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06 Jan, 2014

Don’t fall prey

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Don’t fall prey

As the winter chill arrives, so the mornings and evenings when we exercise are getting darker and colder, and while you might feel safe running in your own neighbourhood, it’s better to know how to become aware of what’s around you and sidestep any potential danger. Whether you’re on a solo run, walk or ride, there may be someone watching you, checking your regular route and how vulnerable you are, so keep an eye out for that. It’s true what they say, there is safety in numbers, but we can’t always join our club mates, training partners or loved ones for a workout, so here are some essential safety tips for scenarios you may face out on the roads or trails.

 

Scenario 2: You’re going out for an early morning run by yourself and it’s dark out.

Tell a loved one your route and how long you'll be gone (even if it’s an early SMS to your friend or mom). Alternate your running routes and if you are running in the dark, choose a route with street lights. Avoid crime spots like parks, alleys and subways. Find a friend who runs around the same time as you do – there’s safety in numbers and it will help your motivation.

 

Scenario 2: You’re running towards a suspicious-looking stranger on your usual route.

Always remember to trust that intuition telling you to avoid a certain situation. If you see someone that looks suspicious or makes you feel uneasy, change your route or cross the road so that you don’t have to run past them!

 

Scenario 3: On a solo run, a stranger follows you and makes inappropriate gestures or wolf whistles.

Never react to strangers on route. If the stranger follows you, head straight for any brightly-lit shop, garage or house. Remember to surround yourself with people. The gestures could be harmless, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. On your way home, get your key out before you reach your gate.

 

Scenario 4: On route, a stranger runs towards you.

You have to think quick. Carry a whistle/self-defense mechanism (irritant spray or shock unit) in case of attack and keep it readily accessible. Also, consider leaving your iPod or mp3 player at home, as you will not hear people that may have bad intentions for you. Rather be aware of your surroundings so you can act quickly.