Running In The Dark: Train Safe

So. That didn’t take long. Almost getting run over, that is. Today’s training was a short duration run, mostly at race pace. I frequently run in the afternoon or early evening, which — at this time of year — means it’s dark. I most often run in my neighborhood. There are plenty of paths, it’s hilly so I get a good workout, and it’s convenient.

I was in the middle of my run when I came to the intersection. There was an SUV approaching. There was also a streetlight. And a stop sign. My clothing wasn’t the best choice for visibility — but not terrible — dark shorts with bare legs, a dark top with reflective stripes, highly reflective straps around my ankles, and a headlamp. As I approached the intersection, I looked directly at the driver. The car seemed to be slowing, so I assumed it would stop. Next to the stop sign.

Needless to say, the driver didn’t stop — came within about a foot of me as I sprinted through the crosswalk. I kept running and made it several hundred yards before the couple pulled up next to me to chew me out. Apparently for not stopping so they could run the stop sign.

There’s not a lot of high moral ground I suppose. The driver should have come to a complete stop. I should have been even more effectively reflective.

The bottom line is that you’re responsible for your own safety when you’re out running. Crossing streets any time of year is dangerous. Dark nights and mornings this time of year make it worse. But distracted drivers are a challenge any time of year. I’ll be making sure I’ve got plenty of reflective materials on when I’m out. But be sure drivers see you. Make eye contact. Otherwise, you can’t be sure they see you — and you may not be as lucky.

Train safe.

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