See that color?
It’s pretty bright. And this is looking down, with a little shadow on it. It’s actually VERY bright in person.
I’ve posted this photo before, in June, when I purchased the Lululemon Run: Swiftly tank in the “ray” color. When I bought the shirt, I was concerned it was maybe “too bright.” My husband assured me that at least no one would miss me when I ran. I figured that would be a safe bet. Drivers and other runners alike would be able to see me just fine.
This weekend, my running buddy Jennie and I ventured out on an early morning run. Not super early. The sun was just rising in the west, but it was plenty bright in Mountain House.
The community I run in is about 10-minutes west of where I live. For Jennie, it’s only about five minutes. There are few stoplights, but a lot of stop signs. There are many cross walks.
We always use the cross walks when we run. We never run against traffic, or even in traffic.
And by the time we were on the back end of the development, the sun was shinning pretty good.
We made our way into miles five and six and down toward the only market in the small town. As we made our way to the crosswalk, I noticed a red Jeep flying out of the far parking lot. We were already starting into the crosswalk, with the right of way, when the Jeep barely stopped, sped through a stop sign and started into our path.
The Jeep was raised. Still, as he came toward us, I yelled out “Hey!” The driver, a man, acted as if WE got in HIS way. He slowed his car at an angle and then just kept going, screeching his tires as he went away.
I’m pretty sure Jennie yelled something at him. I know I yelled something to the effect of “JERK!” and we kept running.
When we stopped at the store to pick up our regular mid-run Gatorade, we talked about how people are always in a rush. How very few care about others. How if he hit us, he likely would have killed us. I was more in his path. Jennie kept apologizing for not noticing the Jeep until it was too late.
The issue here?
We did everything right.
We both were wearing bright colored shirts. We stopped running and looked both ways. We were cautious in our regard to the environment.
We were running smart.
And it still wasn’t enough.
My waving and yelling at the driver was the only thing that got him to even notice us.
Later on at a dinner for my husband’s birthday, my sister told me that I shouldn’t run outside. It’s dangerous. I could get hurt. I know that. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I opt to run in Mountain House instead of where I live in Tracy. In Tracy, even early in the morning, cars tend to roll through stop signs and stoplights.
I had several close calls in my own town. In one, I actually had a guy nearly hit in right in the hip. I slammed down both my hands on the hood of the car. I looked the man straight in the eyes and said “I have the right of way!” Then I kept running.
Running is dangerous, yes. So as runners we take precautions. We wear bright clothes. We add reflective bands to our wrists and ankles. We wear lights in the dark. We generally make ourselves as visible as possible. But, at times, doing everything right doesn’t mean you are safe and protected.
I’m realizing that after a couple close calls, including this most recent one, I need to remind myself of that every time I run.