Every runner knows about the typical running safety. Look both ways when crossing the street, wear VERY reflective clothing when running at night/early morning, run toward traffic when running on the road, etc. But what about the dangers you don’t think about?
I just finished reading the Runners World article about the family of runners that was attacked by dogs in southern California. This family (five of them together) was running on a trail and was attacked by a group (I think it was six or seven) Pit Bulls. I have to say now that I have no animosity toward Pit Bulls. The article actually addressed the fact that Pit Bulls more than any other breed are a reflection of their owners; so if you raise them to be viscous, they will be, if you raise them to be sweet and gentle they will act in that manner.
That being said, this article really made me think about whether I had a plan if something like that were to happen to me. In addition to dogs, I have to worry about snakes, alligators, coyotes (who knew) and other animals. The majority of these problems present themselves on trail runs, where unfortunately, I am usually alone.
I always run with my iPhone now since that is what I use for music so that is a great tool. My other great safety tool is my Road ID.
You can literally put anything you want on it. I have my name, my mom’s and Casey’s phone numbers, my insurance company, allergies and blood type. Now I know this wouldn’t protect me should anything happen to me, but it would definitely speed up the process if someone should find me in a compromised state.
But what would I do in the moment. With alligators, you are supposed to run as fast as you can in a wiggly line; alligators are fast in a straight line but have a hard time changing directions. With dogs, the article said that they are attuned to people, so if you are scared they view you as prey but if you show confidence they are less likely to attack.
Well that is great to know, but I’m guessing I would panic. So I just did a search for runner’s mace.
This was on Amazon for $6.42. Not bad for a little peace of mind on trail runs, and probably not a bad idea to have anytime you are running at night, unfortunately bad people are out there too. Click for link to Mace.
German shepherds are also under fire for dog attacks. Our sweet pup is proof that training determines the dog. Scarlett would likely attack you if you were attacking me, but other wise she has a sweet, loving temperament as with most dogs that have the potential to attack.
Just a little food for though on this Thursday.
Do you have any other ideas for running safety?