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TIPS FOR RUNNING SAFETY


1 - DON'T WEAR HEADSETS. Use your ears to be aware of your surroundings. Using headphones, you lose the use of an important sense: your hearing.

2 - Always stay alert and aware of what's going on around you. The more aware you are, the less vulnerable you are.

3 - Carry a cell phone or change for a phone call. Know the locations of call boxes and telephones along your regular route.

4 - Trust your intuition about a person or an area. React on your intuition and avoid a person or situation if you're unsure. If something tells you a situation is not "right", it isn't.

5 - Alter or vary your running route pattern; run in familiar areas if possible. In unfamiliar areas, such as while traveling, contact a local RRCA club or running store. Know where open businesses or stores are located.

6 - Run with a partner. Run with a dog.

7 - Write down or leave word of the direction of your run. Tell friends and family of your favorite running routes.

8 - Avoid unpopulated areas, deserted streets, and overgrown trails. Especially avoid unlit areas, especially at night. Run clear of parked cars or bushes.

9 - Carry identification or write your name, phone number, and blood type on the inside sole of your running shoe. Include any medical information. Don't wear jewelry.

10 - Ignore verbal harassment. Use discretion in acknowledging strangers. Look directly at others and be observant, but keep your distance and keep moving.

11 - Run against traffic so you can observe approaching automobiles.

12 - Wear reflective material if you must run before dawn or after dark.

13 - Practice memorizing license tags or identifying characteristics of strangers.

14 - Carry a noisemaker and/or OC (pepper) spray. Get training in self-defense and the use of pepper spray.

15 - CALL POLICE IMMEDIATELY if something happens to you or someone else, or you notice anyone out of the ordinary. It is important to report incidents immediately.

RRCA TIPS on WOMEN RUNNERS' EMPOWERMENT:
WORKING WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCMENT DEPARTMENTS
and the LOCAL RUNNING COMMUNITY on RUNNER SAFETY:

1 - Knowledge is power. Discuss the incidents that are occurring: create a network of information -sharing.

2 - Initiate dialogue and cooperation between the police and the local running community. Find a law enforcement person who is also a runner and who might therefore be more understanding.

3 - Arrange a meeting between police and you or your local running organization or RRCA club. Offer a copy of this brochure for reproduction and general distribution by the police.

4 - Write a Safety Bulletin. Designate someone in your running group or RRCA club to write a regular Safety Bulletin and distribute it among runners and law enforcement. Distribute the Safety Bulletin among fitness clubs, running stores, neighborhood businesses, the media, local law enforcement officers, and political representatives. Network with all the local running clubs. Encourage them to call a central contact concerning safety problems in their areas.

5 - Create a network of women runners. Create a system whereby women can find other women to run or walk with. Organize an annual safety workshop with police participation.

6 - Always be of assistance. Never interfere with police procedures.

7 - Emphasize to the police that runners and walkers want to be informed of problems, and are more likely to report sightings and incidents of they have descriptions of known perpetrators.

8 - Initiate communication between the running community and the community at large. Encourage a coalition between your running club and the activities of local Neighborhood Watches. Arrange for your running group or club to obtain and screen the RRCA videotape "Women running: Run smart. Run safe. "

9 - Practice self-help in your community. Have police work with you to clear overgrown trails, improve lighting, and install telephones or call boxes in strategic locations. Offer to raise the money if necessary.

10 - Promote self-defense education. Contact your local YWCA or police officer for information on community classes and educational tapes on self-defense. Publicize classes and screenings of self-defense techniques in your community and in your club, through postings and newsletters.

11 - Be part of the solution. Call police immediately if something happens to you or someone else, or if you notice anyone out of the ordinary .

12 - Be a vigilante for yourself and others. Use your intuition to report things that don't "seem right" to you. Indecent exposure incidents should be reported, though they seem benign: according to law enforcement, they aren't.

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