Safety Reminder

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Its a sad day and age when you've got to think about you're own personal safety when out staying fit and healthy.  Unfortunately I'm not referring to making sure you're adequately hydrate either.  I had a rude wake up call this morning to remind me how important it is to be ever vigilant to one's surroundings.

I was about 2.5km into this mornings run when I was hailed by a driver of a ute.  I was wary of him as he had been on his phone on the opposite side of the road and did a u-turn prior to parking a rolling down his window.  As I approached the vehicle I made sure to stay well away and made eye contact.  He then asked me if I knew the driver of that BMW behind me.  As I turned around to look at the car it made a screeching u-turn on a corner and speed off in the opposite direction.  The ute drive then proceeded to tell me that he'd been watching the vehicle travel behind me for about 2 - 300m while he was on the phone.

I felt sick.  I hadn't noticed a thing!  The driver told me he was staying around 30m behind me, so it was out of my periphral vision and being a fairly new car I didn't hear it.  Needless to say I then changed the direction I was intending to go, as it was less populated at this time in the morning, left my iPod out of my ears and moved a little faster on my way home. Once I got to work I rang the local police station and gave them what small information that I could, I didn't get a rego or either vehicles.

This got me to thinking about what we should all do to minimise our risk of personal attack while outside exercising.   Here's some of my ideas and personal rules, some of which I have gotten way to complacent with:

  1. If possible exercise with a buddy.
  2. Don't exercise before sunrise or sunset unless extremely well illuminated.
  3. If exercising around dusk/dawn wear something that is reflective.
  4. Change up your routine.  This includes the time you go and where you go.
  5. Run facing the traffic.  This gives you more awareness of the traffic and a better chance of getting out of the way.
  6. Take some form of identification with you.
  7. Trust your gut.  If it doesn't feel right, get the hell out of there.
  8. Tell someone where you are going and when you'll be back.
  9. Stick to major routes and roads where possible.
  10. Only use pathways in parks or similar that are well lit and not closed in by bushes.
  11. Don't look like a victim.  Maintain appropriate body language.
  12. Consider taking a personal alarm with you or maybe your dog.
  13. Don't wear an MP3 player.  Or if you find you must have one on turn it down so you can hear what's happening around you.
  14. Be aware of your surroundings
So which rules did I break?  Well I thought my iPod was turned down but obviously it wasn't low enough.  I wasn't facing the traffic as I thought its was only a 400m stretch and I'd be crossing the road again.  The area I was running in wasn't a back street to say the least but obviously it was still rather quite at 6:30am.

Now I'm considering taking Jessy out of retirement and taking her running with me on my shorter runs that are early in the morning during the week.  It might me I have to drop my distances down a little until she catches up with the program but you can't afford to be too careful.

If you have any other tips or suggestion please leave a comment below as you never know it could help stop an attack.


Left Wing Mama June 29, 2011 at 10:08 AM  

Great tips! I must admit I am a nervous nelly when jogging. I cut through our local cemetary and there are so many bushes and have scary thoughts of someone hiding in them and dragging me in. I think I might invest in a personal alarm AND a dog!

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