Safety Tips and Reminders For All Runners and Walkers

Our club is saddened and shocked by the recent news of three incidents where female runners were murdered while out on runs.

These are not the only cases where runners training by themselves were attacked or killed, but the sudden occurrence of these three deaths in one week have led many to question and re-examine their own safety while out on training runs.  Some have made the decision to only do long-distance runs in races because they feel safer that way.

We encourage all runners and walkers to evaluate their personal safety while out on training runs (regardless of gender).

Here are some tips from our club members about training safely:

Avoid training alone if you can.  Get a training buddy.  Or, schedule a group run and walk with friends or local members of racing clubs.  Have a sign up sheet where people sign themselves in when they start and out when they finish so everyone is accounted for.   If people of different paces are training together, stagger starts or total mileage distance.  Train in out-and-back or loop routes where people will regularly see each other.

Set up your training routes on well-lit, populated areas, preferably with businesses or residential areas nearby. 

If you find your schedule means you have to train alone- make sure you are always aware of your surroundings.  Ideally, don't use earphones.  If you absolutely need music, wear one earbud or have a music player that doesn't need earphones.

Wear bright, visible clothing year round and during both day and evening/night runs.

Change your route daily and weekly. Change the roads you take, the distance you run, and the days you run.  Do not create a "pattern."

Always carry some form of ID, either a photo ID or an ID band like Road ID.  Wearing something with an emergency contact and phone number on it is ideal.

Consider using smartphone programs like the Road ID app that will let someone follow you on your route and will alert someone if you stop moving for more than five minutes.
Carry a phone.

Make sure someone knows where you are, how long you plan to be out, and what time you should be back.

Consider running/walking with a dog.  Members who don't have a pet have run with a neighbor's dog or animal shelter dogs through a volunteer program.

If something doesn't feel right, trust your gut.

Don't over-share your personal information on social media or on GPS route tracking websites. 

Remember that both men and women should be considered about their safety while running, walking, or cycling alone.