Question: How do you know if someone ran a marathon?
Answer: Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.
So anyway, last Saturday, when I was doing a 12-mile training run for my upcoming summer marathon—which will be my third—I found myself on some major roads.
And I almost died.
No, not really. (Seriously, mom, I didn’t, it was just a joke!) But because of all the snow on the ground, I found myself sometimes running pretty far into the street. Luckily it was the morning and I was wearing a bright red (read: silly looking) hat, so drivers were definitely able to see me. It was a little scary though.
Born to Run
Running is hugely popular in this country. According to a study from Running USA, 17 million runners crossed a finish line in 2016. And that doesn’t count the people who just ran for fun (though, if you’re not getting a medal, is there really a point to running? Besides for, you know, exercise and a sense of well being and all that? Whatever).
While some people run on a treadmill or a track, a lot of people head out into their neighborhoods. Which, as I found out, isn’t always safe.
It is probable that some of your residents will go out for a run or walk at some point. So here are some easy ways to promote runner safety among your renters.
Provide reflective vests or whistles. A reflective vest helps with visibility, and a whistle can be used to alert other people if the person is in danger. You can buy a few of these and keep them up front for people to borrow on their way out.
Have your doormen hold keys. This is more of a convenience issue—keys are annoying to hold on to when you’re running—but people also don’t want to worry about dropping them and having to bend over to find them, because then people in cars can’t see them. Plus, if they do lose their keys, you don’t want them stinking up your lobby while they sit around waiting for a spare.
Offer group runs. If a lot of residents at your community like to go for runs or walks, you can organize group runs. Not only is it safer to run with other people than to be out by yourself, but this would be a great—free—event for you that you could promote on your social media pages and post pictures of afterwards.
Make sure property is well lit. Duh, right? You should do this regardless. But while roads hopefully have lights, if people are coming back to a dark community, it could be dangerous in terms of getting attacked, but also, you don’t want people falling, which could open you up to lawsuits.
Encourage resident to share. As mentioned, you really don’t have to do much to get a runner to talk about running. (I’ve talked at length to a relative stranger about chaffing from running. It was…weird. But also oddly informative.) You could put signs up letting people know that if they want to, they can tell the doorman or front desk staff that they are going out for a run, their general route and how long they think they’re going to take. That way, if something happens, someone will know where to look. Also, then the doormen can recommend safe routes to take.
Take note of harassment. If someone comes back from a run and says they were harassed, you can send a message on your social media channels warning other residents to avoid that area or to look out for that person.