(After writing my title, I realize it sounds very political. It is not. I prefer to keep politics out of my blog.)
Sunday morning I woke up ready to run. I was excited; the weather was perfect, I had a new route picked out and my legs were feeling good! The route was around my new neighborhood, out onto the main road for an out and back and then back around my neighborhood. The out and back was on a fairly busy road but there is a clearly marked, decent sized shoulder to run. The out part of my run was uneventful but the back part was a bit much more dangerous…
Just as I began to head back, a car coming towards me (I was running against traffic, as it should be) veered all the way into the opposite lane. I can only suppose this exaggerated veering was to make a point that this driver did not like runners on the road. I running as far over to the left of the shoulder as I could and he had plenty of room to keep driving without veering at all. Instead, he got into the other lane where he almost hit the driver on the other side head-on. Since he had begun his veering before he even got to me, he was actually back in his own lane by the time he went by– and he gave me the finger. REALLY? I was stunned- but it wasn’t long before another driver was coming at me and this one was driving seriously close to the shoulder. And as I moved over all the way left, he got over too…his tire was actually crossing the shoulder line. I jumped into the grass as he went by and noticed him and his buddy were cracking up.
This lead me to the conclusion that PEOPLE ARE FUCKING CRAZY!
Obviously both of these situations were dangerous. But what bothered me even more is how deliberate both of them were. These easily could have caused major accidents because they wanted to make a point or be funny. And what would have been the result? Likely, dead bodies. Luckily, I stay constantly aware of my surroundings…and if I am running alone, in the dark or on busy roads, I never take my IPOD. It can be difficult enough to avoid unintentional problems on the road while running, but runners also have to worry about people who are in a rush, out to make a point or being just plain stupid while driving.
In the time since Sunday’s run, I have been thinking a lot about run saftety. We hear a lot about staying safe from crime while running; running in groups, running while it is light out and not using an IPOD if alone or when it is dark. But what about staying safe in general? Wearing refelctive gear, running against traffic and staying out of traffic all goes without saying…but what else can we do as runner to keep ourselves safe on the road?
What measures do you take when running to make you safer? I am looking to compile a list for a future post, so any and all information/advice is helpful.