Skip to main content

Safety Tips When Road Running

These safety tips for running are modified by Topher with from the Road Runners Club of America.

  • Be Alert: Always be aware of your surroundings and what is going on nearby.  Avoid wearing earbuds which inhibit your ability to hear the environment around you. Use bone conduction headphones instead if available. 
  • Move away from verbal harassment: Ignoring "cat calling" is the best way to dimimishsh that behavior by others. Take a video if someone is making threats or verbally harassing you to share with police as needed.
  • Carry your cell phone: It is the best safety tool you own. Text a friend or family member so they know you are out on your run. Find apps that can safely track your run. Use your wearable technology to keep you safe.  Life360 is a great Smartphone App for family tracking.
  • Vary your routine: Select various routes so your routine is not too predictable when running alone. 
  • Be thoughtful about what you post online about your routes.  Do NOT allow your Strava or Running App accounts to be public. Keep your profile's private and only shareable with family and friends. (Strava is the most commonly used running/cycling app in the Upper Cumberland.)  Here's Topher's profile:
  • Plan your routes with safety in mind: Run in familiar areas that allow you to safely alter your route as needed.  I use Map-O-Meter to plan my safe mileage.  -
  • Run with family, teammates, coaches, or a running club. Running with a group increases your safety. If you are traveling, find a club to run with. Check with local hotels about safe running routes.
  • Be visible in the dark: Wear reflective clothing or a lighted vest when running in the dark. Be thoughtful about running in unlit areas with poor visiblity. 
  • Carry ID: Slip it in your cell phone case or consider a Road ID that has pertinent medical information.
  • Be street smart: Run against traffic so you can see the cars and the drivers coming toward you.  Look both ways crossing an intersection/crosswalk. 
  • Never trust a driver: Drivers are distracted and you are not their first priority. Don't assume they will give you the right of way at a crosswalk.
  • CALL POLICE: If something happens to you or someone else, get to safety. Try to record a situation if you need evidence and do so safely. Call police once you are safe!
  • Be Alert: If you see a fellow runner in distress, check in with them. Call 911 or the police as needed.
  • Educate people about harassment: Understand that it is common for women to get verbally harassed while running. Call friends out if they engage in this bad behaviour. Never verbally harass anyone while out on the run.
  • Use your cell phone for good: If you see a runner being harassed or injured by a careless driver or other pedestrians, safely record the incident on your phone. Call police.
This morning, Gabriel, Ethan, and I had a talk about the tragedy of Eliza Fletcher, a 34 year old kindergarten teacher, wife, mother of two, and a runner.  While on a run last Friday 9/2 in Memphis, TN, she was abducted and killed.  The running community is grieving her loss and laments the safety challenges that runners, especially women, struggle with today.  

Today G, E, & I ran each ran a portion of her intended 8.4 mile training run from last Friday in honor of her. We talked about runner safety and will continue that talk. 

Since 2010, when I purchased my first smartphone and Garmin GPS watch, I've enjoyed a bit of running road mileage.  Across my running apps, they show that I've run 2463 miles, which is the distance from Sparta to Seattle, Washington. 

Gabriel and Ethan have been running road races with me since they were about 4 years old. Learning to be a safe runner and keep others safe is a high priority in our family.  If you have any questions about runner safety, please, feel free to ask a coach.  We're here to help! 

On a little bit lighter note, here are some running tidbits from Gabriel and Ethan back in 2013 when they created their own fundraising race called Hustle4Honduras. 


Popular posts from this blog

Final Stats

 We are so proud of you! Here are final stats for the season. Great job! We look forward to running together in 2023!

Burnett Invitational Wrap-Up

Wow, words don't express how proud coaches are of runners today!  Out of 23 White County Runners, 15 posted a new personal record (PR)!  Official Times posted at Photos: Special thanks to John Gottlied, Catherine Gottlied, and Jacque Powell for taking photos for our teams. I'll download and curate photos later for highlights. Catch lots of great photos on these Facebook accounts: Here are some of the highlights from today's meet.  High School Boys:   Gabriel Wiles earned his first sub-19min race at 18:57, which definitely solidifies him as an individual state contender. He also won a medal for finishing in the top 20 (at 19th place), his 3rd medal of the season. He has one more month to improve toward the state qualifier on Oct 26th.  John Durfee had the biggest PR of the day by 3:06 earning huge gains in poin

Macon County Wrap-Up - New Girl's Leader

  The boys team joins Harley in prayer before her race.  As we prepare for the state qualifier on 10/25, we stopped in at Macon County for a practice run through.  Today's meet is the same location as the qualifier that will be in 19 days. We were pleasantly surprised with a couple breakthroughs and some more personal records. The photo doesn't do this finish line hill justice. That finish line was a beast!   In the coaches rumor mill around the water cooler, the commonly shared opinion is that Macon County is a +0:35 course, meaning that overall times are generally 35 seconds slower here than on normal courses. There are multiple factors contributing to slower times, such as the amount of hills, a slightly longer distance measured at 3.13 miles on GPS, and higher thicker grass increasing friction with each of the runner's 3000ish steps.  BIG STORY - In spite of the challenges, the weather was perfect for our biggest story of the meet.  Freshman Harley Johnston, who alone