Some Running Safety Rules

Reflective Stuff = Visibility

On one of my recent treks along the bike path of the LA River, something happened to me that is an all-too familiar occurrence with other runners: narrowly escaped being run over by a disgruntled cyclist who later demanded I step off the path. Really? What happened to sharing the road? Especially if the cyclists are travelling in pairs (which happened to be the case that day). Needless to say, much like driving in Los Angeles the best offense is having a good defense. To help remind everyone what to be aware of while on the road, I looked up common safety rules in various running situations I thought would be helpful to share… Here are six rules that stood out to me as absolute musts:

Run against traffic – Street running. This was also a mandatory safety rule during the Ragnar open road relay. You want to make sure that you are able to clearly see traffic coming towards you which will prevent any sneaky cars hit you from behind.

No headphones – Street running. I’ll have to admit that I can’t run without music, so for anyone out there like me, just make sure that your volume is set to low so you are able to hear your surroundings. As with most safety rules, it’s important to know what’s going on around you and be aware.

Carry ID – Carrying an photo ID or Road ID bracelet to help people be able to identify you or contact others in case of an emergency.

Phone or Spare Change – I usually hide my cell phone in a fanny pack (don’t judge me, it’s a cool looking fanny pack!) in case of an emergency or I get lost on the road. Google Maps on the iPhone has saved me on more than one occasion. In case you are not privy to handling a cell phone during a sweat fest carrying some extra change to make a call works too.

Don’t Race Cars/Bikes – Having grown up in a over-populated city, I can personally attest to giving cars or bikes or basically anything that is not on foot, the right of way. You never know if the driver or cyclist really sees you (even if they are facing your direction) so rather than risk it, pause, let the pass unless they motion you to do otherwise.

Don’t Run Alone – Whenever possible, it’s always a good idea (street or trail) to run with a friend. If that is not possible, making sure that loved ones are aware of when you are going and the location/length of your route is a good way to go. I usually leave word with someone on when I am heading on and check in when I’m back. It’s also a great way to get a verbal high five post workout from a friend/loved one.

For More Safety Rules:

http://www.runtheplanet.com/trainingracing/safety/womensafe.asp

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/knowing-your-running-safety-rules.html

http://www.marathonrookie.com/running-safety-tips.html

 

 

Race Report: Ragnar Relay Las Vegas

A Nighttime Vegas Exchange

I traveled to Sin City for one of my favorite races ever:  The Ragnar Relay.  For those of you who don’t know, Ragnar is a point to point relay covering approximately 200 miles of picaresque open road course divided by 12 people over a 24 hour time period. If that doesn’t sound completely psychotic enough for you, the Ragnar people also have “ultra” divisions consisting of teams of 6 or less people where each individual runs over marathon (26.2 mile) distance.  After experiencing an amazing time at the SoCal race, Vegas seemed like it would be an even greater experience. Naturally, my teammates and I decided to do the ultra with 6 people and a dedicated driver. Little did I know what would be in store…

The course started at The Valley of Fire (aka the middle of nowhere, Nevada) and ended at the Red Rock Casino on The Strip. The daylight portion of the race course was surreal. If you can paint a picture of Roadrunner cartoons out in the middle of the desert with nothing but a lonely highway and a Wile E. Coyote to accompany you, you’d have a pretty good idea of what the first 70-100 miles of the course looked like. We started at high elevation (about 1600 feet) and the climbs and hills for various legs would eventually lead us to a 4000 foot summit before getting anywhere near Vegas.  Gorgeous? Yes. Effing brutal? Hell yes!

I started my first (and only) leg at 8pm off the only highway where we were that would eventually lead to Sin City. Despite the time, I was completely in the dark (no city lights out in the desert) and one of three runners waiting to start my leg. Once my teammate came in and it was time for me to take off, I was the only person on the road for what seemed to be a lifetime. I ended up getting lost twice when I got off the highway and into civilization (Henderson, NV).  Other interesting highlights about my part of the course included: a runner returning to her teammates in hysterics from being chased by animal out in the desert. Also, another person on my leg had run off INTO the desert for who knows what reason…

What happened after I finally got back to my team after running in two wrong directions and somehow cutting a mile off my course, was a first for me: we DQ (disqualified) ourselves or DNFd (Did Not Finish).  Another one of my teammates went three miles off course and a few others had ended up suffering injuries that would disallow them from continuing on. It took several conversations before coming to that decision. Once we found ourselves coming in dead last and falling behind on the cleanup crew with no real resolution from the race officials on how we can get back into the game (no one would give us a straight answer), we finally decided to head to The Strip for naps and cocktails.

How does it feel to DNF? It feels like several words containing the letter “M” – mortifying, demoralizing and messed up. But wait… there IS a Happy Ending (this is Vegas after all). Although I can’t say that what happened in Vegas will stay in Vegas (I will never forget the lessons I learned from running this race), I’m determined to go at the next one with no mercy.  I’m also not giving up on Ragnar… well, maybe just the ultra division.

http://ragnarrelay.com

Meet Ragnar Team Sugitorias [VIDEO]

While trying to put together some clips for the Ragnar experience, this one stands alone as being my favorite. Mostly because I am making fun of the rest of my teammates. Tick tock. Race is coming up soon!

Pirate Venice to Santa Monica Pub Run

If you’re not doing the Ragnar Relay like me and my kick ass team and are looking to meet some really kick ass endurance athletes who are are also not on my team, you should get your booty over to the Westside and run a fancy (well it’s not fancy at all) 10K with some folks led by the legendary P-Dub or Peter Williams (aka LA Marathon social medialite) check out the Facebook Event for more info. Bummed that I can’t do this run since two of my all time favorite bars (Renee’s and The Shack) are both in the line up.

Ragnar Relay Training: First Nighttime Trail Run

Short clip of thoughts on what it’s like to run with a headlamp while multitasking to ignore my childhood fear of the dark. Oh on little sleep and after a 40 minute hike in the AM + 2 mile flat run in the afternoon… Griffith Park after dark. Just try to use your imagination.

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