ORN: 9 miles total, with 5K time trial @ 26:06
We got the sobering news this morning of a local runner hit and left by a car. He is still in serious condition at a local hospital, with what was reported to be a broken ankle, broken shoulder and other abrasions.
This whole thing happened around 4:30am Friday on a well traveled road about a mile and a half from our house. The driver hit the man, then took off and has yet to be found. Very sobering indeed.
The situation also struck a chord with me. Some of you may remember my long-term running goal of running at least a half-marathon on the day of my grandkids' weddings. Well, the man who was hit was 86. Shoot, that could be me in 31 years.
Three things struck me from this event, as I read the details, knowing the area.
First, the runner was apparently not wearing any reflective clothing. This is a simple, defensive and necessary thing when running in the dark. At that hour of the morning, most drivers are sleepy and NOT looking for anything on the road. There is a lot of reflective gear out there; use it. I'm particularly fond of a small LED blinky thing I got at a bike store years ago which I clip to the back of my waistband. My wife read the article first this morning, showed it to me when I got in from my run and gave me a hug, saying "Thanks for always running all lit up like a Christmas tree."
Second, it appears this man was running on the right shoulder, with the traffic, and thus got hit from behind. We need to run on the left side of the road, facing the traffic (unless we're in England..then reverse it). I'm a morning runner and probably once a month I take some evasive action when I see a car approaching and I'm not confident the driver sees me as well. Running on the left adds a good 12 to 15 feet between you, the runner, and any car coming from behind. It may have made the difference for this gentleman.
Third, pick your path. The traffic patterns in our small community make the road he ran on a main thoroughfare. Even at 4:30am, if anyone is heading across town, they will use this road. It is also a long, steep (well, steep for Indiana) hill. Purdue and High School cross country teams use it repeatedly for hill work. But it always bothers me to see runners on it...there is not a lot of margin for error, nor much room to jump off the road. Finding less traveled streets or trails is worth the effort.
Let's hope this man can recover. And do take care out there.