On Monday January 13th while many of us were already working or getting ready to take the kids to school, Meg Menzies, a running mama of 3 children was struck by an SUV and killed while out on her morning run.
When I heard the news all I could think was “that could be me…or one of my friends.” It’s chilling to think that on Monday morning, just like many other mornings before, she laced up her running shoes and was probably thinking about how exciting the Boston Marathon will be April. There was nothing different about Monday, but everything changed for her family in an instant. An ordinary day turned dark because of a drunk driver.
Today Soleful Mamas ran for Meg. Some of us were able to run together, some ran solo, but we all dedicated our miles to Meg. I am proud that we were a part of a global event that is raising awareness of drunk driving, texting and driving, and safety of runners and cyclists. I’m proud to be a part of a community that grows in strength even when facing tragedy. I know her children and her family will be in our thoughts and prayers.
We can’t live our lives in fear and we certainly can’t control what’s happening around us, but we can strive to be as ready as possible. A few simple running safety tips that instantly come to mind are:
– Wear your reflective gear, not only for night runs but also for foggy runs. We’ve had a few very foggy mornings in Southeastern PA recently and visibility has been very poor when driving.
– Wear a Road ID.
– Whenever possible, run with a buddy or a group.
– Choose sidewalks when they are an option.
– Always stop at the stop lights and make sure it’s safe to cross. A few extra seconds added to your time is worth, well, everything.
– Make sure someone knows your route and can expect your return time.
– Turn down the headphones to be more aware of sounds around you or run without them; be in tune with your environment.
– Carry your cell phone.
– Consider carrying pepper spray if you are running alone.
– Know your route and traffic patterns.
You just never know what is going to happen on your next run. I just received a text from Mama S telling us that she was out for her 6 mile training run earlier today and witnessed a motorcycle speeding to pass a car on back road. He lost control, hit a pole, and when she ran up to the scene of the crash saw a gruesome sight. She found the young man (no helmet) bleeding out and clearly in very bad shape. She and the couple from the car stayed with him until the paramedics arrived, but she’s not sure if he made it. *big heavy sigh*
We just don’t know what tomorrow will bring… Be sure to show your family just how much you love them. Protect and respect your body. Find the balance between living boldly and with care. Be thankful for the gift of life with every breath you take.