We asked JW Cheryl Anker-Agata,
owner of Off 'N Jogging Tours in Los Angeles, for safety tips
that would apply to women running in a foreign destination.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
If you must run in the early morning hours, or evening, be
sure you are running in well lit areas.
- Be careful of the terrain.
You don't know these routes. There are always a lot of pot
holes and cracks in the streets and sidewalks that can cause
- Always carry some form of identification
in a wrist pocket. Another option is to write your
name and phone number on your shoes. Just be sure that there
will be someone at the other end to receive your call if you
need assistance. If travelling alone and staying at a hotel,
carry a card with the hotel phone number and address. If allergic
to medication, it is very important to carry that information
too. Note: It is a good idea to carry a few dollars for emergency
calls, taxis, or even a much needed bottle of water.
- Wear light clothing
or a reflective vest if running in the early evening. Too
much to pack? Then try to at least bring along reflective
wrist or ankle strips.
- Dress appropriately to protect
your safety Respect the cultural norms of the society
that you are in. In countries where women dress in loose clothing
that covers them completely, avoid form fitting jogging clothing.
Make very sure that it is safe for you to jog outdoors. In
some countries, women have been slapped or hit because local
men have found their dress and/or behaviour offensive.
- Vary the routes so the
running routine will not become obvious to others.
- Run against the traffic.
- Do not wear head sets
when running alone on the street. It is very difficult to
hear cars and sirens (or someone running behind you) when
you are preoccupied with music.
- Run across the street at crosswalks
and always pay attention to traffic lights. Drivers have a
bad habit of not looking for pedestrians. Be sure to make
eye contact before crossing in front of a car. Take note,
too, of where the flow of traffic is coming from. For example,
in England, cars have a funny way of sneaking up on you.
- If staying in an unfamiliar area,
try to find a running partner. Staying at a B&B?
The owners, their neighbours or one of their children might
be a runner. They'll probably enjoy sharing their running
time and route with a new partner.
- If staying at a hotel, ask the
concierge for nearby, safe running routes, or possibly
a school track. Check with sports shops and local running
clubs for interesting route information. Or, ask at the local
women's bookstore. Someone always knows another woman who
jogs. The next thing you know, you've made a new friend