Ron (#1881) running the Globe Run For Home Race
Here’s an article written and sent to me by Ron Delos Reyes, Producer and Host of the weekly motoring show, AUTOREVIEW and a long time runner. Ron has been in the broadcast media industry for more than 2 decades now and has also organized special events, marathon races, included. He is presently the communications and marketing head of the QCIM. Ron wrote this article for Cruising Magazine, a sister publication of Manila Bulletin, last July.
RON ON THE RUN CRUISING JULY 14, 2009
By Ron de los Reyes
SAFETY TIPS FOR RUNNERS
I was invited recently by the organizers of the Botak Paatibayan Ultra Marathon race to talk about safety for runners during the pre-race fellowship and carbo-loading party at UP. Carbo-loading is short for carbohydrate loading which is customary for runners a few days before a big long distance race. Runners normally burn a lot of carbohydrates during a race and thus, need to consume food like pasta, rice and even pizza and bread for added stamina. The race featured 100-km and 50-km events and was held in Quezon City and Marikina in late June.
I started by saying that with the increasing number of runners out on roads doing practice runs, training runs or LSDs (long slow distances), the probability of vehicular accidents also increases. We have to be alert at all times and ensure our safety as runners or pedestrians, motorists, riders and cyclists .
Studies show that the Philippines is ranked seventh among 10 ASEAN member- states in road safety and was also found to be the worst in accident data reporting in the 4th Global Road Safety Partnership ASEAN Seminar in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
The Automobile Association Philippines or AAP also noted that informal surveys show that many drivers are unfamiliar with road and traffic signs and are ignorant of traffic regulations.
While we don’t have figures on accidents involving runners (perhaps because runners are the most defensive and most alert users of the road), figures involving other road users are very alarming.
The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported a total of 11,699 fatal and non-fatal road accidents in 2007. In Jan- Sept of 2008, the figure increased to 43,510 road accidents (almost four-fold) including fatal and non-fatal incidents and damages to property. A majority of these accidents were caused by human error.
On a world view, the World Health Organization estimates that road accidents will become the third leading cause of premature death for all ages by 2020, accounting for a staggering 1.3 million deaths every year.
This is not meant to scare you but to encourage you to be on your toes always, and if you drive a car yourself, always remember to drive defensively and with courtesy and consideration for other users of the road.
Now, as runners, we are also frequent road users and are always exposed to hazards and dangers on the road, especially when we train by ourselves. In organized races, at least, we have police and marshals that secure the routes taken by the runners.
To enhance our safety on the road, here are some tips or reminders:
– Run on the left side of the road facing traffic. You will be in a better position to anticipate and react to vehicles.
Run on the left side of the road
– Run on roads with wide shoulders. Use the sidewalks when vehicular traffic increases.
– Be cautious on blind curves where you will not be visible to approaching cars.
– Be aware of factors that affect motorist visibility – glaring sun, rain, fog. Run single file when running in a group – particularly in high traffic areas.
– Anticipate potentially dangerous situations and be ready to deal with them. Always make the first move to protect yourself. Do not expect cars to change their paths to avoid you.
– Obey traffic rules and signals. Runners, as pedestrians, are bound by traffic laws.
– Yield the right-of-way to vehicles at intersections. Drivers may not heed traffic signals or signs.
– Be alert at all times. Be wary of “runner’s high,” fatigue, or any other lapse of concentration.
– Avoid running alone in isolated areas – vary your route.
Get someone to run with you on dangerous routes
– Use your ears as well as your eyes – don’t wear headphones and refrain from using your cell phones – Wear reflective clothing at dawn, dusk, or nighttime and bright, visible clothing at all other times.
– While it’s nice to run under the rains, take extra caution, too, as your visibility and that of the motorists will also be reduced. Consider another form of exercise when adverse weather conditions make running dangerous.
Now, here are some additional tips when you train or join the races:
– Running under the sun, heat and humidity requires that you take special precautions. Minimizing fluid loss and heat is essential.
– Drink water whenever possible. Water is the vital ingredient in the prevention of heat injury. Thirst is not a reliable indicator to warn a runner of fluid loss. Your body loses a considerable amount of fluid before you feel thirsty. – Just like our advise to motorists which is don’t drink (alcohol and drive), don’t drink and run.
Running is an enjoyable form of exercise and is good for both body and spirit. It becomes even more fun and fulfilling when our runs are accident-free.
RUN SAFE DEAR RUNNERS!