Oct 04

The nights are getting longer and there is only one explanation for that, it’s because the days are getting shorter.

I often run through my neighborhood and the neighborhoods adjacent to mine in the evenings.  In the summer I generally don’t have any issues with traffic but when the days start getting shorter and the runs start lasting into the dark hours the chances of ending up like a bug on someone’s windshield increase.

I’m embarrassed to say that it took me awhile to figure this out.  For a few years I would run in the evenings making sure to wear light colors consisting of mostly whites, bright oranges and yellows.  I figured with these colors on it would be easy to see me running along the streets.  I was wrong.

Last winter seemed to be the worst.  Maybe it was just the fact that I had my closest call.  I was running through a neighboring sub division when a white Chrysler 300 came around the corner.  It was leaving me plenty of room until right when it got near me.  It seemed to swerve towards me and then dodged away from me at the last minute.  Needless to say I was not humored with this event.

It was only after talking to one of my wife’s friends that I discovered maybe they really just couldn’t see me.  She mentioned that she saw me out running one night and it startled her because she couldn’t see me until she was really close, no she was not in the Chrysler 300.  This set off a bell in my head, well more like a train whistle.

I went out and bought a reflective vest and a headlamp.  Headlamps are pretty light weight now days and I barely even notice I have it on.  I haven’t had anyone come close to me since then.  Most cars even go out of there way to make sure that they give me room.

So my number one recommendation for running at night is reflective gear.  Not something that has one or two reflective spots on it but something that will nearly blind someone if there headlights hit it.  Nearly blind, you still want them to see you.   :)  I’ve seen quite a few running vests that are lightweight and will fit over your running attire.  If you don’t want to wear a headlamp then at least get the gear that may save you from being a hood ornament.  This is the actual vest that I wear and a similar headlamp.  The silver on the vest is highly reflective and if they can’t see you wearing this, they shouldn’t be driving.


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