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Carolyn’s Workout Diary: Week 16 – Runner’s Safety

In week sixteen New Zealand associate editor Carolyn Enting discovers there’s more to safety gear than a fluorescent vest.

Carolyn’s Workout Diary: Week 16 – Runner’s Safety

Black has been my colour of choice for exercise gear up until recently. That was until I started running in the dark!

Then I realised how vulnerable and exposed I was. My black clothing rendered me invisible. I was a road hazard.

Luckily for me the GetRunning clinic kept me safe, and continues too. It provides all its runners with reflective flashing armbands and recommends wearing hi-visibility clothing and reflective accessories during early morning and evening runs. Common sense I know but it’s amazing how many people run or cycle in dark clothing.

A 2013 Ministry of Transport report announced that in 2012, 33 pedestrians were killed, 227 pedestrians were seriously injured, and 690 others suffered minor injuries in police-reported crashes on New Zealand roads. Ouch.

I did not, however, relish the thought of wearing a yellow vest so was delighted and amazed to discover that adidas’s high-end apparel line has a reflective thread woven through the fabric that lights up when light falls upon it. How cool is that!

New Balance has also just launched a new luminous ‘Glow in the Dark’ trainers (pictured) which have a black mesh upper which also lights up when light hits it.

product photo shoot    Camera Angles include: 2.Lateral,3.Medial,6.Right Sole

Skechers has taken that idea a step further with its Nite Owl range, taking its best selling styles, including the GOrun Ride 2 (pictured), and kitting them out in glow-in-the-dark uppers. The fabric upper features a photo luminescent technology that produces an intense glow effect in low light or darkness “after being energised”. What this means is the fabric emits a luminous glow from light energy stored after being exposed to daylight for even a short time.


I encourage all runners to invest in some reflective gear because in the few months that I’ve been running I’ve seen some near misses – both from the pavement view as well as the driver’s seat. Twice, I’ve had cars honk impatiently at me at the lights when the Green Arrow is flashing while I’ve waited for a darkly clad pedestrian/runner to cross – invisible to the honkers.

Other safety tips GetRunning recommends when out running include not listening to music because you may not be able to hear the traffic. Always come to a complete stop before crossing a road and use the Stop, Look and Listen Rule. Always use the pedestrian crossings at intersections. Always use zebra crossings when available. Take extra care when running past driveways and access ways, and run to the conditions. Running with a group is also great because there is safety in numbers.

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