Night Running Safety

We interrupt our regularly foodie program to talk about something that is very important to me: night running safety!

If you can't take the photo seriously, at least take the subject seriously 😉

As the days get shorter and the nights get longer (and cooler), more and more people are taking to running outside again in the evenings. I think this is great! It makes me so happy to see people of all levels going out and enjoying themselves.  What I don’t like to see is when people ignore simple rules of safety:

1)      Wear reflective gear: this is the main reason for this rant. I was driving home tonight and as I rounded a corner out of nowhere I barely spot this man running on the road.  He was barely visible and if I had been going faster, I could have potentially, god forbid, hit him! So wear your reflective gear- a top, jacket, shorts, hat- something that will make you visible to cars! Shoes are OK but not as visible, so even if you have reflective tape in your shoes, make sure something a bit higher up is reflective, too!

no need to be this hardcore, unless of course you're running at night in Grande Cache, AB!

2)      Run on the sidewalk or a designated running path: while I recognize that running on the road can be a more enjoyable place to run, try and stick to either designated running paths or sidewalks. It’s harder for drivers to see you at night, even with reflective gear.  Plus, since it’s darker (and later), less people will be out strolling around so you won’t be interfering with walkers and vice-versa.

3)      Turn the music down: I know you love running to your favorite tunes, but if you’ve got AC/DC or Lady Gaga blasting on your ipod and you’re not paying as much attention as you should be, you could put yourself in serious danger.

4)      Bring a cell phone or at least a quarter for a pay phone.  It’s dark and the sidewalks aren’t always as brightly lit as you like them. You could end up having a klutz moment and hurting yourself (hey, accidents happen) so it’s better to have the ability to call someone to come get you.

5)      Run in well-lit public areas.  This is not the time to explore that amazing trail your friend has been talking about.  I know this is kind of a “duh” but I feel the need to put it down while I’m on the subject. Make sure you’re running in an area that is familiar to you and lots of people are around.

If you really want to hit up a trail, get yourself a running buddy and really remember rule #4!

6)      Enjoy yourself 🙂 Ok that was cheesy, but I honestly love running in the evenings. It’s a great way for me to decompress and come the time where I can run again, you best believe I will be out following these rules!

See? Even the spectators can enjoy themselves too!

In other news, the lovely Chelsey has nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award! Thank you, Chelsey!

Apparently I’m supposed to list 7 things you don’t know about me, but I didn’t really have time to think this too much today.  So, I will give it some more thought and do a li’l post in honour of this award sometime over the weekend.

On that note, I am off to pack because I am going HOME to Toronto tomorrow! I’m so excited! I haven’t been home since April, so I’m well overdue for a visit.

Have a great night!

Question: How do you feel about runner safety? Do you have any tips to add to my list?


About Jess @ MTL Veggie

Jess, the face behind The MTL Veggie is a vegetarian, athlete, marketer and Torontonian turned Montrealer. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, photography, running, yoga, skiing, and of course blogging. The MTL Veggie recaps her recipes, restaurant reviews, and what it's like to be a Leafs fan living in Montreal (hint: scary at times).
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3 Responses to Night Running Safety

  1. Good tips! I always want to run outside in the morning, but it’s too dark!!

  2. Tess says:

    Love love love this post. So true.

  3. Tess says:

    PS. I went for a run this morning and it felt AMAZING! Best run I’ve had in quite a while. Anyways, it reminded me of this post because it was very early (4:30am) and therefore still dark. I just wanted to add a couple of safety tips if I may 🙂 This one is especially for the ladies and takes into account for unexpected attackers.
    1) Carry your keys between your fingers. If someone jumps out at you, you can punch them with your keyed hand and it will not be pleasant.
    2) Check your shadows. Any time you run past a street lamp or something lit, just check your shadow to make sure you’re the only one you see lol.
    3) If/when approaching a tunnel or large bush (I’m serious), stay alert and look around. Listen for sounds. Look for movement. Once you’ve passed it, do a shoulder-check to make sure nobody has come out behind you.
    4) Always think out your escape route. For every change of scenery (new road or trail, fewer people around, etc) think about where you could run to, who you could call to, what tools are at your disposal.

    I know it sounds paranoid, but just being aware of these things will give you a 100% advantage.

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