Staying Safe While Training For Marathon

By Kathy Curran, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) — “You gotta run facing traffic. You gotta keep your head up and pay attention.” They’re the running rules of the road from a veteran marathoner.

With marathon training in full swing, the snow piles growing and sidewalks vanishing runners are being forced into the streets. So those rules are even more important because every step is a risk.

Jeff Larson, the spokesperson for the L Street Running Club in South Boston, says, “I always have close calls. You have people on cell phones talking; we’re sharing a lot less space on the road. Everyone has a story of how dangerous it is and almost being hit.”

L Street Running Club sounded the warning via email giving marathoners tips to stay safe on the road.

  • You have to run facing traffic so you can anticipate any problems
  • You have to stop when crossing the street
  • Be very aware of being visible

The safest place to run is on the sidewalk if it’s an even surface and clear of snow, but right now that’s pretty tough.

WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran reports.

Billy Hartford is an avid runner and owner of South Boston Running Emporium. He says if you’re hitting the pavement with all of this white you have to run bright. Hartford says, “The orange and yellow gear are particularly popular, especially with the snow flying. You’ve got to wear reflective and assume they don’t see you.”

If you’re training for the marathon it’s a challenging year. Larson says, “If you can run through this stuff you can run a marathon.”

  • emom

    ok I have a huge REQUEST, STOP JOGGING IN THE DARK,, REALLY ITS NOT ALL THAT EASY TO MANUVER THE NARROW ROADS, BUT when many cars are passing each other and all of a sudden there is a jogger or a person walking your dog in the street , AT NIGHT, we drivers have a split second between head on collision or hitting someone on the road, there is no room for safety, FIND A PARK OR LESS TRAVELED ROAD AND DURNG THE DAY ,,, THERE IS NO LIGHTS ON TH OSE ROADS, PLEASE NOCK IT OFF,

    • Smart runner

      Here’s a request get off the cellphone, turn down the radio and pay attention to what’s going on around you.

      • emom

        to any runner day or night.,, since when is it the drivers responsibility to make sure you guys stay safe, Dont you all drive or do you all just run all over the place, Dont you realize we as drivers have to watch for the other distracted drivers on the road, the kid on the side ready to cross the road unexpectedly, the dog running into the street, the old lady backiing her car out , the kids riding their bikes on the road , but we are to take extra caution for you those that dont watch US ,,, really unfaiir of you to even think that,,, wow the entitled generation at its best

      • Smarter Driver

        You don’t have to be on the cell phone to not see someone who’s wearing black pants with a navy jacket.

    • JM

      As a runner AND the owner of 2 dogs, I can tell you that we DO try to run on the sidewalks. The problem is they are covered in ice. I live in South Boston and don not have a yard, so I must walk my dogs outside when nature calls. We’re not going to NOT walk our dogs because drivers don’t feel like driving a tad more safely. I’m also not going to sit inside, be a couch potato, and miss running the Boston marathon because people in the warmth and comfort of their cars can’t wait .0002 extra seconds to take an extra look around a corner or because they can’t drive 1 mile per hour slower to accommodate us. Share the road, man!

  • I can't see you

    Real marathoners would NEVER be out there training in these conditions. All you weekend warriors and wanna be fitness geeks who are trying to keep your New Year’s resolutions need to take indoors for the time being.

    • JM

      Real marathoners ARE out there training in these conditions. Hence the “real” in front of our title.

    • Fitness Geek

      Real Marathoners aren’t out training in these conditions? Are you kidding? When do you think that we should start training for the Boston Marathon? Maybe April when all this snow melts…that gives us about 3 weeks before Marathon Monday. Sounds reasonable, I wish I had thought of that before I got up at 7am this morning to run 18 miles. I could have slept in instead and been a REAL Marathoner…thanks for correcting me. I’m going to call the BAA today and see if they give out jackets to “Weekend Warriors”

  • Tweets that mention Staying Safe While Training For Marathon « CBS Boston --

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  • Ellen

    Can’t they just run indoors for a change. It’s not only the snow but hey in this state with no real street lights we are also dealing with the darkness.

    • William Hartford

      Actually, running on a treadmill does not utilize many of the muscle groups in the upper legs and lower back that runners are going to need to cover 26.2 miles… I have live in Boston all my life and every time I commit to doing a spring marathon ( I have done Boston 10 times), I do so a great deal of trepidation because I know what these winters can bring…

      When the weather does gets like this, I think it is more important that we as runners understand that we are guests on the black top and that it is the cars that have the right of way (and not the other way around as so many runners assume is the case)..

      We need to run with our heads up and remain respectful to those driving around us and assume the next runner each of the drivers will see after you is a friend… As in, don’t go flipping off cars because the next runner may not get the break you may have gotten…

      In short, you need to dress correctly, run with your head up and remain respectful of your surroundings!!!

      • jeru

        WH–i live along the Marathon route (135 in Natick, so from now till March there are lots of runners along the roadway. Please explain to your running brethren it is never a good idea to run 2-3 abreast –which is frequently the case. Its common sense to NOT run so dangerously and should not have to be explained to responsible adults. Add 5-6 ft snow banks, distracted drivers and winter lighting; its an disaster waiting to happen. Come on runner, take some responsibility.

  • emom

    Really ,,,, now,, ahh since when can anyone be seen in a black and navy outfit,, running at NIGHT, really are you driving with night goggles,,,, Oh I am sorry its the entitled generation ,,, yup thinking they have more rights, to mess with drivers, , we have narrow roads DAY AND NIGHT, but we have to be careful of joggers, we have people backing out of there driveways at night, and then the lady walking the dog and then the runner,, really now,, its not an obstacle course we have to drive, its a huge safety issue for the drivers, Find a school parking lot, a untraveled road, but for god sakes, get off the traveled road,,

  • emom

    Besides, when does the safety of a driver come into play.. HHHMMM when ,, Why cant others be more respectfull of the drivers for a change, I am a good driver have beeen for over 26 years and I am always watching for the ones causing the problems.. However, those in the road never give an inch and take way more than they should . So how about being on the drivers end for a change and see JUST what its like when we have to go around the obstacles and not get hit head on from the other side of the road.. maybe some will have better respect for the drivers,

  • macmum

    When I saw this story and considered the weather and landscape conditions we are currently in, all I could think of was. “Why can’t you people hit the gym so we don’t have to worry about hitting you??” Holy cow!

  • emom

    FYI FOLKS<<<< please do not just walk out into the street from behind a snow bank, Please do not step into the street with out trying to look and see if there is any vehicles on the road, Please do not walk your dog on the street with one of those retractable leashes, and have it out about 6 – 10 feet. please think before walking in the road, also please think about how big the front end of your vehicle is and please use proper judgement went coming out from a snowbank, Just appearing in front of an oncoming vehilce is an accident waiting to happen. If you cant see me what makes you think I can see you . try using GOOD JUDGEMENT and think for a change., novel idea I would think

  • efeweoll

    Guarantee the drivers complaing here are the worst drivers in the world, even before this weather hit. You probably complain about other drivers more than you complain about runners, and you are the worst offenders

    emom: Try putting down your cell phone and large ice coffee and pay attention, especially when you’re leaving the drive thru. Don’t want to spill any on your XXL Bruins jersey anyways.

    jeru: it actually is safer to run side by side because it adds to visibilty.

    No sympathy for any of you drivers. In fact, now I’ll purposely slow down traffic. Hope you’re behind me.

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