Presented by the
50 & D.C. Marathon Group
This "Being Safe" presentation is designed for anyone who enjoys running, walking or hand cycling. Both men & women can be in danger while running. Our world has changed a lot and we can no longer take our safety for granted. The crime rate increases each and every year. This brochure will show different situations which could be dangerous, plus safety measure you can add to your routine. Being safe is a lot better than being afraid of what might happen. You can now take action and fight back! We need to teach our children to be safe too, for they are the future runners of tomorrow!
Wearing headphones while running is a very dangerous practice. The headphones make you oblivious to what is going on around you. You need to be able to hear to be aware of your surroundings and possible trouble. The more aware you are, the less vulnerable you will appear to be a possible attacker. If you must wear headphones, turn up the volume and wear the headset around your neck. You are still able to hear the music but can now be better aware of you surroundings.
Carry a cell phone or change for the payphone, and know where the nearest pay phone is on your route. Leave a note when going out for your run. Write down the time you left, time expected to return, and route you are taking. Make sure and let your family and friends know your running routes and give them names so they know which one you are running on today. Carry ID with you also. There are many different kinds you can find to use. Make sure they include name, address, phone number, allergies, blood type, physician's name and number and a short medical history. You can also put this information inside your shoe if needed.
Running the same route everyday is a normal practice for most of us. For our own safety, we need to alter our routes as to not become too regular.Being at the same place at the same time poses a threat for a possible attack by a predator. Avoid isolated and unfamiliar places to run. When traveling check to see if the city has a local running group you can call and ask where the safest places are to run. If running on a trail and there are limbs or weeds obstructing your view which make a great place for an attacker to hide in, contact the city to have them cleared off.
Run with a partner or even your dog;safety comes with numbers and can help keep trouble away. Establish a safe place to go to on your routes if ever you are feeling unsafe, such as local businesses or someone's home along your route. You need to be flexible and willing to change your route, direction or move to the other side of the street if you feel something is not right or uneasiness. Drive a new route first before running it; check out the people, cars, dogs, businesses, road conditions and lighting to insure your safety.
Run on the LEFT side of the road facing traffic so you can observe approaching vehicles. Run on roads with wide shoulders if possible and use sidewalks when available. When at a road crossing, make eye con-tact with the driver of the vehicle or cycle to ensure your visibility. When crossing the street look three times (left,right, & left). Runners need to obey traffic rules and signals; we are still bound by traffic laws. Become a safety-minded runner who takes responsibility for your own safety and well-being.
Self-defense training is a great tool to know to help remain safe of to fight off an attacker. Most cities have classes you can take, you can check at your Y's or schools. Anyone can be vulnerable for an attack, especially women, teens, and even older runners. Runners and walkers are most at risk for sexual attack (attackers know they don't carry cash) so that puts women as the main target. Physical self-defense has three goals - cause fear,cause pain, or disable your attacker. Carry a whistle or alarm device in the event of an emergency. If you are going to carry pepper spray; make sure you know how to use it and don't be afraid to use it. Visualize your plan-think your plan through and practice your plan for different situations. If attacked YELL rather then scream &yelling FIRE usually gets more people out. Fightback! Aim for the eyes, knees, throat & groin. Use your elbow, heel of your hand or kick. Do not show fear or plead. Do not develop fear or paranoia of running and other people but know that you are prepared if a situation does arise.
When face with verbal harassment, be discreet but acknowledge their presence to let them know you are not afraid. Looking away makes you appear like someone easy to attack or someone that wouldn't tell.Project strength and confidence while out running or walking. Do not stop to give directions if alone, keep moving and shrug your shoulders as if you don't know of any; if you answer, keep at least a full arm's length from the car. Try to remember different things about the people you see like the color of clothing they are wearing,a special feature, or even the license plate number of the car they are in. This information can be helpful to the police if something were to happen along your running route.Your best awareness skills are intuition and fear. They are never wrong! They are there to keep you safe. Donot ignore them or try to rationalize them away. Trust your intuition and avoid areas you feel unsure about.
Most runners have been terrorized or chased by a dog at one time or another. Generally, the dog is harmless but be aware of the dogs that seem aggressive. Statistics show that 344,000 people a year are taken to the ER and 466,000 others go to another medical facility for treatment for dog bites. Active adults like joggers, cyclist and walkers are the most vulnerable. If con-fronted by a dog, do not run or scream. Do not look the dog in the eyes; dogs perceive this as a challenge and it will make him more likely to attack. Be silent and remain still with arms at your sides. Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly move away from the area. If the dog starts to run at you, pretend you are its owner and yell, "NO.SIT. STAY!" If the dog attacks, punch the nose or try to kick the dog. If knocked dowry curl up in a ball and try not to move or make a sound. If bitten, seek medical attention and report the attack to the authorities. You can carry with you a squirt gun with ammonia, ultrasonic dog chaser (emits high pitched sound only dogs can hear), or colored pepper spray (dye helps identify dog) to help ward off a possible attack.
Leave your jewelry at home when out running or walking. Wearing a lot of jewelry makes you stand out and puts you at risk of being attacked and your valuables stolen.
Be in contact with your local law-enforcement to learn of crimes that may have happened on your running route or suspicious people. You need to report to your local law-enforcement when things don’t “feel right” to you. If attacked or harassed you need to report them. If they do it to you, they’ll do it to someone else.
Do not run in stormy weather, lightning causes about 100 deaths and up to 1000 injuries a year in the United States. Lightning can strike 10 miles ahead of the storm. If you can hear or see it you need to take cover. If shelter is not available and you are caught in an open area you need to squat down and form the smallest ball you can with your body. Do not lie flat on the ground, this makes you a bigger target. Stay away from trees, light poles and wet areas. You can seek shelter in a car but do not touch anything that is metal. If someone gets struck by lightning help them immediately, you can not get an electrical shock from them. Administer CPR if able and call for help!
Wear white running apparel when running in the sun, this helps reflect the sun's rays. Drink plenty of water during your run. Do not wait until you are thirsty; by then you may already be dehydrated. Try to avoid cotton material and look for clothing that pulls moisture away from your body. Run with a partner when weather is extremely hot. Cool yourself with water when possible. Make sure you have access to water along your route. Know the signs of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. STOP, call for HELP, drink fluids and try to cool your body down. Train indoors if weather conditions are too extreme and could be dangerous.
Before you go out start off with some warm-up exercises. Layer your clothing. Keep head and neck covered, body heat is lost if not protected. Run against the wind at the start of your run and with the wind near your finish. Be aware of ice and snow on your route to prevent injuries. Do not run alone when weather is extremely cold. Watch traffic closely in slippery conditions. Use another route if yours is deeply covered in snow and has not been plowed. Drinking fluids is still important in cold weather running. Know the signs of frostbite and check extremities for early signs. Wear reflective clothing since the days are shorter in the winter.
Wear reflective running apparel if you run before dawn or after dark. Wearing light colored clothing is helpful too. You can apply self-sticking reflective tape if apparel doesn’t have it. Also available are reflective wrist and ankle bands, reflective vest and battery-operated reflectors. Other safety items you might want to carry are a noise-maker, pepper spray, cell phone, change for pay-phone or to replenish fluids, Road ID and a safety flag (for handcycles or wheelchair). Be safe, stay fit and alive!
When out training in your handcycle or wheelchair you must remain safe also. Let someone know where you are going and when to expect you to return. Always wear a helmet. Carry a cell phone, an ID with some medical history, and a repair kit. An orange flag on your equipment makes others aware of your presence along with reflective lights and reflective strips on your clothing.
Sharing the road with motorist you should always remember to be courteous to those that allow you safe passage. A simple smile, a friendly wave or just saying thank you; means you are acknowledging them for their kindness. Doing so can make a world of difference in how motorist view the runner or walker that shares the road with them. Thank the Police Officers and the volunteers at races also, for they to allow you to BE SAFE!
Jerry Schaver - Director
Jennifer Chrest - Cast Member
Jean Roeder - Cast Member
Judy Aurand - Cast Member
Steve Dyson - Police Officier
Kent Houzenga - Cast Member
Christine Lacy – Cast Member
Ray Schaver – Cast Member
Mike Brooks - Picture
Shirley Pratt - Picture
The 50 & D.C. Marathon Group would like to thank all of those involved in this project: for without them this would not of happened. We would also like to take this time to thank you, the viewer. Whether a veteran athlete or just starting out we hope you have learned one thing from this presentation to keep you safe. If it saves just one life we will know that someone benefited.