Local Marathoner Runs for a Cause and Shares Message of Running Safety

At the time of this posting, local Yakima runner Joy Alegria is approaching the 24th mile of the New York City Marathon (www.tcsnycmarathon.org), running to raise money for Juvenile Diabetes.  Like the other 50,000 runners in this elite national competition, Alegria has trained for months, pounding the Yakima pavement for hours in order to prepare for race day.

During November, which is National Running Safety Month, Abeyta Nelson applauds our local runners and marathoners and highlights the importance of runner safety and awareness. Those who run frequently, and for long distances, encounter many dangers and are subject to more risks than the average person.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 76,000 pedestrian injuries and 4,743 pedestrian fatalities in 2012. And, according to the 2012 National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior, the six most frequent causes of injury for pedestrians: tripping on an uneven/cracked sidewalk, tripping/falling, getting hit by a car, animals (such as a dog), tripping on a rock, or stepping in a hole.

If you are a runner, or have a friend or loved one that runs, please consider and share these safety tips for runners:

Be Seen. There are many ways to stay visible at night with today’s technologies.  Make sure you have both lights and reflective gear. Use your lights to avoid flaws or difficulties in the pavement/terrain.

Alert Someone. Tell someone your route and how long you expect to be gone.  Have a plan in place for them to act on should you take longer than expected. Carry a cell phone and your I.D.—it could save your life.

Be Alert. Only listen to music with one ear, or not at all.  Always make eye contact with drivers before crossing roads and crosswalks.  Alegria says she avoids wearing headphones altogether when she runs so she can hear cars approaching or slowing.

Vary Your Routes. Although many experts say that predictable behavior puts you at greater risk for assailants, Alegria likes to run in areas where she knows her surroundings, and where she knows where friends and neighbors live. Alegria stresses the importance of “always being aware of differences,” for example, a van parked where it wasn’t previously, suspicious pedestrians, or a car repeatedly driving through a neighborhood.

Face Traffic and Run Defensively.  Behave as if those around are not paying attention to you and predict their possible mistakes so you can move out of the way quickly.

Protect Yourself. Run with a buddy or dog, run during the day, run in populated areas, and trust your gut if you feel you might be in danger.  Alegria says she always runs with pepper spray as a protective measure.

Hiring a Yakima Personal Injury Attorney

If you or someone you love has been injured after a running accident and you were not at fault, Abeyta Nelson Injury Law attorneys are here to help.

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