Runners Rules to Live By

As we’re making merchandise selections for the Capital 10-Miler, sample shirts styles have been arriving in the mail.

The back of the most recently arrived shirt includes a list of Runners Rules to Live By. Messages like this list usually cross my path for a reason. I feel obliged to share with you, so here is my shirt message:

Run Towards Traffic

Carry ID

Trust Your Instincts

Dress Visibly

Run Defensively

The heading Rules to Live By is appropriate in that they may keep you and me alive.  I do run towards traffic the majority of the time, although on roads with tight turns I move to the opposite 37906156001_2543741097001_marathon-safety-02side where the vehicle behind me has a much better view of me than the vehicle coming out of a blind curve.

I almost always carry ID. Road ID has convenient and reasonably priced products. Even a cell phone that shows my emergency information or a business card tucked in my shoe will do.

Trusting my instincts, yes, yes, yes.  Call it an inner voice, Unknownguardian angel, whatever.  When the message from the universe says to turn away from that street that is usually perfectly safe and I have run down a thousand times, I listen and turn away.

I am more thoughtful lately about dressing visibly. My family reminds me each time I reach for my running shoes.images

Running defensively is more and more important as drivers on cell phones are talking while attempting to turn across traffic. Before crossing in front of a car, I make eye contact or otherwise affirm the driver sees me.

The winter months are particularly difficult in the Northeast where any berm on the side of the road is piled high with rock-hard snow boulders pushed over by the snowplow.  As I see a car in the distance, my run turns into a brief climb to the side PENTAX Imagewhere I feel like a 10-year old playing king of the hill.

Stay safe out there. Spring is coming.


  1. I agree, all this is really important and we should all do it! I find that another really important rule for running safety is to NOT run with earphones in traffic. I’m always shocked to see so many people do it… I sometimes like listening to music while I run too, but never on the roads. It’s just too dangerous, you have to be able to hear what’s coming. Thank you for posting this!

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