Welfare Topic for March- Safety
How Runners can stay safe and how Men can help Women to feel safer
There has been a lot of information in the media recently about how the streets can not be safe and unfortunately the tragic case of Sarah Everard who was walking home by herself at 9pm brings this to the attention of us all.
Therefore, 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 face book 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 running club , 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 as cited by (Danielle Myers 2020 ), 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 sola 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.Dont run in the dark
2.Dont 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, in that the 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 smart phones 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
The 10 safety tips above have highlighted how to be aware when running solo, however as cited in the good guys guide there are also some hints and tips how Men can help females to feel safer.
It needs to be acknowledged that for men it is uncomfortable when they are out walking and can see the visible impact they have on a woman who is alone ,she may be immediately frightened by your presence, however you are a good guy but she doesn’t know that and so below are listed seven simple actions that a man can take to make a woman feel safer
1.Dont approach her, you might just want to ask for directions but avoid talking to her
2.Dont walk behind her, you might just be walking home but to the woman it may feel like she is being followed
3.Cross the Street, give her as much room as possible
4. Hood down hands out – Make your face and hands visible so you’re not trying to hide anything
5.Dont run close to her, if your running shout out that you are going to pas on her right etc, so you don’t surprise her.
6.Talk on the phone, show her you’re doing your own thing
7.Educate your mates
The information above is to reduce the risk associated with running alone, however, to add some balance and contextualise the danger of running alone, you are 2.3 times more at risk of dying in a road accident than at the hands of another person.
That concludes the Welfare Topic for March; however, April will bring the topic of ten minutes with Podiatrist Louise Heath – lets talk about the trials and tribulations of runner’s feet!