As the days get shorter, most of us will be doing some night runs in order to get our training sessions done. Safety during night runs is imperative. Think about the conditions you drive under once it gets dark. Your headlights are shining bright. You may be talking to your kids in the back seat. You may be talking on the phone. You’re probably driving one of a number of the same paths you drive all the time. Out of the blue, you see someone on the side of the road. It’s a guy walking along the edge wearing a black coat and dark jeans. No headlight, no safety vest, no probing light flashing at you from a distance. Your stomach sinks for just a second because you almost didn’t see him.
Now, you’re the runner. You’re running opposite traffic so you can see the cars coming. You see a car off in the distance and you’re keenly aware of how they are driving. Do they look like they’re going to move out away from the curb a little or are they oblivious to your presence coming toward them? You’re poised to jump out of the way if they don’t see you. Now add the darkness of the street to this scenario. Without your headlight (probing or constantly on), your safety vest with all its reflective strips and your own keen sense of how the cars coming toward you are behaving, you might be in trouble.
If you’re considering night runs, I strongly encourage you to make yourself visible under the darkest of running conditions. When we do night runs, we each wear a light on our hat, knuckle lights in your hands, and a reflective safety vest. There is something almost spiritual about a night run. The chill of the air, the silence of the night, the sound of only your feet against the pavement….somehow I can lose myself in that calmness. Probably because it’s not that often that my mind is actually that calm.
What do you enjoy most about night runs?
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