RUN STRONG AND RUN SAFE
The word ‘safe’ has a completely new meaning in the new normal. It brings wearing masks, using sanitizers and maintaining social distancing to the top of our minds. But ‘safety while running’ has always been a concern and continues to be, for the running community across the world.
Safety threats to runners come in many forms. Although female runners face more threats in the form of harassment – physical and verbal, some unfortunate incidents have also been reported in Chennai recently about male runners being mugged by anti-social elements while running.
So, how can you ensure your safety when you run? Here are a few tips to remember. Although these may sound simple and straight-forward, some points are important reminders in the current pandemic times when we are facing threats due to loss of income and financial distress.
Run on familiar routes:
Pick roads that you are familiar with, during training as well as on final marathon day. Always choose well-lit roads that are not deserted. If you are planning to start running early in the morning, wear attire in bright colors and with reflective prints. Also, it is important to leave a word with your family on the route you have chosen to run.
Plan to run as a team:
Although running as a group is to be avoided currently, try to plan your route in such a way that you have a team to always reach out to if need arises. Running completely alone must be avoided. Ensure that the team is a mix of male and female runners.
Accessories to carry/avoid:
Always carry a card of identity with a little amount of cash for emergency. Ensure that your emergency phone number and blood group is mentioned in the ID. Avoid wearing any kind of jewellery and keep your mobile phone away from immediate attention.
Being aware of the traffic:
To run safe is not only about-facing human threats but also other factors like vehicles on the road. Running against the direction of the traffic helps you steer clear from tailing vehicles. Although some runners choose to run with music, the best thing to do in want of safety would be to ditch those earphones. With lockdown being lifted to a large extent, the traffic is back on the road full-swing. Adding to this are vehicles coming on the wrong lane or even a noiseless cycle that is tailing you. Train yourselves to run without your earphones especially while running on open roads with vehicular traffic.
Learn basic self-defence moves and first aid:
It always helps to gather some skills in basic self-defence moves that can come in handy if your opponent threat looks weak and easy to overpower, to escape the situation. If you have the opportunity, get trained on primary first-aid responses. Physical assaults if any, must be reported to the nearest police station, to prevent the same in future.
Training your mind:
When we face a threat situation while running alone, it is a natural instinct to freeze and feel helpless. To be prepared for this means to train your mind for a ‘fight or flight’ situation, to scream for help. This requires conscious practice but it is achievable. You could even carry a whistle. It also is a good practice to learn memorizing vehicle number plates during such situations.
Do trust your instinct. If anything seems amiss on the route, stay mindful of the same and avoid situations beforehand.
Finally, being safe in terms of your health also counts. Plan your hydration well before the race. Take help from friends and family members to volunteer at hydration points on your route.
So, that’s your safety check-list for the upcoming DRHM 2020 and the rest of your everyday runs too. Run strong and run safe!
Anna Nagar Dreamers
#LetUsRunSoTheyCanWalk #RunClean #RunResponsible #SheShouldRun