It's National Running Safety Month
Welcome, November. This month serves as a gentle reminder to those heading outside for their runs and walks, especially on these colder and darker days, to stay visible and aware.
Lyon Street Run Club, a Grand Rapids based running group, proudly prioritizes safety in all of its various forms.
Gazelle Sports met up with the members of Lyon Street (in their natural habitat) to better understand how they encourage group members to prioritize personal safety on the run.
Who Is Lyon Street?
Founded in 2018, co-lead by Sammie Bennett, Nate Rauh-Boeri and Charles Zhou, Lyon Street Run Club is a local running safe haven for anyone looking for community and low cost motivation on their fitness journey.
"Lyon Street is a free, inclusive, all levels running club that meets every Tuesday at 6 am. We rotate coffee shops every single month, highlighting the different neighborhoods of Grand Rapids as well as local coffee shops," Sammie explained.
The group hosts well over 60 members on a weekly basis and is open to the public. Communication about meet ups and routes, as well various safety tips, can be found on their Instagram account.
Members run, or walk, at varying paces, for 3-5 miles around a set route. Whether you show up with friends or fly solo, one thing is for certain, you'll always have a buddy if you want one.
Safety in Action
"We encourage runners to be proactive about their safety," said Charles.
Online, as well as in person, group leaders at Lyon Street don't shy away from delivering consistent, simple reminders that can make all the difference for run safety:
- During the winter, wear traction devices on your shoes.
- Running in the dark? Wear bright clothes, reflective gear (see video below) and a headlamp .
- Some GPS running watches include safety features like fall detection and emergency alerts.
Run defensively, never assume cars and cyclists will see you coming. Be aware of your surroundings. Have a set route, communicate that route with someone else. When running with a group, call out hazards on the road or sidewalk as well as oncoming vehicles/cyclists.
Culture of Care
At the end of the day, being prepared and proactive are your two best lines of defense while running during the winter months. Joining a community and running with friends is a radical act of self care and connection that's sure to keep you moving, even when the elements aren't working in your favor.
"We wanted to create a culture of looking out for each other, of being safety conscious, and of having a collective mindset, so that at the end of the day people can enjoy doing what they love, running or walking, and doing that in a community where they feel safe," said Nate.
We think they're doing a great job. Go check out Lyon Street Run Club for yourself this Tuesday. Details are available on their Instagram, @lyonstreetrunclub.