas, etc.
  3. If possible, run with a dog, a group or at least one other person.
  4. Ditch the headphones.  **I have a 1 ear set so I can be aware of whats going on**
  5. Bring your phone.
  6. If someone looks shady to you, cross the street or go the other way.
  7. Vary your routes. Don’t be predictable.
  8. Know where you’re going. Looking confused and lost can make you a target.
  9. Don’t be distracted. Perpetrators specifically look for people who aren’t 100% aware of their surroundings.
  10. Consider taking a self defense class. You never know when you might need these skills.
  11. Reconsider the pony tail. This is an easy thing to grab and pull.
  12. Have an air of confidence. Walk or run tall with your head up.
  13. Trust your gut. If something/someone doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
  14. Bring pepper spray, but keep in mind it can be used against you too.
  15. If attacked, do everything in your power to not be taken to another location.
Ok so I went off on a tangent....why I started this post was because I learned from Shut Up And Run 's post today that it is time for the 2nd Annual Run for Sherry.   The run is on February 9th, 2013.

  • Mark your calendars
  • Print out a running bib and pin it to your shirt
  • Gather your friends, your running club members, your families
  • If it’s wet where you are, “laminate” your bib with postage tape and punch holes in it
  • If that time doesn’t work, go when you can
  • GO. Run as far and as long as you want. Walk, hike, cycle, rollerblade if you don’t want to or can’t run.
  • Please share this on your blogs, Facebooks and Twitters
  • Keep it simple. Just run with Sherry on your minds and hearts. 

The goal for the run is two fold:
  1. To get the MOST love, momentum and energy moving in honor of Sherry. This run symbolizes a hope for continued healing and honors a woman who was courageous, strong and loved by so many. When we run for Sherry, we also run for other runners who have been brutally attacked.
  2. The run symbolizes our promise to run as SAFELY as we can, but to not fearfully scramble inside to treadmills or to stop doing something we love due to fear.
Races 2 Remember generously donated their time to creating a running bib for Sherry last year and they have also helped with this year’s bib. 
Click HERE to print the bib

What do you do to keep safe while outside running?  Do stories like Sherry's keep you from running or make you want to run more to say EFF YOU to the attackers?


  1. Wow. I was really thinking about running in Wertheim today since it's supposed to be so nice out, but I am reconsidering. I think the pepper spray would be a nice thing to have along with you. I don't know how great cell service is in the woods there. Maybe I'll ask my gf if she wants to go too.

    1. I didn't know they had trails in there! Must be so pretty! And yes bring a friend!

  2. I've thought about running there too, but the website says it's not allowed. (?)

    1. I have friends who live across the street from it and I never even knew you could get in.

  3. Unfortunately when I do run it breaks about 6 of the "rules" you suggest. Can't be helped though, my running options are extremely limited.

    1. Well I am quite fond of you so please be careful :)

  4. I shudder to think about what could happen. But I still get out there, with pepper spray and phone, in reflective/hi-viz colors, in non-secluded areas...mostly.....still scary to think about though.

    1. I know!!! I want to run at parks more to get out of my neighborhood but I can't after dark so I am looking forward to spring!