As someone who runs outside all year round, mostly in the pre-dawn darkness, I am very aware of the need for runner safety and awareness. I have written a bunch here and elsewhere about keeping visible while running, and also recommeded against wearing headphones while running outdoors due to decreased awareness. I talk about hydration and pretty much any other safety-related thing about running.
However, I would never have listed ‘flying deer’ as one of the potential hazards! But check out this story from the Washington Post:
Rivera, 27, was jogging on a path adjoining Claiborne Parkway in Ashburn near the Dulles Greenway about 6 p.m. A 71-year-old woman from South Riding was driving a Toyota SUV on the road. And the deer — a buck — came from somewhere.
The SUV struck the deer, which sent the animal flying into Rivera, who remembers running one minute and then coming to in an ambulance as a paramedic told her he needed to cut away one of her favorite running shirts “because it had deer blood all over it.’’
Fortunately both the driver and runner are OK, though tragically the buck died.
I only mention this because it is a reminder of how quickly things can happen when you are out for a run. At my company we watched a safety video integrated into a training course, and the outcome was that due to several safety lapses, a runner on a path near a construction site was killed by falling debris from work being done above. She did nothing wrong, and there would have been no sign for her to watch for … but she never came home.
And with all of the other goals we might have for running, the #1 priority has to be the same as our mantra at work – the FIRST priority is to get home safe.