Feeling safe when you’re out and about is an important part of the running experience. VPH and THAC offers a safe and friendly running environment. All running levels are catered for so you need never go out running on your own again. At VPH and THAC, you’ll always find someone to run with, and you’ll never have to run alone; another club member will always run alongside the slowest runner in the group. When doing speed work, we always run in sight of one another, so again, you’ll never find yourself alone.
Within the clubhouse, we have a blackboard which we use for telling other club members where we have gone, and if you do decide to run on your own, just leave a message on the board saying you’ve returned. The VPH and THAC clubhouse has security lights around the outside and both the main door and the women's changing room door have coded locks, so only members have access to the facilities.
VPH and THAC is a safe place to run, but it's still important to take into consideration other aspects of safety when you’re out running:
- Run carefully on the road. Ensure that you run single file on wide pavements.
- When running on the road, always try to face oncoming traffic (this reduces problems if idiot motorists try to drive up alongside and sound their horns to make you jump or even try to stop alongside you).
- Make sure that you wear bright, reflective clothing.
- Try to keep to well lit areas or at least those areas where you can clearly see some way ahead. this gives you the option of altering your route away from dark spots or blind spots (or possibly putting on a burst of speed to get past them quickly).
- Don’t wear headphones. Listening to music while running reduces your ability to hear cyclists, roller bladers, dogs or criminals behind you!
- If you take your keys with you, consider only taking one key instead of the whole bunch. This key can be put in a small pocket or on a cord around the neck or pinned on to clothing. If it is lost, it is easier (and cheaper) to replace one key than a complete set.
- Tell someone where you’re running, what time you’re expecting to return, and what to do if you don’t return.
- Carry some identification with you and any essential medical information. Consider getting a "CramTag" - these are small plastic labels which can be fitted to laces and can hold personal information eg name and a contact phone number.
- Also make sure you have a small amount of money in case you need to get a taxi or buy some water.
- Women should not run alone at night.
- Consider running with a personal alarm. You’ll feel safer and just by carrying them you’ll look tougher.
- Do you really need to take a mobile phone with you? If you have any problems, go straight to a "public" area eg pub, police, ambulance or fire station or shop. You can always use a phone from there. Besides, one of the joys of running is to get away from other distractions and have some time for yourself.