Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Road Hogs

I worked the early shift on Monday and Tuesday so I popped in to Good Life after work on Tuesday for my strength training. Well, the upper body portion of the workout since it seems counterproductive to isolate the lower body and then go out for a tempo run two hours later.

Marc had arranged for a guest speaker from the Traffic Management Unit of the London Police to discuss Street Running and Road Safety. Sergeant Tom O’Brien provided some valuable insight in to the issues of distracted drivers, distracted runners, and the issues of visibility whether running on the road or within cross walks.

A couple of important items were discussed. The first is checking the effectiveness of your reflective material. Not all reflective material is created equal, have a spouse, or friend, or total stranger if you have no friends shine a light on your running attire and verify it reflects enough to make you visible. If it is losing its shine, you can purchase reflective material to replace what is worn out.

Secondly and perhaps more importantly, never assume you have been seen by a driver. One area assumed safe is within a cross walk, however the headlights of an opposing vehicle can blind a driver to anyone in the crosswalk. Particularly drivers in second and/or left hand turning lanes. It was also noted that drivers making right hand turns are usually looking to the left. Trust no one.

Our own Bruce Brown printed out Part Two of the London Street By-Laws dealing with prohibited matters. Paragraph 2.8 deals with Public Travel –use –interference and states:

No person shall (either by himself or by permitting others) without lawful authority, conduct any activity which interferes with public travel or use of a street.

Which loosely translated means, if there is a sidewalk and you are running in the street you are creating an interference with public travel or use regardless of if you are running facing traffic in single file. Thankfully, you are not likely ever going to be charged for this infraction but if you were ever involved in an accident, you are likely at fault and not the driver. Invariably in a situation between a runner and a vehicle, the vehicle is going to win.

Included in our package was this article from the January issue of Runner’s World – Collision Course

We did finally get outside to run. It was snowing and blowing and just to add insult within the first five minutes we were stopped by a very long freight train. Once we got moving again the pack broke in to two distinct groups. Marty, Julianna, Karen, Nicole, and myself with a couple of people I didn’t get a chance to meet. Marc fell back after the train to keep and eye on the rest of the group.

Marty and Julianna kept the pace moving but I wasn’t feeling overly energetic on the sloppy sidewalks. I chatted with Nicole as the rest of the pack broke away. We never really lost sight of them and as we made our way down Waterloo we picked up Karen who had been about a 100 meters in front of us. Marc ghosted out of nowhere and disappeared just as quickly to catch up with the leaders.

I fat fingered the lap button on my watch but I think the pace was about 5:15. The entire run completed in just slightly over 30 minutes.

As bad as it was on the sidewalks, no one ran on the road.


Revrunner said...

Here in Virginia, because of the blizzard we've been having, the only place you can run is on the roads. I'm just looking forward to the day when I can get out for an honest-to-goodness run.

Glad to read about others getting out for runs, though!

Jeff said...

You guys got hammered, we haven't seen that much snow all winter and heck - this is Canada. February isn't over yet and if we're going to get dumped upon, this is the month.