This post is dedicated to Meg Menzies, a fellow runner who was killed by a drunk driver on January 13th of this year. She was a mother, marathoner, and her life was cut short by some irresponsible idiot.
A Facebook site has been set up in her honor, and today people are running all over the country as part of the "Meg's Miles" movement. T-shirts can also be purchased here, all proceeds go to her family. She lived in Massachusetts, so I did not know her, but I will be running in her honor this weekend. Unfortunately, I have to run inside, but stories like these are a reminder for the rest of us to be safe.
Here are some running safety tips:
1. Run during the day when possible.
2. Wear reflective gear, even during the day, and bright clothing
3. Run without headphones, or at least with the volume low.
4. Run on the left side of the road. This way you can see oncoming traffic and act accordingly instead of having cars coming up behind you.
5. Bring a cell phone.
6. Run with a friend or dog.
7. Know where you're going, keep your head up, and look confident.
8. Do not take short cuts through woods or poorly lit areas.
9. Tell someone where you are going.
10. Carry mace, and consider taking a class on self-protection.
11. Always assume that drivers cannot see you. Let them go first..
There have also been too many stories about women being abducted and/or killed while out running. Some of these safety tips apply in that respect.
I will admit that I do run in the dark, early in the mornings for part of the year. I run alone. But I always tell my husband where I'll be, I always have mace on me, and I always carry my phone. I run familiar routes. I also greet people I see walking, running, and biking so that they know that I've seen them. This may be something I'm completely making up, but I feel like it makes me seem more aware of my surroundings and the people in them.
I know that most of the women you see out running know these tips already. Sometimes bad things just happen. But being aware and remembering basic running safety can help keep us vigilant and not get comfortable in our surroundings.