Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, March 13, 2016
STAY SAFE WHEN YOU RUN
Distracted driving, distracted texting, and could you be guilty of distracted running? OK, let’s call it what it is – Dumb Running.
Experienced runners know that they must run facing traffic if they must run on roads also used by cars. Would that we all could run in parks and on trails but that is not possible for all. I can remember when I first started to run on the roads near my home. I could literally run in the center of the road, right on the crown, making for a very comfortable run. When the very occasional vehicle came along, I dutifully moved to the shoulder and then quickly regained my center-of-the road position.
Then builders began digging up farm fields west of here and planted houses, lots of houses. People bought those houses and then discovered my road was a great route to get to wherever they worked east of here. Thus ended my middle of the road running. So many cars stream by here each morning that you would think it was the evacuation route for a volcanic eruption in the hills to the west.
Thank God, and the Morris County Parks Department for creating off road routes that we runners, cyclist, and sometimes equestrians use to keep us off the roads.
Now back to running with traffic – cars being driven by distracted drivers are more dangerous than the occasional black bear we see on the trails. Face them! Never turn your back on a driver. Not that they want to see you flying over their hood – they just don’t see you. They are reading their text, putting on makeup, dialing their cell, reading the newspaper. You might even have been guilty of distracted driving. You know it happens.
When you see them coming off the road and right toward you – jump! Don’t laugh. It has happened to plenty of runners and they have jumped.
About once a year I give this same lecture. I am gratified to see the runners who do run facing traffic and horrified when I see one running with traffic. Pass this advice on to your friends who walk, who are new, who do not know, who think that if they ride their bike with traffic they should also run with traffic. Teach your kids and grandkids if you have them.
That’s it for this year. Stay safe.
MILES FOR MUSIC 20K KICKS OFF THE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
First up on the New Jersey championship schedule is the Miles for Music 20K in Johnson Park next Sunday, March 20th. The course is several loops of the park making for good spectator viewing and good viewing for runners who can see who they are chasing and who is chasing them.
The race is a championship for all divisions. Last year the Adidas Garden State Track Club pretty much swept the open division. We have learned that the club has decided to not participate this year and a scan of the registered runners confirms that. Their non-participation will certainly make for opportunities for the other clubs. In addition some clubs have lost members to other teams and those teams have been bolstered by their new members. New clubs have also been created. Yes indeed, it will be an interesting year in club racing.
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at www.usatfnj.org or at www.raceforum.com for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at email@example.com.