Club urges Melton runners to stay safe running at night

Michael Cooke, of Melton Sports, and pcso Lorren Shacklock with Stilton Striders Tam Nicol and Rob Beers and their running club colleagues. EMN-151117-092821001

Michael Cooke, of Melton Sports, and pcso Lorren Shacklock with Stilton Striders Tam Nicol and Rob Beers and their running club colleagues. EMN-151117-092821001

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Following a running boom in Melton over the past year and with the drawing in off the nights the Stilton Striders club has joined forces with other organisations and businesses to promote safe running in the dark.

Their words of advice coincide with National Road Safety Week which runs from November 23-29.

Stilton Strider Tam Nicol said: “It was my idea as I saw so many runners running at night around Melton who were inappropriately dressed. We want to ensure runners stay safe while running in the dark.

“I spoke to the Stilton Striders chairman and asked if he minded taking the initiative on this. I also spoke to Leicestershire Police, England Athletics, Melton Sports, the Melton Running Group and the Melton Times about it. Everyone has been very supportive.”

Michael Cooke, who owns Melton Sports in King Street, said: “Runners need to be seen to be safe and this applies to cyclists, pedestrians and school children. You can get a reflective bib to wear over your kit for a few pounds and nowadays there are all sorts of flashing armbands and clip on lights you can buy as well as bright clothing.

“Local running club members already get a 10 per cent discount at Melton Sports and we will offer the same discount to all customers on reflective clothing during Road Safety Week.”

Some top tips on how to stay safe running in the dark are:

l Plan your route. Traffic-free or quiet country roads can feel safe during the day but, if they’re not well lit at night, they should be avoided. If you have to run in the dark think ahead and plan your route along well lit safer roads where you’re in view of the public.

l Identify hazards. Look out for hazards not only in your path but in the whole vicinity especially moving hazards such as vehicles, pedestrians and animals. Keep your ears open (ditch the music) as well as your eyes. If you hear a car accelerating or a dog barking be aware of the distance between it and you.

l Be seen. Fluorescent or bright clothing helps you to be seen during the day, especially in dull weather.

Reflective piping or better still panels on jacket, leggings and trainers will show up in car headlights.

Choose white tops rather than black. Wear a blinker or flashing light on your top.

l Carry ID. If you are running on your own you should carry some form of ID so you can be identified if anything untoward does happen to you. Many running shops sell wrist wallets that have space for you to put your name, contact and medical details. Let someone know where you’re going but even better get a running buddy. Always trust your instincts - if it doesn’t feel safe don’t run.