Club Welfare

Welfare Topic – Safety

How Runners can stay safe and how men can help women to feel safer

We need to be mindful of how potentially dangerous it is for both female and male runners to run alone. The Grim up North chat has recently posted a warning on Facebook about how a female runner was sexually assaulted at Rawdon and how there have been further incidents of cases of exposure to females on the towpath near Saltaire.

As members of the Pumas, we all appreciate the joy that can be found by running socially, how quickly and easily the miles pass by on long runs as you chat away and how the supportive encouragement of a run leader can have you running at a faster pace or running non-stop up a challenging hill etc.

However, there may be moments when you cannot for whatever reason make a club run or you just prefer the solitude of a run by yourself. Running alone can bring the rare opportunity to process thoughts and after a bad day, the mixture of endorphins and solitude can be cathartic.

So, if you find yourself embarking on a solo run, essentially you are never going to eliminate the risk completely, but you can reduce it as listed in Runners life: –

Safety tips are

1. Don’t run in the dark

2.Don’t run in isolated areas

3. Share your route – Tell your friend or family member where you are running and when you should be home.

4. Share your route- but not with everyone – MapMyRun is good for tracking distances but avoid using the friend’s functionality which shares your movements with others.

5. Mix things Up – don’t do the same route every week, in case someone has been watching you

6. Safety Apps – Apps available for smartphones such as Red Panic Button etc.

7. Be sensible with music – If you run with headphones, remove them in isolated areas and in these situations, be aware of your body language, look around confidently to show you are alert and aware of your surroundings

8. Dogs – Only do this if your beloved pet is fit enough – This wouldn’t be an option for me as Bert prefers his bed to running!

 9. Road Running – Don’t be afraid to run along the middle of an empty road

10. Keys as a weapon