Road running safety tips all runners should mind

People from all over the South celebrated July 4 at the AJC Peachtree Road Race. Leonard Korir was the men's foot race winner. His unofficial time was 28:16. Aliphine Tuliamuk was the women's foot race winner. Her unofficial time was 32:49. Tatyana McFadden won the women's wheelchair race. Daniel Romanchuk won the men's wheelchair race. The runners had a great time.

Road running offers an endless range of routes, sights, and quite often, rest stops.

Those who choose it however, run a risk of injury. For some runners, there are streets that beckon to have miles logged in on them, no matter that dangers. If you do choose to train with traffic, you'll want to make sure you are doing so in the safest way possible.

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Run against traffic. While bikes are required to follow traffic laws, runners, or simply fast-moving pedestrians, are not. Moving in the opposite direction of traffic allows you to always be prepared to act if a vehicle is nearing. However, you should mind most other traffic laws for your safety and the safety of the surrounding traffic. For example, stop at stop signs, never jay run, and it never hurts to use hand signals as you may have seen cyclists use.

Always assume an oncoming vehicle does not see you. Most drivers are courteous and alert. If possible, they will either reduce their speed or slightly shift over to give you more breathing room. However, not all drivers are so aware. Always assume you are about to meet an unaware driver. Take your run as far from the street as possible even if that means slowing your pace to take on the terrain beside the road.

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Dress to be noticed. You'll want to mimic an annoying, flashy web advertisement when you get dressed for your roadside run. Bright colors, reflectors, flashing strobe lights that clip on to you are excellent attire choices. The more of these items, the better. A Nathan Strobelight is highly effective, and you'll hardly notice you're wearing it.

Get rid of the headphones. Road running requires your undivided attention. If you're not willing to sacrifice your playlist, it would be wise to stick to running at your local park.

Avoid low-light roadside running. For example, if you're running a road in the early morning, you'll typically run into people beginning their morning commute. Their headlights will blind you at this hour.

Use your common sense. If you think a street is questionable to run on, don't run on it. This includes high traffic areas, high speed zones, and narrow roads. Road running can be safe and enjoyable, but you'll want to choose the most laid back roads in your area such as subdivisions and side roads.

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