Safe Running

A little advice for safe running on public paths, trails and roadways and at races

  • Carry identification, including relevant medical information (name, blood type, allergic reactions, emergency contact with phone number). There are companies that make tags for your shoes for this very purpose, such as Road ID.
  • Run in populated areas. Run in familiar areas.
  • Carry money —enough to take a taxi or bus if available, or enough to make a phone call if needed.
  • If you run in less-traveled or more remote areas, carry a cellular phone, but don’t rely on it as sometimes you may not have cell service in remote areas.
  • Run with a buddy and/or a dog (use a leash, preferably without an “extender” or retractable leash as bikers and others can become entangled.)
  • If you run alone, be sure someone you know is familiar with your running routine—when you run and where you run. If you deviate from that routine, make sure you tell them.
  • Run in daylight. If you must run at night, only venture into well-lit areas and wear brightly-colored or reflective clothes.
  • Obey all traffic laws and run facing traffic.
  • Carry a whistle or protective spray. Consider self-defense training.
  • Stay to the right unless you are passing someone. Be very careful merging left into a passing lane.
  • Run no more than two abreast when you are with a group. Do not force other runners, pedestrians, or cyclists off of the path. If you are in a particularly busy area, run single file.
  • Never stop suddenly in the middle of a path or during a race.
  • Always look around you before entering or exiting a path, at intersections, at drinking fountains and at hydration stations in races.
  • Be aware that listening to music via headphones reduce awareness of your surroundings.
  • Never run if lightning is present (though running in a warm rain is fun!).
  • Wear protective clothing suitable for the weather conditions. Use sunscreen, a hat with a visor, and sunglasses when it is sunny.
  • Stay well-hydrated, especially in hot weather. Also when it is hot, consider scaling back your mileage and pace. Try to run at cooler times of day like early morning. Make sure you bring enough fluids with you.
  • Protect your skin in the winter by dressing appropriately.
  • Be careful of icy roads and sidewalks and remember that if it’s icy for you, it’s also icy for the cars out there and proceed with extreme caution.
  • Follow instructions at races; line up appropriately; and do not bring dogs, strollers or bikes on to the course when they are not permitted. If strollers or pets are permitted at a race, stay to the back and allow runners to get on their way before you join them for your safety and those you’ve brought with you.

Marathon Made Possible

"I remember running a mile along the Lakefront and thinking how running a marathon seemed crazy. With the help of CARA and two marathons later, it doesn’t seem so impossible."
-Erin E.

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