Safety Tips from Road Captain Sandy Mullins
Road running is great fun, especially when we run as a club, at training runs, races or even alone, but there are running laws to adhere to for one’s safety. There have been too many incidences of late, and for new runners as well as experienced runners, it’s good to be reminded of running etiquette and safety.
- Always run facing oncoming traffic so that you and drivers are aware of each other. The only time it is advisable to run with the flow of the traffic is if there is a foot path on that side only. We don’t need to play dodgem cars and chicken!
- You need to be able to hear what is going on around you. Avoid running with headphones. If you really have to listen to music when you run, turn it down and only wear one ear piece, so that you can be aware of your surroundings. Most races do not permit the use of headphones.
- “Light and bright at night”! Especially during winter, you need to be visible! MIB’s (Men in Black) might be cool, but you are not visible! These days you get really great running tops that are reflective, and just plain white T’s are also advisable.
- If you intend changing direction, cross a road, or come to an intersection make sure you signal clearly where you intend going. Often drivers are looking right to cross into a road you are in, they do not see you coming and many a runner has met a car by accident. Rather run around vehicles than presume that you have been seen.
- Early birds and late runners need to be very aware of drivers who could be fatigued or under the influence. Some drivers have no respect for runners, and they own the road rather than share it. We too need to realise that we don’t have exclusive rights to the road either and should preferably run on the pavement. Rather assume that all drivers are bad and have not seen you. Be safe not sorry!
- Be courteous and acknowledge drivers who have made an effort to give way to your athletic efforts. Swearing and cursing drivers is a no no! We also have to honour our club – we want to draw people not chase them away!
- If you are not well or intend to cut short, please let someone know so that runners don’t wait for a no show. We have had an incident where a new runner collapsed and it could have been serious if it were not for a guardian angel who came to her rescue. Run responsibly!
- Sadly, these days, running alone is not always an option. There have been numerous accounts of runners being accosted, and some not so nice experiences. If you have no alternative, make sure you run in daylight and on roads that are popular to avoid unwanted company. Ideally join us at Stella or run with a mate, and make sure your route is known to the special people in your life.
These few simple points can make your running experience a lot more pleasurable. Lets arrive alive and in one piece, and come back for more tar therapy because we can!!